Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Swimming Update

For those of you who followed along, the start of this will be a repeat, re-posting my FB posts updates after swimming eac week. This is for the benefit of those I'm not FB friends with. The most recent data is at the end, so you can either review or skip ahead.

Swimming classes with infants/toddlers required 1 adult per child. I didn't have that so we didn't take lessons. Nathan loves water. Corwyn loves the beach but only up to his waist. If I even tried to swim past that point, he was known to stomp off the beach in the direction of home! After a very short time we got to the top of the waiting list at the Y for the independent lessons.

July 16 - 5:10pm
First five minutes of swimming lessons. About what I expected, Corwyn still not in water. I consider feet a good first step.

We're not allowed to take pictures in the pool so this is probably the only one for a while

July 16 - Evening
Nathan had a blast. Was crying when we had to go home because he wanted to stay. Corwyn had his own instructor the entire time, she played games with him, ball, with some floating toys etc. By the end, he was at the edge of the pool with just the edge of his butt hanging on. I considered it progress. Not bad for their first ever lesson.

July 23
Week 2 of swimming went well. Nathan enjoyed it as much as week 1, hopping right in the pool and doing all the bubble blowing, kicking and floating exercises. Corwyn started the same as last week, on the edge, only his feet in the water. He almost was willing to go in with his arms wrapped around the second instructor, but nope. Then the other little water resister agreed to go in the 'boat'. Corwyn joined her and they spent 20 minutes being dragged around the pool in a closed in boat. It was a huge step for Corwyn since last week, he wouldn't even do that. The staff were great, since when class was over, they let Nathan go in a quick tour in the 'boat' too. Thanks Y! His progress is slow, but Corwyn will eventually go in.

July 30
I am totally stoked! Week 3 of swimming was fabulous! Nathan was totally Nathan and practiced floating on tummy and back, he kicked against the wall, jumped in and blew bubbles. Corwyn made huge progress. He let the instructor get him in the water (for less than a second but it was in). Then when they were all holding the wall blowing bubbles, he lay on his chest with his lower half in the water. We suggested this last week, but no go, this week he went and did it all on his own. I almost cried. Sure he still has not put his feet on the bottom of the pool but even the instructor was amazed. Even if he slips back next week, it's progress.

Aug 6
It's Tuesday, that means some of you are expecting a swimming update. After last weeks success I was guardedly optimistic. On Wednesday, when we woke, up Corwyn started telling me about a dragon he wanted, a dragon and a horse. I asked why and he said if he went the whole way in the pool he should get a dragon and a horse. Um, okay. So I found a Playmobil dragon that had a saddle and hid it.Today there was no hesitation or fear on the way to swimming, it took no coaxing at all on my part. He was all ready. Right away, I noticed something different at the pool. They had the middle down and the floor was lowered, the kids would not be able to touch bottom. See our local Y has a pool with a raise/lower floor to change depth and it was stuck. Crap. So kids in groups like mine where they were not competent floaters had to wear life jackets. Then their regular instructor was sick. Even better. Nathan initially resisted the jacket but went along with the crowd and in the end, of course loved it. Corwyn does not like life jackets. He had to be coaxed into it with the promise of a boat ride. He kept protesting the jacket but loves his special 1-on-1 volunteer and so it was fine. Then he got out of the boat, took his jacket off and lay down and kicked again (still impressive) and then the best, the boat had floated to the middle and he was willing to let the woman hold him, in the pool while they walked over to get the pool. This is huge, he would not do that before and freaked at even the attempt. When they brought the boat back he had the biggest smile on his face ever. He was very happy to get his dragon (Nathan got a spy gear set with a regular and a black light flashlight on a head band). Again, slow progress, but again, progress.

Aug 13 - Gibsons
Ha! You probably thought being at camp meant no Tuesday swim update. But there is a pool here. Nathan put on a set if water wings and those gave him the confidence to swim everywhere, even the deep end. He practiced his floating too. And Corwyn. Wow. He went to the bottom step, which is actually as deep as the y pool. He played around a lot, even going as deep as his neck. He let me carry him, not just across the pool, but all the way around the inside including the deep end. He put some of his face in the water. Yup, more progress. We will probably swim tomorrow too.

Aug 20 5pm
Corwyn is in the water. Holy crap!

