Friday, April 29, 2011

Swim, baby, swim: part II

Thank you so much for all the comments on my previous post about Annika's swimming lessons.  You've given me a lot to think about.  I thought I'd do a follow-up post to respond to some of the questions and comments.

Annika is in a class called "Sea Otter" which is for 3-5 year olds.  It's the class that kids go into after the "Starfish/Duck" class, which is a parent & child class for babies and toddlers (6 months - 3 years) and is more just for fun and early water exposure.  Sea Otter is designed to be a transition class, so parents are allowed in the water, if needed.  Here's the official description:
NEW for January 2011 - This fun class is a transitional level for 3 - 5 year olds who are progressing towards independent participation with the instructor. Parent/caregiver accompanies the child in the water until the instructor indicates otherwise. We will help them jump into shallow water. They will try assisted floats and glides on their front and back. They will learn to open their eyes and blow bubbles underwater.
We missed the first class, so I don't know if there were any parents in the pool during that class.  However, the first class we went to (class #2), none of the parents went in the pool.  I was prepared to go in with Annika at first, but since all the other kids went in by themselves, the teacher recommended letting Annika try going in by herself first.  She did great that first class (didn't even ask me to come in the pool, even though I was wearing my swimsuit) and it looked like she wouldn't need me in the pool.  However, maybe it would be beneficial for her if I went in now.  I'm going to think about that some more before next week.  It feels like a bit of a step backwards, but if it makes her feel more comfortable than it might be worth it. 

I really liked the suggestion of taking her to the same pool during the week, just for fun.  That way she gets more exposure to the water (and the pool setting) in a less-structured and perhaps less-stressful atmosphere.  I'll have to find out when the pool has open swim time.  Anyone want to come swimming with us?

Yesterday Carey and I both asked Annika (at separate times) why she had been upset during swimming.  She gave us both the same answer - she had to go potty.  I'm not quite sure what to make of this.  Yes, she had told me that she had to go pee when she got in the pool, but I had taken her to the bathroom before we left the change room, so she had peed literally one minute prior to that (we were a bit late yesterday, so everyone was getting into the pool already by the time we came out of the change room).  So when she told me that she had to pee, I reminded her that she had just peed, and she didn't need to again.  Is it possible that she really did have to?  I guess it is possible, but I highly doubt it.  Especially since she didn't say anything about needing to pee when she got out of the pool, when she was changing, when we were driving home...  In fact, I don't think she peed again until after lunch (swimming is at 11).  Annika has a bit of a funny bladder, it seems.  When we're at home, she will go hours without going to the bathroom.  In fact, I often just take her to the bathroom, if it's been several hours since her last trip.  She often fights it like crazy, saying she doesn't have to go, even though she obviously does.  When we're out, she has to "go" all the time.  Or so she says.  She'll tell us she has to go, and we'll take her, and then when we're in the bathroom she'll say "no, I don't have to."  This happens all the time.  Like this morning, we were at the mall for an hour, and she told me she had to go about 4 or 5 times (and she had peed before we left home).  I took her to the bathroom once, and then she said she didn't have to go.  The other times I told her she could wait.  I'm not sure why she does this - maybe she's still a little uncertain of her body's signals?  Maybe as a way to get attention??  I don't know.

Anyways, back to swimming.  I think before the next class I'll try talking to her again, to see if there's anything else that was making her upset (like the fact that I went into the other room).  I might also ask her if she would want me in the water or not.

So that's where we're at right now.  I'll let you know how things go next week. 

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