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Swimming like a fish

By ginny - Posted on 03 August 2009

Last year I bough Jo a swimsuit with built-in floatation pads. At first she was a little unsure, but she quickly grew to love it. It meant that she could go out and swim with the big kids. She would follow them everywhere, even jump in like them. I was a bit apprehensive about it, afraid that it would teach her bad swimming habits and give her false confidence. The other downside, it's a one piece and she was potty training. Taking it off after it got wet was horrible and getting back on was even worse.

This year she wanted to use it again. It's been a bit snug, but she loves the freedom of being able to do it all by herself, so I let her use it. I have tried to encourage her to put her face in the water and not talk to much (she ingests a good deal of water). She didn't care about those things, she just wanted to swim. I knew she could hold her breath, she did when she jumped in. I just didn't know how to get her to do it the rest of the time.

That all changed yesterday afternoon. I don't know exactly what it was, but she decided to try swimming with her head under. She was still in her floaty suit, but she was putting her head down and kicking along. That evening we went swimming again with her aunt and dad, and she did it again. Fearless, she put her face under and swam along.

I didn't want to lose this progress so I made a point of going swimming today. Before we left I talked to her about trying swimming without the floaty suit, just a regular one (she's had it and used it for wading pools and such). At first she didn't like the idea, but I told her if she tried it and didn't like it we could put the floaty one back on. She agreed and was excited when we got their. Apparently I didn't need to question her ability. As soon as I let her in the water she was taking off from the bottom step, swimming short distances away and then back again. She can tread water and move forward slowly, or if she puts her face down, she can move pretty fast. Every time she stops back at the step she looks like she is half drown, but she says she is okay and wants to do it again. At this point I'm just glad she is swimming and having a good time. She has a ways to go on form, but it and confidence will come with practice.

Now I have to make a point of swimming more often so that she doesn't lose it before the end of the summer.