The swimming lesson


Today I took CPP for a swimming lesson for the first time.  And by ‘swimming’, I mean ‘sort of floating’.

My five meals per day + snacks regime over the last few months means I am more than beach body ready (think some of the sperm whales that have washed up on the beach in Norfolk recently) so I wasn’t at all self conscious about inevitably being the only dad at the lesson. Making small talk is difficult at the best of times. Doing so whilst both parties are in swimwear can increase that awkwardness level by anything up to about 15%. Luckily everyone there was concentrating mainly on not letting their baby sink rather than eyeing me up.

Needing eye correction, I opted for spectacles judging that goggles in the baby pool might look a bit odd – not quite as odd as a the full snorkel but still odd.

The lesson itself was a smorgasbord of playful songs including the Hokey Cokey (which I hated as a child), the Wheels on the Bus (which I hated as a child) and the Grand Old Duke of York (about which I was ambivalent) as well as some general splishing and splashing.  CPP stubbornly kept the fingers of one hand in his mouth for the whole lesson whilst occasionally failing to bat a plastic duck with the other.

Bobbing around as he did more or less emotionlessly I figure he probably would have been just as happy in a bucket.  But, if by getting him in the pool this early, he can grow to like swimming it has to be a good thing.  Hopefully he’ll be able to get a few years’ enjoyment out of it until being put off it in his teens when we force him into the water fully clothed to retrieve a brick.

My last observation – babies have special swimming nappies which are absorbent on the inside but waterproof on the outside.  What an age we live in.

9 thoughts on “The swimming lesson

  1. I take issue with this – I was made to jump into a swimming pool dressed in a pair of men’s pajamas with the fly sewn up (which all our mums had to do for us). We not only saved the brick from death by drowning but we also learned how to inflate the said pj bottoms in order to use them as a float. So should I ever find myself in a Titanic-esqe situation wearing pj’s with a sewn up fly and a distressed brick I’m all set. Leonardo DiCaprio would’ve been fine if he’d been to our school!

    Great blog Ben – look forward to the next installment!


  2. agentspitback says:

    Hahaha…You have conjured a pretty great picture of yourself in the pool in my mind! There’s nothing like bathers to break the ice, no? Glad you survived the lesson. I didn’t really enjoy taking my kids who HATED swimming but I must admit I kinda like the songs!! #Chucklemums. PS. I knew I had to read your post when I saw the title of your blog – LOVED it. Now, where are you on Twitter?


  3. Fab post, I remember back when my little boy was a baby in his first tots swim lesson I befriended a dad that apologised for wearing speedos. Great opening liner. I apologised that I thought my son had just pooped. I loved your hatred toward kids songs…#chucklemums


  4. Ah, I did the baby swimming lessons with the big one when she was a little one. At £13 a pop or something ridiculous we didn’t do it second time round (second child syndrome. Poor unloved baby), but we have taken him swimming and he has a very bewildered look. Managed not to puke in the pool though, always a bonus.

    A friend of mine had an unfortunate mishap last week which involved her daughter projectile vomiting in the pool and the whole place being shut down. True story.



  5. Ah I wish you’d worn goggles, that would be hilarious!! We took our little man swimming the other day and he was sucking his thumb pretty much the whole time. I’m too tight to fork out for swimming lessons though! We had to get out early because another child was sick in the pool. Sigh. #chucklemums (/dads)


  6. Someone neglected to put their kid in a swim nappy at the weekend. The resulting shrieks of disgust and yells of “A POOOOOO” from the kiddies pool as it was rapidly evacuated made me laugh a lot. Much to the disgust of parents who were in the pool at the time (I was safely in the big pool) #chucklemums


  7. Yes I used to love the standing about in cold water singing and floater ( no pun intended) lessons! Luckily nice coffee shop nearby as a ‘reward’ afterwards, me obvs with my mochachino and littlun hypothermic and not really in to her babychino, happy days! x


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