Swimming lessons wrap up and begin again

Reid’s swimming lessons session wrapped up on Friday. This was her first experience in a “non-parented” class (sorry, I couldn’t think of how else to describe it) and it was a definite success. The 2 other kids in the class had been a class with us and so Reid was comfortable with them. I think I’ve mentioned P before and how she was a daredevil. Well, she still was and her brother was brave but not crazy with it. Reid was brave, too, and always willing to try what Jules asked them to do, albeit with prompting sometimes if she had to get her face wet. She was brave enough to stray a bit during class but never enough to put herself in danger or cause Jules to seem annoyed. He seemed to be the sort not to get excited over small transgressions. Reid’s confidence in the water grew dramatically over the course of the session. It seemed each week she tried something that I shook my head at Jules even proposing.

Reid receiving her Preschool A report cardAt the end of last Friday’s lesson, Jules handed the kids’ report cards to the parents. I had my camera at the ready and so Jules took it back from me and presented it to Reid formally. Reid promptly handed the report card to me and turned back to Jules, who was opening a bowl of candy. Jules is a wise and safety-conscious candy shopper. He let the kids each choose 2 sour keys instead of the hard candy that she has been offered so far and which I’ve always taken away from her. Maybe 4 year olds are big enough for hard candies but I have a still-vivid memory of choking on a cherry candy when I was only 4. Uncle Roger performed the Heimlich manoeuvre* to dislodge it. I remember seeing the candy arcing across the air in front of me. I don’t want Reid to choke, whether that is logical or not.

We had male instructors when I was still swimming with Reid and I noticed then, as I noticed again this past session, that the classes are quite different depending on whether the teacher is male or female. The female instructors tend to “mother” the kids – singing songs and encouraging them to try the activities. The male instructors almost never sing and they seem to expect the kids to make the attempt at the activities and congratulate them when they do. Reid does well with both styles but maybe even better with a male instructor.

Reid started lessons at a new swimming pool on Wednesday. It’s an old-style pool, a rectangle that is about 1 metre deep at the one end and gets deeper right away. There were 3 other girls and 2 boys in the class. One boy was a half-head taller than Reid, the other children were nearly a full-head taller. The water was up to Reid’s chin at the wall and she had to tip her head back a bit within a metre from the wall. It’s much different from the gentle slope at the Splash Wave Pool that mimics a long, slow beach.

Reid’s new teacher is a young woman named Leah (is that how you spell it when the person says, “Lee-uh”?) and she smiled at the kids and encouraged them all to try their front and back floats solo. Reid held a couple of foam pigs and gave each float a try. Leah stayed close and offered some support but at the end of each try, Reid did the float on her own for a few seconds. The difference between Preschool A and Preschool B seems to be quite significant. I wondered if Reid was ready for the Preschool A and I’m probably equally misguided to worry about this class.

*I learned at a First Aid course that, due to some legal proceedings, the term Heimlich Manoeuvre is no longer used. It’s now an “abdominal thrust“, the instructor said.

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