Swimming Update: The one where Willow realises going underwater is fun

Singing songs and splashing her feet in the pool

Singing songs and splashing her feet in the pool

We recently hit the 1-year mark at Little Fishes and the penny has dropped for Willow.

She used to be very apprehensive of going under water. She would go under a few times in a lesson and then refuse. Now she has figured out that it is so much fun. Her favourite is jumping from the step, going under and having me catch her. She immediately wants to go back to the step and do it again.

She also loves the castle and will jump up and down enthusiastically singing ba, ba, up, down! Mmmmm! (The rhyme we sing in class is Bouncey Bouncey Up and Down. The Mmmmm bit is when they are supposed to put their faces int he water. We’re still working up to that. Sometimes she does it, most of the time not).

We had a few days with a different teacher and I learnt so much from those few lessons. The first lesson she asked me to focus on not holding Willow with my fingertips. This trick gives her more freedom to move and experience the water on her own terms. The next lesson we focused on giving Willow the confidence to do it herself. I was to always be there for her, but allow her to fall into the water and climb over things herself.

It is really amazing to me what those two pieces of advice have yielded. It’s a pretty powerful metaphor for any parent. I spend a lot of time trying to protect her, but she only grows and develops when I loosen the reigns a little bit.

Willow is also floating so well. I just keep the very tips on my fingers under her head and she does all the work herself. She is so close to flaoting. I’m so proud of her.

She has now moved up to a more advanced class and loves it. We are still going twice a week. I can’t wait to spend more time in the pool with her this summer.

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