I'm not a competetive mother, and if I was ever going to be no one would know about it and I'd do it very very quietly. I did recently become aware however of a few children learning to swim who were about Isla's age. Obviously this didn't bother me a bit. Not one tiny bit. But it did get me to thinking about how bright Isla is and how I should offer her new challenges as often as possible. So perhaps an occasional swim might do her good. The communal swimming lessons offered at our local baths probably wouldn't push her quite as hard as she enjoys so I decided to take on the challenge myself. Something for us to bond over in later years; mummy and daughter time in the pool. Yes, that's it, quality time with my daughter is just what I, and she, needs. Excellent, swimming it is.
It's been a reasonable success, obviously Rome wasn't built in a day (though if it could have been I'm sure my children would have figured out a way). Isla began by insisting on trying to swim straight away without her armbands, she's quite advanced. Although it soon became apparent that she had absolutely no clue as to what swimming actually is. I wasn't surprised what with her nose always in those six-year-and-up text books. She could do a fairly good impression of breaststroke on the side (the stage it is then), but the translation into the water tended to result in drowning. She appeared from under the water with a big grin on her face though so I was encouraged, as was she. She has also insisted on dolly attending every class to learn to swim herself (dolly is plastic and floats so does have some advantage). Dolly comes complete with robe and knickers and while madam is busy learning to drown it is left to mummy to undress her and swim her around looking like she can't wait for another baby and is getting in some practise with a doll.
So to get her started on the correct strokes rather than floating, I decided to introduce one of those jackets with floats inside to free up her arms. I made the mistake of showing her how the little floats inside come out one at a time to help her gradually take her own weight. But it's gone the same way as her armbands and we now have a floatless jacket which she much prefers to the armbands and that she proceeds to wear while drowning. I think perhaps more literary persuits may be the way she's headed.
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