When POD was a baby we signed up for a swimming course with the view to building her confidence. She loved it and was photographed under water just 3 months later. Incredible really.
We returned for a second term as she was enjoying it so much. But a few weeks in, our visits to the pool came to an abrupt end. POD continued to enjoy being dunked under the water but I broke my wrist. Badly. With one of us out, sessions became more difficult. When the term ended we decided not to renew.
It was almost a year before we were able to start again. This photograph was taken at the beginning of that first session. It kicked off really well initially but three dives proved one to many. With cries of “get my out” and much screaming we left the pool before the class finished.
The next week it was clear she was terrified. She gripped Daddy so tightly you could see the strain in her fingers. After ten minutes in the pool we decided to leave. We were advised to continue trying so each week we arrived and each week it was the same, out of the pool within ten minutes. For the last session both of us were allowed in the pool. There was a slight improvement in that POD loosened her grip but she was still scared. We left it for six months after that.
Yesterday we took POD to the local sports centre where they run a toddler session. We hoped it would provide her with the opportunity to get used to the water. There was a crab, whale and turtle to sit on, a jacuzzi-like pool and a pirate ship. Not to mention water slides and shutes.
POD was apprehensive at first and insisted on being carried. But over time, she was walking in the shallow waters holding Daddy’s hand. Gradually she let go of his hand until finally she walked freely in the water issuing the occasional instruction as to where she wanted to go.
Although she had no interest in the toddler group, where the water was much deeper, POD braved a water slide on her own and lay on Daddy’s tummy down a water shute. She stayed in the pool for almost an hour!
It was amazing to see her confidence build during that time. And by taking little steps, we hope she will learn to love the pool again just as much as she loves her bath!