Posted by: amamasblog | June 22, 2007

“Mommy, I’m a Swimmer!”

We are going to my grandmother’s beach house for vacation in August, and we decided to enroll Ryan in swim lessons.  He enjoys himself when we go swimming as a family, and I really want him to be comfortable in the water, and learn how to swim, since we will probably be taking our vacation at my grandmother’s every year.

So on Monday, Ryan started his first ever swim lessons.  After a rough start the first day, he proclaimed the above statement to me today, as he finished his class.

The pool where the lessons are held, is an indoor one- I figured that would be better for the first time, than having Ryan get cold if the weather was cool at an outdoor one.  We started on Monday, and he was really tired, from having spent Sunday night with his cousins

The pool has bleachers upstairs, enclosed in glass for the parents to sit, and then the instructors come in, gather their students, and walk them down to the pool.  On Monday, Ryan would have none of that.  He INSISTED that I hold his hand, and walk him down to the pool.  This really was his first time doing an activity where I was not to be right there, so of course I did this.

Once we got down to the pool, he started to cry and did not want to go near the water.  His instructor,a girl about 17, was really nice and sweet, and tried to get him to go in the water, but he already had his mind made up.  I managed to get him to at least sit on the side of the pool with his legs in the water, watching his class, but if I backed away to the wall, he started to cry again, and stand up. I’d be lying if I said, he did not throw a fit.  He did. 

So, I thought this was going to be a fun two-weeks.    I figured he was tired, but was wondering if he was scared to go in.  After the class was over on Monday,  I took him home, and told him he had to go in the water on Tuesday, and he needed to listen to his teacher.  I told him we would go get a smoothie (his favorite treat) if he did.  Hey, bribing always works with this kid.  Joe also talked to him before bed, and reassured him, his swimming lessons would be fun.

So on Tuesday, he still wanted me to walk down with him, and wait by wall, poolside.  He went in the water, but still looked a little nervous, but he started participating in the activities, and when he was done that day, he was so proud of himself and said, “I didn’t cry!”  We couldn’t get to the smoothie shop fast enough.

On Wednesday, I told him he could walk down with his teacher, Emily, and I would walk behind them.  So he held Emily’s hand all the way down.  I followed him, and of course, he looked back every two seconds to make sure I was there. I stopped following him, once he reached the pool, and sat on some steps, farther away from the pool.  Ryan would look up every now and then from the pool and wave at me, but he clearly was becoming more comfortable.

On Thursday, I stayed in the bleachers, and he held Emily’s hand as he walked to the pool.  He looked up at me once, while he was in class and waved. 

Today, he just grabbed on to Emily’s hand, and had no problem what-so-ever.  When it was time for them to go in the pool, Ryan led the ‘pack’ of kids, down the ramp into the water.  

All week he has been learning to jump around in the water, put his chin, and the side of his face in the water, jumping in, and Emily will hold each child on their back, and let them feel what floating is like.  He has done all of that since Tuesday, and I think he really has fun.

Today, as he walked back into the room after class, he saw me sitting and ran up to me and said, “Mommy, I’m a swimmer,” his little face bursting with pride.

I was so happy for him to- it is really neat to see him be proud of something he is learning, and realizing he can do things away from me and have fun.

I also am so grateful to Joe’s parents…they watched Cole every day this week, even with him not feeling well.  It helped so much, that I could be there for Ryan, and not have to spit my attention between him and Cole.  They may come one day next week, and watch Ryan swim.  Cole also bonded very well with Grandma- when we pulled up to their house everyday, he just started smiling, and flapping his hands. 

We may go swimming on Sunday, so he can show Joe everything he has learned.  We have four classes next week, and then we take a break for two weeks, and then he will start another nine classes at the next level in July, ending right before our trip. 

He has been so excited to go to Great Grandma Mimi’s house, and I know he will have more fun in the water, being “a swimmer”.  



  1. How fun! That’s great he’s doing so good now. We just started a Mommy and Me swim class with my Toddler, it’s fun 🙂

  2. How fun! I’m glad he has warmed up to it and is having so much success!

    And how cool that your ILs are watching Cole! What a great arrangement. I wish my ILs were more involved.

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