We started Stella in swim lessons last week. Obviously she’s not learning the butterfly, but given that we live so close to the beach it’s important for all of us to be comfortable in the water. Wes took the first class, and yes that red mark on her cheek is from an incident with the coffee table. Three times last week Wes came home and asked, “What happened to her face?” so yesterday we bought padding for the coffee table. But back to swim lessons. She looks a little dazed in the before photo, but she was excited once they got in the water.
One thing Stella hates is being on her back in the water. We’ve been trying to lay her down in the bathtub while we rinse out her hair, but that’s only an inch of water. When she’s in a pool or the ocean, forget about it. Resting on a shoulder and chest helps a little, but you can still feel her whole body tense up when you lean her back.
The instructor said that if you blow in a baby’s face, they close their eyes and mouths and you can dunk them under the water. Stella just got really excited and left both open. The instructor wasn’t worried, though, “She’ll learn,” she told Wes. She still had a big smile after each dunking, though, so I doubt she’s getting that much water in her mouth. And her eyes are closed when she resurfaces, so at some point she realizes she should close her eyes!
Swim lessons are at 5:30, which is cutting it close to bed time. Our friends are taking them with their six-month old, but the other two kids in the class are over a year old. The two babies mostly just suck on their fingers and enjoy being pulled around the water. On the way home is when we all get an earful about staying up past bed time!
On Thursday I got in the water with Stella while Wes took pictures. We brought the big camera to get better photos if you’re wondering why the above ones pale in comparison. It has nothing to do with the photographer!
More dunking and kicking and back floating. We did an exercise where you dunk them off the wall and pull them out to the middle of the pool and then when you pull them up ask them to point out where the wall is (or just tell them in the case of the babies who don’t even know what a wall is) and then have them kick back to it. All this will hopefully get us all more comfortable being around and in the water. I know that Stella doesn’t know what we’re saying or why were doing things but I know that she’s having a good time and she isn’t afraid to do any of the exercises. Having a little water baby is going to make living in Hawaii a lot easier!