Aug 20 Evening
So those who saw my sudden status update from while at the Y will know that Corwyn went all the way in today. Once he accepted that the pool was no deeper than where he stood at the pool in camp, he was okay. He did not float or hold onto the 'rafts' but he did walk from one end of the pool to the other and sit on the side and kick. If he got water in his face, he typically came screaming over to me so he could wipe his face, but otherwise it was great. Nathan was going under the water (full head, not just face) several times. It was pretty much my two and another boy, with a fill in instructor, as the two girls would only go in with their parents. When it was time to leave, I had to coax (bribe) Corwyn into leaving. He found his groove and wanted to stay. Then of course, timing being everything, the pool is closed for repairs the next two week. Following that, Corwyn has to take a break from swimming for recovery from minor surgery (more on that another time) so it will be weeks before his next lesson. So now I need to find time until Sept 5 to get him into a pool where the water is no higher than his underarms as many times as I can. I guess that means second beach pool. Who wants to come with us after work any (every) day? How about on weekends? I think if he can keep the momentum up, missing class for 4 weeks wont be so bad (I'll also need help the weeks that Nathan can go and Corwyn cant go swimming).

Aug 21
Is Kits pool as young kid friendly as second beach pool? Does it have a ramp entry or is it ladders and stairs etc? It opens 3 hours earlier than second beach pool but is further away so I'm torn as to which to try tomorrow morning with Nathan (he needs to have lunch and be back at WECC by 1:30). I will probably be taking Corwyn Friday afternoon so same question still applies. (I did take Nathan swimming but Corwyn had other plans for his day with me)

Sept 10
While he thinks he's fine from the surgery, Corwyn still has an open wound and couldn't go in the pool this week. Nathan could. It took two people. Originally, we offered to let Corwyn go with E (our caregiver) and he could play in this pond he likes that comes up to his knees. But no go. He wanted me. So E went with Nathan. Corwyn and I watched from the lounge. He kept wanting to go in. I told him I didn't have his bathing suit. He said, he just wanted to put his feet in, or sit on the edge. I was a rough 30 minutes keeping his mind off swimming, and he would not leave the area. Nathan has a new instructor, it looks like they changed a few around after break. His instructor is the one who spent so much 1 on 1 time with Corwyn.

Sept 17
How would Corwyn do after so many weeks away? Both were happy to get there and get changed. The first small hiccup happened when they were put into their groups. It turns out Nathan had gotten his last badge, passed the level and was in the next level up (that's his new instructor). Corwyn needless to say didn't move up. Neither seemed to mind though, so this was good, although they kept an eye on each other. Last night, it was just Corwyn and another little girl in his group. This made for less splashing and fewer complaints. He was happy to get in the water (would only put feet in the shower). But he didn't really want to practice floating. He got a bit of half floats in but panicked when his feet left the bottom. The same thing with holding the wall and kicking on his stomach; he kinda just kicked one leg out behind while the other stayed on the bottom and switched. Still, for him this is progress. He had no problem initially with sitting on the side and kicking until he got water in his face, then he was less enthusiastic. He put his lower jaw in to blow some bubbles (another first) and walked back and forth across the pool. He almost forgot his fears and came close to getting his hair wet a couple of times during ring-around-the-rosy. Overall it was a success for him. Nathan is totally in his element. His group kicked up a massive storm of water, they practiced floating moving themselves forward in the water. Then they put on life jackets and went to the deep side, where they 'swam' through tunnels and kicked to move themselves forward instead of walking. He talked about it non stop the whole way home.

I think for us, the setup at the Y is the best one. They have 6 levels for the 3-5 year olds in the same time slot. Kids move ahead (or not) at their own pace. There is no fixed 8 week schedule where you either pass into a new level or fail (even by one thing) and have to repeat it all. So they can stay in this same time slot until they turn 6, even as they move at different speeds. No one is forced to do anything they are not ready for, and they are very patient. They build water safety into the lessons without it being preachy. And there are lots of games and fun to keep them involved. It's included in our Y membership too. For now, I sit and watch them during the lesson as time goes on, I might venture into the hot tub and watch them from there instead. 

1 comment:

K J and the kids said...

Sounds like a great program and the boys sound like they are doing great. You'll be surprised in a year even. It makes such a difference. They'll be fishies in no time.