Our physical therapist, Jess, told us a while ago that she wanted Nathan to take some sort of swim class because she thought it would help with his hypotonia. I thought this was a great idea and did some research on classes in the Westchester area. I knew that anything private was going to be way out of our price range. Someone suggested the YWCA in White Plains. I looked on their website and found out that it was quite reasonable to sign him up for summer swim classes. The classes are with babies from 6 months to 18 months. After signing up online, I was very excited for him to go to these classes, but also very nervous. Nathan had never been in any water more than a few inches deep and I know not all children enjoy being in a large pool, even when mommy is holding them.
We purchased some swim diapers, two bathing suits (both for Nathan :P) and prepared ourselves for the first class on a Tuesday. The time of day was just right for Nathan, not food or nap time. Here is Nathan ready for his first swim class:
Nathan and I arrived at the YWCA a few minutes early to make sure that we knew where to go for the class. As soon as we walked into the pool area there were about 40 kids swimming. I thought to myself, “Nathan is going to hate this! It is way too crazy in here”. Luckily, the camp kids cleared out pretty quickly and Nathan and I got ourselves stripped down to get in the pool. At this point, I did not see any other kids his age and I was wondering if we were going to get private swimming lessons after all. The instructor was wonderful and finally two more little kiddies showed up. One was a 2 year old who refused to let go of mommy and one was a little girl (1 year old) who loved to splash.
Being that I was the only one there with Nathan and I had to go in the pool with him, I did not get any actual pictures from this class. But I will say, Nathan and I hopped right into the semi-warm pool and he LOVED it!! He didn’t cry, fuss, try to get out. He put his arms right in and splashed with the other little girl. They were all amazed that it was his first time. He did all of the exercises with the kids (with my help, of course) and he loved the songs we sang in “circle” time.
I have to say, part of me is always nervous when I embark on an adventure that involves “typical” children. I hate to admit this, but Nathan does have his delays and they are always more pronounced when we are doing things in a different setting. But with swimming lessons, it felt so nice to not have to worry that he couldn’t do this or that. He loved being in the water, splashing, kicking, swimming after the fish, etc. It was one of the best experiences I have had with him.
We are lucky enough to have a pool at our apartment complex. The next night, Erik and I decided to take him in there to see if he reacted in the same manner. Again, we walked right in, he put his hands in the water and off we went. Here are some pictures from the second time he was in a big pool:
“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…..”