My ridiculous relationship with water is nothing to do with my upbringing, I’m convinced my mum was a fish in a previous life and my little brother definitely has amphibious qualities, and although I started to learn to swim from a young age I didn’t ditch the arm bands until I was about 10 years old.
This has meant that over the years I have missed out on many experiences such as snorkeling from a yacht in the middle of the Caribbean sea and swimming in the Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica (part of the sea the glows at night when the water is disturbed due to microorganisms), purely because I daren’t get in the water. As an avid animal lover I have managed to force myself to swim with dolphins after an initial panic attack and I can’t tell you how proud I am of myself for this.
All of this is utterly stupid and really annoys me, so when I came across Flutterbabies, an organisation that teach swimming to babies from a very young age, it was a no brainer for me to sign us up to the course.
I emailed ahead of our first lesson to let the tutor know I was a nervous wreck, just thinking about taking Luca swimming had me verging on hyperventilating. Samantha, the instructor, emailed me back straight away to reassure me I wasn’t her first nervous mummy and we could go at the pace I was most comfortable. I took Luca’s Nonna to his 1st lesson with me in case I wussed out so she could take over. At his 1st lesson I was a shaky mess but Samantha was so lovely to me and really put me at ease. Not only that I knew I had to put on a brave face so Luca wouldn’t think something was wrong and panic himself.5 lessons later and I am happily floating Luca around on his back supported by only one hand on the back of his head and doing different submersion’s with him. I actually look forward to taking him to his lessons and have signed him up to the next term already. Plus we have a underwater photo shoot soon too. Despite the odd protest at being ‘dunked’, which are getting fewer and fewer, Luca loves his swimming lessons and has helped mummy overcome her fear of water (to a certain extent anyway). He has also got his 1st certificates, Level 1 and Level 2 Starfish.
I am a super proud mummy and would recommend all parents to start their children swimming early. Apart from Luca loving it, it is a vital skill that recent statistics show many children are inadequate at and could save his life at some point. Swimming also helps your baby access the five pathways of the brain and therefore babies who learn to swim develop faster than those who don’t, so it is an all round winner.
So dig out that swimming costume and get your little one signed up to a course. It’ll be the best thing you’ve ever done.