Swimming Lessons

I’ve been putting it off for a while.

Around 3 years to be precise.

But, as with sugary breakfast cereals, I bowed under pressure in the end.

The information being carried home from school by our 7-year-old was becoming more extreme by the day.

Having started with an occasional, ‘Mummy, Sarah does swimming after school,’ it progressed rapidly to persistent banshee-like wails of, ’EVERYONE in the WORLD goes to swimming lessons except MEEEE!!!!! AND Sarah is now an actual lifeguard and Anna is swimming the English Channel in the summer and Mollie’s in training for the Olympics!!!!!!!’

And so,  rather begrudgingly, I signed her up for swimming lessons and our already hectic extracurricular schedule was burdened a little more.

Truth is, I’ve never really understood the point of swimming lessons. Aside from the advantage of being able to save oneself from drowning, I still don’t know why we’re hellbent on teaching kids to swim when there are a plethora of more useful things to do in life.

It’s definitely one of those things parents don’t necessarily enjoy but are expected to do, in order to be Actual Proper Parents (baking and singing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ might fall into the same category).

And so I bustled the brood to the swimming pool for our very first swim lesson experience a few weeks ago.

My daughter was behaving how I imagine a meerkat would act if you fed it Skittles followed by a cocktail of supermarket own-brand energy drinks.

I was not quite so enthusiastic.

Wrangling with 3 children in a changing room that might have been a better rabbit hutch was not inspiring.

The heat made it next to unbearable. I’ve never understood why the changing areas are sweltering yet the actual water so ice cold?

The eldest was fizzing with excitement and put her swimsuit on inside out. The middle child was foraging in my handbag for loose change to give the vending machine in return for something to put him entirely off his dinner. The toddler kept trying to lick the floor.

Eventually we deposited the eldest with the instructor and went to the gallery to sit and scoff crisps on plastic garden seats and Google information about all the verrucas we would definitely be getting.

She better be the next Rebecca Adlington.




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