The day I’d been waiting for for months finally arrived yesterday: Annie’s first day of swim lessons. It’s hard to say who was more excited today, me or Annie.
That picture kills me…especially because after I took it, she marched forward, turned around, and then posed for her gramma.
Mike pulled up in front of our house just as we were leaving for the lesson. He’d had a meeting run long, so I was all set to take her in the pool myself. But his arrival let me sit on the sidelines and take pictures, which I was happy about because I really wanted to document her first lesson.
Annie has done lots of swimming, but she wasn’t old enough for any class other than parent/child. I was worried she’d be bored, but she was just happy to be in the water. There was a solid showing of five dads and four moms with their assorted kids. I told Mike his last-minute arrival was the swing vote.
Annie and one other boy were the only kids not screaming with unhappiness at the start of the class. The cute teenage instructor kept looking at Annie and the other boy like, “thank goodness you aren’t screaming!” I’ve had that look on my face plenty of times in the last five years.
The kids started out learning how to kick. First Annie kicked on her back:
Then on her tummy:
After that, they taught the kids how to slide into the pool from a sitting position on the edge. Annie thought this was awesome.
Then there was some singing of “The Wheels on The Bus.” I missed the relevance to swimming, but cracked up when Annie not only knew the words, but corrected Mike when he sang “car” instead of “bus.” No Dada, wheels on da BUS.
Next came blowing bubbles in the water, which Annie wasn’t so sure about until I told her it was like blowing out birthday candles.
Finally, the kids got to jump into their parents’ arms. At first I thought Annie was hesitant, but then I realized Mike was the one who didn’t want to let go of Annie.
She clearly had no trouble with it.
The lesson was only thirty minutes, and I predicted before it even started that thirty minutes was not going to be enough for Annie. Sure enough, when it was time to get out Annie was sad.
But the good news is she has seven more lessons – three more this week, and four more next. Tomorrow is my turn in the pool, I’m excited. She loves it SO MUCH, and I can’t wait to share that with her. I have to buy her a new suit, though – girl is too tall for that 3T suit. The strap around her neck really left a mark! Swim lessons, a 4T suit…my baby really is growing up.
O.M.G. She is just too cute for words in that first picture and I just want to eat her UP!!!
Annie is just too cute in those pictures. GOOD for you for teaching her to swim. Way too important in this day and age. I am amazed at how many of the kids at our high school who can’t swim. They are required in gym class to learn to swim before they graduate and my kids tell me that there are a large number who can’t swim.
She is so darn adorable! I love the jumping off the side picture. That girl is fearless. LOL
What a cutie!! That’s awesome that she’s so comfortable in the water. I have a brave little one when it comes to water, so I’m looking at getting her into swim lessons ASAP! It’s so scary when they don’t have a fear of water.
My 4 year old has grown too tall for her 4T suits but is too skinny for 5T or girls 4/5. We ended up going with a size 4T in a two piece. That way it fits her well but doesn’t pull on her shoulders or neck since she’s so tall. You may want to look into that option as well…
Enjoy the rest of swim lessons!
Adorable, especially the double pony as my daughter calls it. Also, if you have a long torso child, but they aren’t overly large in other aspects, I highly recommend a tankini suit from either LL Bean or Land’s End. The suits last longer (little girl belly may show more over time) but is definitely sturdy enough for swim class. The fall before my daughter turned 4 the swim lessons for 3-4 were only 40 minutes long so I just had her take 2 lessons back to back – she still didn’t want to leave but it was a lot better than just one lesson.
I was going to say the same — tankini from Lands’ End. We got a size larger than normal because she tends to outgrow it by the end of the season. She’s a year older, so she’s wearing a 5 instead of a 4T like her other clothes. They’re probably on sale right now since it’s already June. In fact, we have a purple/white stripe one very similar to the one she’s wearing. Swimming started yesterday for us too. So fun!
I have to say, she is the most beautiful, curly haired fish in that water, for sure!
As always, you capture such amazing, story-telling pictures – I loved them all and so happy Annabel loved her first class!
She is so adorable and I can’t believe how long her ponytail is! My Annabel is only 9 months, but she already loves the water! We’ve had her in the pool every weekend for the last three. I can’t wait to get her signed up for lessons! Happy swimming, Annie!
Heather, she is freaking adorable!! You can just see her enthusiasm in that first picture! What a little doll!!
She is sooo adorable!! Im glad she like the water. I for one have a fear so it good to start them little. She is going to be a fish in water. Love it!!
I’m glad you got to take pics since they’re awesome. And yay for making sure Annie will learn how to be safe in/around water.
She is cute and happy in the pool! My daughter loved it too. I did group before she was two, which got her used to the pool and taught safety, going to the wall if they fall in, etc. But I did find that she didn’t really learn how to swim. I highly recommend private lessons once you are ready. And the private kind where you do not get in the pool, only the instructor and Annie. My daughter was swimming after only 5 private lessons, 30 min each. And then has gotten better with just us taking her in the pool and working with her. Good luck to you and your water baby :).
Our instructor last summer, who was a certified pool instructor with 30+ year experience said that under 3 you do need a parent around because it’s not about learning to swim per se, but developing water safety and water confidence. Very few children under that age are coordinated enough to be able to really learn to swim properly. But what fun in the water with mom and dad teaches them is not to fear the water, so that whey they are coordinated enough they will learn with little effort.
Good on you for getting her in the water early. I found it really makes a difference in their confidence in the water and themselves if you wait. Have fun.
My kid feels Annie’s pain when it comes to outgrowing swimsuits. Last year she was 6 months old at the start of her swim lessons, and wearing a 12M suit. We had to switch her to a 18M before her lessons were over (ours were weekly, over 10 weeks, though).
This year we want to take her to the pool by ourselves (which we did later on last summer, and she loved), and I thought I’d be pro-active and buy her a 3T she could grow into. Girlfriend just outgrew her 2T clothes in May, at a mere 19 months, so I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll be good with a 3T suit when it gets warm enough (probably not until July this year). But it figures: the questions we get most often when we’re out and about are “How old is your child?” followed up by “What do you feed that kid?” (that is, if they believe the first answer – I’ve had a few “No way!” thrown at me).
That picture of Annie jumping into her Dad’s arms is incredible.
Kristen @ The Chronicles of Dutch says:
So cute!!! I can’t wait for swim lessons with my little one!
Such great pictures!! Have fun today in the pool
Her ponytail is the cutest!!
It’s so great you’re starting the swim lessons early! I think I was about 8 at my first lesson. I didn’t cry, but I was one of the wimpy kids who refused to put my head underwater until my dad threatened to go home alone and leave me at the pool (haha, Mike’s recent post comes to mind). Unlike me, Annie will be super comfortable in the water by that age- I’m jealous!
That first picture hit me so hard with the cuteness that I actually started crying.
Angela Marie says:
The first picture HAS to be next years Sports Illustrated cover!!!
Stop with the cuteness!
Awww, the pictures are great. I truly cannot wait to see more!
OMG the excitement and joy so clearly displayed on her face is amazing. This post can turn any frown upside down!!