Swimming with Junior (Part One)


Baby swimming - new-dads.com

Of all the things that are magical about being a father, taking your baby swimming is up there with the best of them. The nervous anticipation you feel as junior experiences that first dip, and the quivering at the thought of them positively hating it. Add some rather poorly versed nursery rhymes into this surreal mix and you’ve got a hell of a half hour ahead of you. Well, I say swimming, but a far more accurate description would be floating with a constant look of bewilderment. I am of course referring to junior. We decided to start relatively early with the lessons, after being told by experts and other parents that this was the best thing to do, so at 3 months, junior was going in. So onto the first challenge, that being the changing room. Nothing to fear? Wrong. There were proper changing facilities and plenty of room, but it was very busy; flustered parents exchanging knowing glances, others racing to get to their early morning body pump class, and a good few toddlers scattering around like hot ants.

“And introducing mistake number two, that being not preparing my nursery rhyme repertoire.”

Don’t get me wrong, the facilities were great, but as time ticked away, we all three made a beeline to the last remaining cubicle with all of our gear. Say hello to mistake number one. There was now no room to swing a cat let alone change myself and junior, and my inexperience in this area was fast becoming apparent. I’ll be honest, I was flustered. It was early morning and I’d not woken up so mum took the reigns while I found a place for the buggy. They actually have buggy parks. Magic! And within 5 short minutes, junior was changed into a brand new and very cute swimming costume. With junior (and dad) changed, the pool was next on the agenda. Chatting en route to the pool with other parents, the excitement was growing.

As we slowly sank into the water to join those already settled with the instructor, my heart raced, waiting for the sheer terror to show on juniors face, but it never came. Instead, it was a look of bewilderment and dare I say, intrigue.

Looking pool-side, my other half was now fighting back tears, which I thought was very sweet until I realised that there was something far more sinister afoot. And introducing mistake number two, that being not preparing my nursery rhyme repertoire. Nursery rhymes now became the focus of my (and the other fathers) attention, and we bumbled our way through, helped out immensely by the two mothers and  instructor. (The other half’s tears had very quickly turned in to laughter at this particular moment…).

Junior was settling in very well. Pride was soon the winning emotion as we tried front crawl (floating), back crawl (more floating), monkeying along the side (helping junior to hold onto the edge), and the trusty ‘hokey cokey’ to finish. I have to say that the instructor was very good and junior took a shine instantly which really made the session fun. So much so that we’ve been going ever since, although it’s been myself and junior as mum works on Saturday mornings, but she joins us when she can, which makes the changing and showering a whole different ballgame, and this coupled with the fact that obviously junior has grown since this early stage, things have changed. Changed enough to warrant ‘part two’ which we will be bringing to you at a later stage which will include our tips on how to handle this activity as a one man band.

A last word from Big Daddy, is to please try swimming as early as you can. it’s a wonderful experience and great for your baby to get used to be submerged sooner rather than later in life. Could be life-saving…

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this of course.

Big Daddy

One thought on “Swimming with Junior (Part One)

  1. Absolutely agree with you that you can’t be too early to take your baby swimming – not just for the fun of it, but I’m sure that it will make learning to swim easier in the long run, and that’s vital for safety!

    It’s a good point you make about the lack of facilities in many swimming pool changing rooms. I’m dismayed that where the ladies’ changing rooms have (according to my wife) lots of space and nappy changers and things, in the male changing rooms things are distinctly missing. The argument that Dad’s don’t go swimming with their children so don’t need facilities is putting the cart before the horse!

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