BIG Steps Toward Swimming

I am so proud.

Yes, this is one of those blogs where I share far more information about my child than anyone else cares to hear. So, if you don’t want to hear about this huge accomplishment, you may leave…

Anyways, when Big was a baby she liked water just fine, so long as it wasn’t in her face.

When she was 3 (almost 4) she had her first BIG girl swim lesson. The first day went pretty darn great!

…Except she just had to have swim goggles.

“I want to see in the water, Mama!” She explained.

We ran out to Wally World that night and got her a cute little pair of swim goggles that just covered the eyes.

The next day Big was sooooooo excited to go to swim class!

She ran from the car to the pool, kicked off her flip flops, threw down her towel and pulled on her goggles (almost in one complete motion).

THEN she jumped into the pool…

…and just about drowned.

She came up sputtering and once she caught her breath she started screaming and crying!
That mean ol’ water tried to hurt her!

See, in her 3-yr old mind if she could see under water she should be able to breathe underwater and so she tried it, and she’s no fish so we all know how that turned out (for reference, see above).

That day marked the first of many, MANY days and years of her running around the outside of the pool screaming while her swim instructor chased her and looked anxiously at me for direction.

I think I gave them hazard pay to try to teach Big how to swim.

Every year we would make the trek to the pool for swim lessons, and over the years Big became a sort of urban pool legend among the swim instructors at lifeguards at the local pool.

When she was 6 we started making big strides! We had planned a trip to Disneyland and she didn’t know, we had kept it a secret and I was waiting for a good reason to pull it out of the bag.

So, I told her that if she got in the pool and didn’t run screaming from her teacher for the whole 2 weeks, I would take her to Disneyland to meet Mickey Mouse!

I am SO not above bribing my child!

It was extremely hard for her, but she did what she was told and got all the way into the pool. She put her chin in the water and blew bubbles. She hopped out once and when her teacher reminded her of the stakes, she hopped back in.

We took her to Disneyland. (Actually her Poppop took us, but that’s another story…)

BUT, that summer marked a turning point in the pool saga for us.

From that point on, she no longer looked longingly at the water while her friends played in the pool. She got into the pool farther than the steps.

Over the years she had gotten more and more brave. She has even swum in lakes (with a life jacket)!

For the past year or so she has gotten to the point where she will go under water

… ON PURPOSE! (with goggles).

But only in water where she can touch the bottom.

Today, she took a huge leap.

She took a leap off the diving board.

She swam to the side.

She pulled herself out.

I am so proud I stood up and cheered! I’m misty just writing about it…

Now, to work on her phobia of dogs.


4 thoughts on “BIG Steps Toward Swimming

  1. So happy for your daughter and the accomplishments she’s making in the water. I sent my kids for swimming lessons last spring, but they go for so many months without swimming at all that I’m sure they’ve forgotten everything they learned. I hope they do as well as your little girl! Great pictures.

  2. WTG! That is awesome progress. Our oldest isn’t fond of the water at all (well, she likes it, but she’s very nervous!). Our youngest jumped right in and proceeded to sink. When I pulled her up, she said “I float mommy, I float!”

    • I thought so! She’s not sure she’s going to do it again, but I’m thrilled she did it just once! And, that’s pretty much what happened with our two. The oldest was nervous and the youngest just went for it!

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