We haven't started formal swimming lessons yet. Already by the end of May the classes that worked with our schedules were full for the first summer sessions. We're looking at end of July. In the meantime, we've been to various pools around town a few times, and things are going, well, swimmingly.
Mimi started out clinging to me or our friend Kate, whose apartment complex pool we've visited a couple of times. It's a perfect pool for the kids -- not busy, not huge, and the deepest point is five feet. And gradually, with the realization that she was not in fact drowning -- and the fact that she was being shown up by her five-year-old sister, who splashes around in her floaty yelling "look at me! I'm in the deep end! I can do it by myself!" -- Mimi has lost much of her fear.
There was a lot of this the first time we went, over Memorial Day weekend. And I'll admit I spent a lot of time sitting on the side of the pool "getting used to it," as I told the girls, myself. Eventually Mimi got in and let Kate tow her across the pool and back, and proclaimed that it wasn't so bad.
We went back this past Saturday. The girls were impressed that I hopped right in -- well, the water wasn't nearly as cold this time, and it was about a hundred degrees, so that does make a difference -- and they both got in readily. Mimi did spend the first five minutes or so clinging to my neck. Then she let me disentangle her and take her by the hands to tow her around. I gradually let go of her hands and before she knew it she was floating all on her own. Well, with the floaty, but that's a minor point.
I practiced too -- I managed to float on my back all the way across the pool, and do a modified doggy paddle back. I even put my head underwater for a few seconds, because watching Mimi be brave made me feel a little ridiculous about freaking out for getting water up my nose. I didn't enjoy it, but I did it.
And then, almost before I knew it:
Yup. That's my girl who a month ago was terrified of water, happily ducking her head under. She did it about fourteen more times, and once she did it, Boo had to try it too. Boo wasn't as enthusiastic about it, but she wasn't squeamish, either. They paddled around underwater, poking each other and coming up spluttering, for a good twenty minutes.
So Mimi is now Boss of the Pool, and has happily declared that when she takes swimming lessons it will be awesome because she ALREADY KNOWS HOW TO PUT HER HEAD UNDER and maybe she'll even be a swimming racer someday! (We watched some of the Olympic trials.)