Swimming with the tide or against it?

I got the boys into swim lessons through the city.  (YEA!)  After answering several questions about Tornado E’s ability, they placed him level 2.  Which I thought was awesome.  Until I saw the other kids in his class.  Who towered over him.  Then I became worried.  I mean what if- Hold on.  The boy can swim, so why should I worry?  They would move him if he wasn’t where he was supposed to be.

The crazy thing is he kicked ass!  He listened to the teachers.  He swam with his head down more than any other child.  He kicked.  He stroked.  He jumped off the small diving board with glee.  He loved learning “the frog stroke” (aka the breaststroke).  That’s my boy.

And I can’t help but take a little credit, since I taught him last year.  I guess I over taught him, but I wanted him to be able to swim if he fell into the pool.

Now it’s Tornado S’s turn to learn to swim.  I placed him in the preschool class.  I figured if I can get him in, I would.  With breastfeeding every two hours and not having a swimsuit that would fit my huge boobs, it was better if Tornado S learned from someone else.  Except Tornado S won’t go near his teacher.  He won’t go near the water.  Are you kidding me?

On the first day, I tried to comfort him and leave him in the car of his teacher, but he clung to me and would follow me if I left.  After five minutes, we left.  On the second day, The Husband came with us and watched Tornado E and Tornado A as I tried to convenience Tornado S to stay.  After fifteen minutes, I gave up.  Every time I moved, Tornado S moved, keeping my legs between his coach and him.  He told us he was scared and that the pool didn’t have steps.   On the third day, my mom went with us, and she took Tornado S into the pool area to his class as I was too busy breastfeeding.  She made him sit and left him.  He cried, and a female lifeguard talked to him, convinced him to eventually move into the shade of the lifeguard stand.  She almost got him to put his foot in the water, when I stood up to put Tornado A in the stroller.  Tornado S stood up, pointed, and ran for the gate.  D’oh.  On the fourth day, my mom came with us again, and because she had  more luck getting Tornado S to stay, I asked if she would take Tornado S again.  Only every time she tried to leave a crying Tornado S, he would say he needed to use the potty.  So she was obligated to take him, where he would squeeze out a couple drops and cry all the way back to the coach.  This happened like four times, but at least he stayed the whole time.

I tried to introduce him to his teacher.  We tried to get Tornado S to tell his teacher about Kit Fisto.  My mom introduced Tornado S to his classmates.  I’ve taken him swimming in my parents’ pool where he’ll blow bubbles, walk the wall, and even kick while I hold him as he tells me where he wants to go.  My mom offered him McDonald’s if he went to class (which he did, he just didn’t go swimming).  I offered a brownie if he would swim.  I bought him new sandals that he could wear to the pool that he picked out all by himself.  Friday, I showed him the Kit Fisto scene from Star Wars Clone Wars volume 1 where Kit Fisto fights the bad guys underwater.  When the boys started to pretend they were pirates, I explained pirates swam, which Tornado S doubted.  So I showed them the scene where Jack Sparrow saved Elizabeth Swan by diving in the rescue her.  The next step is to take him to the public pool during operational hours and swim with him.

Does anyone else have any ideas?


8 Responses to “Swimming with the tide or against it?”

  1. beth aka confusedhomemaker Says:

    My oldest will only go into the water if my husband or I swim with him, every year we work more with him. He gets more comfortable. It’s important largely for safety reasons, it’s fine if he’s never a water lover but we want him to learn safety. My other kids it seems were born for water, not my oldest. I wish I had other advice.

  2. zeemaid Says:

    Sorry no helpful advice here. I may be facing this myself when I take O to swimming lessons in the summer. Talk about tough.

  3. Jane Says:

    You poor thing! I feel your pain and alas, have no suggestions. I used to teach swimming lessons and every kid is different, every child brings their own store of determination, interest and resolve. This is a tough one. Good luck!

  4. Maureen@IslandRoar Says:

    Aw, it will come. Swimming with him is always an option, but you’ve got so much going on. Decent depth kiddie pool in the yard to get him used to sticking his face in??
    It’ll come…

  5. Gibby Says:

    This happened with Chuckles and swimming lessons. It had me SO frustrated because she acted the same way as Sean, but actually loved the water when it had nothing to do with swim lessons. I would take her to lessons, she would scream and cry and kick, they would call me over, I would tell them she loves the water, they didn’t believe me, Chuckles continued to cry and would only hang on to the wall IF THAT, the lessons would end, we would eat lunch, and then she would beg me to take her back to the pool where she would swim just fine all day. This happened for two years. Finally, I gave up and didn’t sign her up for any lessons, just took her to the pool where she sort of learned to swim on her own or with me. Eventually she told me she was ready for lessons, and now she is fine. Not to mention, a superbly strong swimmer, go figure.

    So, all I can say is this…the more you push it, the worse it may get. Take your cues from Sean and don’t make a big deal of it. Once he sees that, he will be fine.

  6. faemom Says:

    Update! Which I might write a post about. He got in with own special lifeguard teacher. It was awesome.
    beth~ Isn’t that weird that a child or children are fish while one sibling isn’t? But I’ll keep working at it.
    zeemaid~ I raise my fist in solidarity.
    Jane~ Thanks. You must have been an awesome swim teacher.
    Maureen~ He’ll blow bubbles when I’m with him. The boy is just a mama’s boy. 😉

  7. faemom Says:

    Gibby, that is some great advice. Thank you. I’m glad to here Chuckles is a little fish now.

  8. km Says:

    at 8 1/2 months pregnant I took my then 5 year old to lessons. He wouldn’t go in. For two weeks he never got as much as a toe wet. New Baby, drama, we didn’t go back for 3 months. We went to a warmer pool with a smaller class. Fast forward to a 10 yr old who is a State Champion swimmer and needs me to drive him several thousand miles all over the country to swim meets.
    Patience. Step back. Try again in a while.
    Use this for all situations:)

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