Well, swimming lessons are finally over. I wish I had some exciting news to report, but - no. He had fun, he did get more comfortable in the water, and he was excited to go everyday. What more could I ask for? The sad little secret - he did not pass his class. Not even close! I did not expect him to and the instructor was SOOO encouraging and sweet in her documentation, but - no way! He's recommended to take level 1 again next summer, which is exactly what I had planned to do anyway; but, the perfectionist in Mommy sees this as our first FAIL. It's really not, though, and he really was very young and had almost no water experience. I stayed and swimmed with him yesterday after his class. Honestly, I'm not sure how those sweet little lifeguards didn't drown him! He's obnoxiously clingy in the water and it takes an awful lot to convince him that you're not going to let anything happen to him. I couldn't even get him to float on his back (which he looked like he was doing well in class.) He did ask to go underwater a couple of times - so that was good. He found a little kiddie slide that he liked, but he kept standing at the bottom, so he got knocked down by the next kid every time and cried every time. We finally had to just go home!
Today was the last day of lessons - Fun Day! Not for Jimmy, though. He woke up this morning telling me that he was not going down the big blue slide today. (It is a pretty big, water-park-style slide). Sure enough, he gets in the water, they put life jackets on all of the kids and this one little boy freaks at the idea of a lifejacket and starts crying. I look up - yep, my little guy has joined in the crying. I tried to talk to him, the lifeguards tried to steer him away from me (which is nice, and a good plan, but I wasn't caudling!). He told me he didn't want to go down the slide and he didn't want to swim anymore. So, his teacher carried him around for a few minutes with the other cryer boy. The other 6 kids are lovin' the big blue slide. She takes the lifejackets off and lets them play in their comfort area. (See video)
Jimmy warms up to the little slide, but on his 3rd time down, I look up and he's "dead man" floating. I tell the other mommies, "Jimmy's under" and I climb out of my lounge chair. About that time, his teacher notices and picks him up. The mommy next to me say, "I think he was just swimming, he's not freaked." (Now, remember, the only way Jimmy's hair has gotten wet is when a lifeguard dunks him at the beginning of class.) He doesn't appear upset or panicked, but the teacher set him on the side of the pool for a second. (I'm thinking, "Oh yeah, now we're traumatized for life.") Later, he told me that he was swimming and he did that on purpose. Then, she gets the jackets back out, (return of the tears and screaming from the other little friend).
She puts one on Jimmy and sends him to a lifeguard who is in the water at the base of the slide. After about 5 minutes, I wandered to that area - yep, he's still crying! Geeze, boy! They passed him back to his teacher, she took off his jacket and let the weenie kids (now 3 of them) play with the diving rings. He did better at picking up the rings than he had all week! So much for Fun Day! Our sweet little teacher gave them all candy and brought her camera and had another lifeguard take a group picture with all the kids. She really was great!