Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool

As I sit here watching Ella, my 3 year old, take swimming lessons, I can’t help but smile at all the moms, grandparents and dads that are getting in the pool with their babies for a “mommy and me” swimming class. As I smile I think to myself I am so glad that isn’t me.
I mean good for them and everything, they all seem to be enjoying themselves. It’s just not for me. Not anymore at least. When Ella was 6 months I took the same class with her and it was fun, sorta. What wasn’t fun was the juggling act of showering after to get the chlorine off her delicate skin, just hoping she wouldn’t slip out of my arms while I used my teeth to open the baby shampoo bottle. Then using my foot to keep her from rolling off the bench while struggling to put on my shirt over my wet hair and barely dry skin. All this and I still have to get her dressed. It seemed like a lot of work for 30 min of walking in a circle and singing fishy wishy (the swimming lesson version of the hokey pokey. And that’s not even taking into account the work beforehand getting ready for the class. Yet, I signed up again, I mean, she was a bit older now and she would enjoy it even more. I think I went to maybe half those classes. That was it for swimming lessons until she turned 3 and no longer needed a caregiver in the water with her. I thought about taking it with Anna, my parents offered to look after Ella during the class, and quickly decided against it. It’s never even crossed my mind now that Wesley is 6 months. Unless it is on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean or on the lake at a cottage, I have no desire to put on a swim suit after having my third child. (I am working on that though.)
Do I feel like the youngest 2 kids are missing out? A little maybe. Instead I do take Anna, my middle child, to a mommy and me gymnastics class instead, she loves it and I stay dry. For now, Wesley will have to make do with singing and playing we do at home.
I think learning to swim is immensely important, and when the youngest two are old enough to take the lessons without me. When that day comes, I will be their biggest cheerleader, be proud of all those bubbles they can blow and encourage from the sidelines where I can dodge the splashes just like I do now for Ella.

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