A few weeks ago a friend talked us in to signing up Elias for swimming lessons at a local (well, 45 mins away but that's about as local as you get out here!) pool. Her little boy and Eli are good friends and I am anxious to have swimming kids this summer so I decided we'd try it out.
We showed up the first day, not knowing what to expect but excited to play. Or so Elias thought. Turns out the instructor is a mom of 7 kids and teaches swim lessons all day long. So not much playing going on but a whole lot of learning!
First thing, she started barking out orders and Elias, my not-a-bit-afraid-of-the-water kid jumped right in with the rest of them. It wasn't until the third thing that she asked them to do (and the third time I'd watched Eli almost drown) that she turned to me and yelled, "Has he had any lessons?"
"No", I hollered back! Luckily, after that she decided to help him get to the edge of the pool rather than watch him struggle.
Turns out, this is a level 3 preschool class so they're supposed to have taken a bunch of classes before this.
The only classes Elias took was a joke of a "swim camp" this past summer when I was hugely pregnant with Adele and I decided it was only good for the babysitting. So he spent the entire first lesson shaking so hard - I kept asking him if he was cold but I'm pretty sure it was cause he thought he was going to die.
But he must have had fun cause the next week he was back for more! And then when the original session was over, I figured we were done. We'd given it a try but I was sick of driving all the way to the pool each week.
Then the next week rolled around and I had to listen to him whine and beg and ask and plead and cry about wanting to go to swimming lessons.
So I called up and reenrolled him…. but not because of all the whining and begging but because he learned so stinking much in the first session!
He can now jump in, bounce of the bottom, come up for air and make it back to the side on his own.
He can also back glide like a champ..
And hold the starfish (floating on back) position for over 20 seconds. I'm very impressed with all of this since after an entire week of "swim camp" all he did was put his head into the pool for a few seconds, which he already did before he started swim camp.
But even more impressively, he can take off and put on his own goggles!!! Hurray!!! Only a mom of little kids can be thrilled over this accomplishment!
He can also handle this situation…. which is just plain funny to watch.
And most importantly, this kid loves these lessons. Sometimes Elias is tough to figure out since he doesn't really like to, um, shall we say, "communicate" with words. He's very vocal (and has the fastest comebacks and putdowns I've ever seen in a kid), when he wants to be but man, he is stubborn and often just flat out refuses to answer questions we ask him. So to find something he loves and is good at is great for his little psyche.
I love that each week he begs to know the days of the week so he can see if it's swimming lesson day. Speed and cooperation don't come easy to him either, but if I mention anything about swimming lessons he's off like a flash to grab his bag, pack it himself with his goggles, new clothes, and a towel, even if it's only Tuesday and lessons aren't till Friday. He takes great pride in keeping his own things in a bag behind his door, ready to grab and go whenever I say the word.
He's also loving the fact that he knows how to do something that Nathan doesn't yet. He's quite the mastermind behind setting up a situation for his own good, and he loves to play on the fact that Nathan can be timid or nervous about certain situations. To put it not nicely, he likes to gloat over Nathan that he can now swim better. Good thing Nathan's still bigger cause Elias sure knows how to push his buttons.
But mostly, he's just a sweet, fun-loving guy that likes to kiss his mama, tease his brother, make his baby sister laugh and enjoys life.
Especially if it's a life that involves going to the pool every week!! So glad we can oblige him… I'd be kinda scared if I didn't…