Saturday, January 31, 2009

Swimming with attitude

PuffyFingers can swim. She's been able to swim for quite a while. She's confident and happy in the water. She's had "swimming" lessons since she was a tiny. Bar a few bad weeks when she was 2 she's always got on really well.

LMI has had swimming lessons since she was a tiny dot. She's happy in the water. She's totally comfortable putting her face under. But will she swim? Will she hell. She sticks to the nearest adult like a barnacle and won't let go. If an adult is not available she'll hold onto a rail or the edge of the pool, but these are a marked second best.

This was the story until a 3 weeks ago, when LMI discovered that world wouldn't end if she didn't hang on as she could still touch the bottom. Hurrah! Great progress we thought. She will crack the swimming thing eventually. Give her another few months and perhaps she'll get it.

Then came last week's swimming lesson. LMI did her usual "I will do everything the teacher asks as long as he'll hold my hand at the same time..." until the last few seconds of the lesson. There are 3 children in her class. The teacher swam one of them across the pool to her parents, leaving LMI and the other child standing on a platform. There's a standing instruction, repeated every week, that they must stay on the platform until the teacher is ready for them. The teacher then came back for the other second child and swam her across the pool leaving LMI standing on the platform. As soon as the teacher turned his back on LMI she leapt off the platform and doggie paddled, head in water, after him, across the width of the pool. As the other little girl climbed out, LMI put out a hand to grab his shoulder giving him the fright of his life.

The teacher and I were then left with the dilemma of scolding her for totally ignoring orders by leaving the platform or congratulating her on finally swimming.

We both took the middle ground and did a bit of both.

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