For a long time at swimming, it was only me and Edith there, but about a month ago, a few other families started bringing their babies. This was really nice — we reached a “see you next weekend” level of friendliness and one of the moms even brought a birthday present for Edith (which plunged me back into the “how do I say I would like to be friends” zone I thought I’d left behind with my youth).
Today when we arrived at swimming, I thought they were having some sort of tournament. Nope! It was all babies joining Edith’s class. Actually, since there were so many kids, they broke the babies into “tadpoles” and “swimboree” and as Edith is the only kid (except for one who wasn’t there that day) who has graduated to swimboree, we were actually on our own again, albeit next to a massive class full of children, which is really the story of my entire life.
Edith had a great time like she always does, was thoroughly relaxed, and enjoyed herself. Now that she’s in swimboree the coach takes her sometimes instead of me, and Edith could not be less concerned with who is holding her as long as she gets to swim. Last week, the coach was like, “most children really freak out the first time a stranger takes them in the pool!” and I was like, “well, she isn’t really all that into me.”
Although Edith enjoyed herself, the mellow Sunday vibe was obliterated. There was screaming and wailing and gnashing of teeth, there were consolations and cheering and encouragement, there were dads photographing from the sidelines, there was splashing, there was chit-chat. Edith kept cutting her eyes to the side at the wailing children and making this face like, “what is your deal, it’s water.” All the littlest babies were adorable — tiny little butterballs in whale prints and ruffles, staring around saucer-eyed and making fish faces.
I’m glad I got Edith into swimming early, that seems to be the trick. I think as long as we don’t take any long breaks, she won’t be afraid of the water. It seems like the kids who are afraid either didn’t start until they were older or took like a year break around Edith’s age and forgot about it. She loves it so much, she loves everything about it. She even loves being dunked under (she is the only one). I guess it’s possible that when she’s older and can register what’s going on more, she might develop an aversion to it, in which case, we’ll probably just find something else to do.