Jul 27, 2012
At this point in the summer, I have a 7-year-old, a 3-year-old, and two 1-year-olds. Here’s the swimming skills breakdown:
7-year-old: Can dog paddle and keep head above water for short distances. Improving his skills, but not independent.
3-year-old: No swimming skills (but he keeps close to the shore anyway).
1-year-old boy: No swimming skills (and also prefers sand and shore in his nautical pursuits).
1-year-old girl: Thinks she has mad swimming skills, but in reality has none.
I’ve taken them swimming by myself a couple times now, and here are my observations:
-Easy in and out.
-Don’t have to worry about anyone’s head going under.
-Might have to worry about running and therefore subsequent stitches (thankfully that hasn’t been our story this summer).
-No sand. (NO SAND!!!!)
-I can really only do them by myself if they’re those 0-depth-entry ones. I don’t have enough arms for 3-year-old and two 1-year-olds in a typical “shallow end.”
-Life jackets, life jackets, life jackets. Life jackets are awesome. Morrow still fits in the infant one (cuz he’s only 32 pounds) with the head pillow thing, and he LOOOVES to lay on his back and just kick around. That’s his version of “swimming.”
*Side note about life jackets: I’ve found great ones at thrift stores. Keep your eyes out for those!
And in Minnesota, of course (the land of 10,000 lakes)…
-God’s version of 0-depth-entry, so I must give credit where credit is due.
-The downside, of course, is SAND!! Two diaper-wearers in sand is just the worst, especially if you have a dirty diaper situation.
-More options for keeping busy (trying to catch fish, digging in the sand, etc.)
-Put sunscreen on everyone before you leave the house. (Mom included, because once I get to the water, taking care of myself no longer exists as a possibility.)
-Mom, don’t expect to relax. This will not be relaxing. I remind myself that while I’m exhausting myself at the beach or pool or splash pad, they’re not at home trashing the house!
-I prefer a smaller, less populated beach for lake swimming. Simpler for head-counting, and less surface area if I have to run after one (or two!)
-I’ve been bringing after-clothes for my 3 youngest (any who can’t dress completely independently when you get back home) and getting them all dressed before we leave for home. It’s a little chaotic in the van, but at least the van is a confined space. Waaaayy preferable to them running every which-way in their swimming stuff when we get in the house.
-Don’t bring a lot of crap. A couple buckets and shovels or cups or balls, but the less you bring, the less you have to remember to bring home!
That’s what I’ve learned so far.
Any other awesome swimming tips?