It’s that time of year, folks…time to start thinking about water safety!
My name is Lori, and I am petrified of any water that is not coming out of my shower head. I have never been a “good” swimmer. Okay, I can barely tread water or get to the side of a pool from three feet away without panic setting in. I seem to have inherited these traits…my mother is the same way. I took swim lessons as a small child, but it doesn’t seem as if I retained anything. My mom says I wasn’t a very good student…that I alternated between ignoring the instructor and playing with having screaming panic fits in the water.
My husband is the exact opposite of me. He LOVES water. He grew up with a pool in his back yard, participated in swim team, worked as a life guard, and loves all natural bodies of water even if they contain slime or an invisible bottom.
Our kids? They are fish. Both of our children love water. Our four-year-old is pretty close to being able to swim…she can swim under water for a few feet. Our son is also very comfortable in water. Both kids have no problem with putting their heads under the water either on their own or with “assistance” from daddy.
Oh yeah, did you know that having small children who have NO fear of water can help you (me), the most water-challenged person EVER, become a lot less afraid of water? Who has time for an I’m-in-more-than-three-feet-of-water panic attack when trying to keep a little fish from squirming off on their own or from trying to jump from the side into the deep end or trying to see how fast they can go under water?
Because of my unnatural fears of water, we decided that swim lessons should start early and happen often for our kids. We did just that with our now four-year-old. She started at Tom’s Dive Shop at the tender age of six months. She also took a couple multi-week sessions at Nitro Swimming. In the summers, we get a summer pass to our favorite local pool, Scott Metzer Pool. All together, she took lessons for at least three months of the year from the age of six months to the age of two years. We have yet to get our now one-year-old into swim lessons. We are confident that he is not afraid of water…he started trying to climb out of his pool float at about seven months…but we do want to get him into lessons for safety reasons.
We LOVED Tom’s Dive Shop. The pool is indoor, so you can get swim lessons any time of the year and no matter the weather. The pool is nice and warm. The pool is small, so there is typically only one class at a time. The problem? We moved from Austin to Pflugerville and feel like the drive down to Tom’s is just too long and will take too much of our family time on a Saturday. We also tried Nitro Swimming. I say we. I mean Josh, my husband. I went to watch, but I never was the participating parent. At Nitro, the pool is HUGE and there are multiple classes and events going on at the same time. The pool is indoor, which is just WONDERFUL when it comes to the timing of lessons, weather, and not having to slather small squirmy people with sunscreen. BUT. You knew there was a but, didn’t you? The chaos that comes with trying to get a toddler to pay attention to her swim coach and dad when there is so much going on is maddening. Josh also reported a lot of turn with the teachers. It seemed that our daughter would have just enough lessons with one teacher to get comfortable with him/her, and then there would be a new/substitute teacher.
Since our four-year-old is getting so close to being an independent swimmer and needs the guidance of a professional swim coach to make those last few steps…and our one-year-old needs to start swim lessons, we are looking and looking for just the right program for BOTH kids. We have heard lots of good things about Emler Swim School…except the cost. We also have been thinking about getting the entire family a membership at Chasco YMCA and are wondering about lessons there. I also have considered taking our littlest for lessons at the Gilleland Pool, which is right near our house.
So, how about you? Where do you take your little fish for swim lessons? What do you like best about the program your child is in? What do you like the least about the program?