Letting kids swim for fun is just as important as formal swimming lessons, I’ve found.
We took a trip to the local pool yesterday, something we haven’t done for quite a while; in fact, the last time was in Ibiza, and I can’t remember when we went before that.
Bad parents, bad parents!
Obviously, we had to wait until Millie got home from her first ever sleepover – it was her friend Ione’s ninth birthday, celebrated with a sleepover/makeover party at her house. It was great fun, by all accounts; I imagine there was a lot of screaming and giggling. 🙂
So, while the Lovely Melanie stayed home to tackle some unspecified “jobs” the girls and I hit the water at Sidcup Leisure Centre.
Both girls are so much more confident in the water now; Millie was straight off to the deep end of the big pool and Amber was only seconds behind her. She still wanted me with her, and to begin with wanted to hold my hand, but after I carefully explained that she could swim this and that I’d be swimming alongside all the way she was fine.
At the deep end Millie asked if she could drop my watch and dive down to get it, while Amber happily swam about on her own. I suggested to Amber that we have a go at diving together to get the watch, fully expecting her to laugh in my face.
To my surprise, she agreed.
“Take a deep breath,” I said, holding her hand. “Three, two, one, dive!”
And we dove down to the bottom, me keeping a close eye in case she panicked or got disorientated.
Nope, we went down, she grabbed the watch and laughed with delight when we reached the surface!
This from the little girl who has a tendency to be all mouth and no trousers. 😛
Both girls took it turns to retrieve my watch, and a couple of times we all went down together, racing to be the one to get the watch!
Both girls are better swimmers than we would have guessed from watching them swim up and down the pool in their lessons. I mean, they’ve both improved, but when given a chance to just play in the water, rather than simply practicing strokes, it revealed how at home they now are in the water – quite a different thing from simply being able to swim. 🙂