Roman mastered his floats and was able to hold his float until his teacher asked him to "find her fingers." That meant for him to flip over and swim using the front crawl to his teacher. She then would say, "On your back!" He would flip over again to get back into his floating position. He would swim the entire length of the pool doing that very exercise. It was amazing to watch! Since then, he has also mastered the "Chicken, Airplane, Soldier" while on his back and can swim the length of the pool with this stroke. Currently, Roman is working on dolphins, sit-dives, and breathing. Yes, he is actually learning how to stroke, stroke, stroke, BREATHE, stroke, stroke, stroke, BREATHE. Wow. Going twice a week can be hard on a 4 year-old, but then I remind him of the diving board, his favorite part. He loves to be silly and pull funny faces and moves while jumping off. It puts a smile on my face every time. :)
Capri has been a bit more fearful when it comes to those darn back floats. She screamed so loud one day while practicing that it was going to make me cry. I felt so bad for her and yet I knew she was also being extremely dramatic (I wonder where she gets that from?) and the teacher knew it. He let her drop under water which is really scary while on your back and she quieted right down. She has been a champ for the most part ever since. She too can float, flip over to "find fingers," and then flip over again to her back float. Capri has also developed a fabulous front crawl and "chicken, airplane, soldier" stroke in which she swam the length of the pool. I loved seeing her reaction when she got to the end and her teacher said, "Look! You swam all that way by yourself!" Capri was so proud of herself but not as proud as me! The only swimming moment I was more excited about just occurred a few weeks ago. She would watch other kids, especially Roman, jump off the diving board and tell me that she doesn't want to do that. I kept telling her that she didn't need to until she was ready. Sure enough, once she got a new teacher, that was the first thing she told her, "I don't need to go off the diving board." The teacher took her right then, told her she would hold her hand, and Capri went for it. She did it again and I made sure to get it on video. The third time I assumed she would hold the teacher's hand again so I didn't bother recording it, but of course that's when my little girl got the courage up to jump off all by herself! It was so fun to watch!
Over the summer, I decided to try the Parent Tot class with Karoline. My sister-in-law Drew did it as well with Isla which made it more fun. It was all about getting these babies comfortable in the water and introducing some key survival skills. Karoline did great as long as I was the one working with her. We would dip them in side to side and then all the way under saying, "mmmm," in hopes they would keep their mouths closed. It didn't take long before Karoline caught on and would keep those sweet lips together. She loved practicing kicks and actually was really good about being on her back. The problem and crying came when I handed her over to the teacher for some one-on-one time. She wasn't a fan. I stopped the class for the fall due to our crazy schedule but I am anxious to start her up again in January.