Sophie and swimming have yet to get along.
It’s a major moment in a young child’s life (apparently). Their first trip to the swimming baths. Sure, they’d survived their own mini bath. They might even have enjoyed it. But this was a whole different experience. How would she get on?
We’d been looking forward to her first swimming lesson for some time and had saved it deliberately for when I was off school so we could go as a family. Jess had been shopping to mark the occasion…check out the fancy JoJo Maman Bebe swim nappy for Sophie – you’ve got to look the part, right?
We thought we had everything sorted. All the swimming clothes were on. We’d got her changed and ready. We’d also ensured she was nicely full of food, although she did begin eating her hand as we entered the pool area. This is her current sign of choice for “Feed me now.” (Tiny Talk is working well then clearly). Uh oh.
I went in with Sophie by myself initially and was a bit overawed by the whole ordeal. It was full of mums and tots – I felt like a shrimp in a sea full of sharks. How do I interact in this situation? It was fair to say that conversation didn’t naturally flow.
I was quite relieved to spot another couple of dads who were also sinking into the background. They looked as bemused as I felt! Jess loved it though – she clicked right in to socialising, chatting, swapping baby hints and tips.
As for Sophie, she was the youngest there and seemed thoroughly confused by the whole experience. I guess this wasn’t a surprise – it’s not every day you’re dunked into a giant vat of water, bounced up and down and splashed from every angle. At one point she was even being chased by a two-year-old Spiderman!
We sang some songs and floated through fake waterfalls and under bridges. I tried to contain my natural enthusiasm for the nursery rhymes. No-one wanted to hear my low Lancastrian tones thundering underneath the high melodic notes of the tuneful mums!
Poor old Sophie did not like Humpty Dumpty one bit. The teacher cheerily exclaimed that “babies like having their faces dunked” so we followed the expert advice and as we hit “had a great fall” crashed her into the water. Nightmare idea.
As her screams reverberated around the centre, we beat a hasty retreat muttering our apologies and charged off to feed her as quickly as we could.
Maybe we should leave swimming in the locker room for a little while!