Look at this stuff isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl, the girl who has…. everything?
The Little Mermaid is my all-time favorite Disney movie. I must have watched the VHS–yes, a VHS, remember those?– a million times. And to my delight it is Little Libra’s favorite story. When she’s feeling princess-y, she prefers to be called Ariel and if asked who her prince is it’s always Prince Eric.
I’ve shared Little Libra’s fears in previous posts- thunder, the noise of a blender – but I never once thought that water was a problem. When she was 6 months old , I enrolled in a swimming class so she would enjoy it and thought I nipped that in the bud. For the last year, she waded confidently in kiddie pools and even floated around with her angel wings.
Apparently, we forgot to practice going underwater. Big mistake.
I decided to put her back in swim class after a one year hiatus. I figured that she had more control of her legs now and could really start kicking her way into an actual freestyle. I was thinking too far ahead. She refused to go underwater, probably because she forgot how to hold her breath! It was a scandalous first day – screaming till she turned red, her eyes nothing but slits– but we got through it. Teacher Ria expertly quelled her cries to a whimper and Little Libra learned self-control and courage. But I owe it all to Ariel for convincing her to go to class in the first place.
“If you’re Ariel, why don’t you like to go underwater? Ariel is underwater all the time!”
Convinced of this logic, she has embraced the water completely and is on her way to becoming a true swimmer in no time. Of course the Ariel argument can backfire. She refuses to leave her goggles on since Ariel doesn’t wear any! Toddlers…
At least she lights up whenever we mention swimming class. I even use it to encourage good behavior:
Me: If you don’t say please/ finish your food / follow mommy, then no swimming!
LL: Ok, good girl!
So if you’re thinking of summer activities, here are 3 reasons to consider swimming:
- Values. Swimming teaches bravery, confidence, control, working hard, testing limits, and trust. Her bravery made itself more even more evident when she suppressed tears during a recent doctor’s (injection) appointment– the first cry-free, scream-free visit since she turned one!
- Bonding. Learn more about your toddler’s personality and how she approaches challenges. It’s amazing to witness her progress!
- Exercise. Tire out your hyper toddler and rest easy that your child is working towards being drown-proof! At 2.4 years, Little Libra gets herself in all kinds of precarious situations. Pools are source of happiness and not dread. Besides, I’m happy to see her exploring the water rather than being cooped up indoors.
Here are some photos of our class by Aqualogic Swim Co. I like how they incorporate play with learning. Little Libra loves the toys as incentives to work harder on kicking those feet. Other practical skills they pick up are jumping into a pool, riding a water slide, monkey walking and climbing out. Packages and rates are pretty much fair market. Find out more here.
Have fun with your little mermaids!