Friday, 14 January 2011

First swimming lesson : at 3.5 years old

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In mid-Dec, as soon as the slots were opened for booking, I quickly chose a day for Shean Wenn to start swimming. In London they have swimming schemes for all its borough for kids & adults. Swimming classes start for babies as young as 3MO. Aquatots 1 is for babies 3MO to 3.5YO and will require an adult to accompany them. The reason I haven't done this is because I didn't feel like going into the pool every week. Aquatots 2 is for kids 3.5YO to 5YO and does not require an adult to accompany them.

After making the booking, I briefed SW about it telling her that her swimming class is on every Mondays. She was really excited and happy! Afterall, she always enjoys paddling in the pool.

So when term started on 10-01-11, which coincided with her 1st day of school, she went to school knowing full-well about the schedule for the day! After coming home from half-day school, she is supposed to rest a little and I will "call her up" at 3pm. She went to our bed and I was outside on the computer. I could hear her rolling about in bed but couldn't sleep. Then, about every 5minutes, she shouted to me "Mummy!! Is it 3 o'clock yet? Can I go swimming now?" And everytime I told her, "Not yet! Close your eyes and I'll wake you up at 3 o'clock". Well, she's a persistent girl and at 245pm, I told her, ok, let's start to change. I put on her bathing suit and she was clearly delighted - you can see she's been waiting for this time for a LONG TIME!

(This is the sort of grin that I see on her face the whole time she was in the pool)

We took a bus there and were a little late but it's ok, there were 3 classes happening that day so I asked for the swimming instructor. The instructor told me to grab a swimming cap and let her come into the pool. As soon as she hits the pool, Jamie the instructor gave her two boards and told her to kick. She then turned to me with the BIGGEST GRIN shouting, "Look mummy!!! I'm swimming!!". That expression is so priceless I wished I could capture it for Meng to watch. I was so overcome with pride - yes, my daughter is so grown up now and she's really enjoying this.. much more than I had anticipated.

Jamie was teaching them "blowing bubbles" - a basic and crucial breathing technique for swimming and I could see Shean Wenn being so passionate about it. She blew the water so hard until her face turned red! What a funny bunny!

The kids were also taught how to hold onto their board and "kick" - so far I see SW kicking with her legs in the water. I am not sure how he had wanted them to do it, but I can see some of the kids enjoying themselves although Jamie had a tough time controlling these kids. Well, not surprising as at this age (3+), they may not truly know how to grasp instructions yet.

They were also told to climb up on the side and sit down, and then Jamie goes to each of them and hold both their hands and ask them to "jump" into the water - he used the "humpty dumpty" rhyme to make it more fun!

Towards the end of the class, SW was still very cheerful. Infact, she didn't want to come up from the pool and even bobbed her head up and down in the water and telling me "Look mummy!!!". In the end, I had to pull her out with the help of Jamie and I bribed her telling her after she showers, she can have hot Milo and her cheese bites which I brought from home. I made some hot Milo and put it in a thermos so she could drink it after the class - also because I know it will help warm her body from the cold.

She had alot of fun that day and I'm so glad I booked the swimming class for her! I think she is already looking forward to next week's class. :)
(Her new Hello Kitty swimsuit, her new swimming cap and a body warmer- which I suspect will be disallowed because they would prefer kids to go into the water without "bulky" suits)

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