Do Kids Need Swimming Lessons?

Up until this weekend, BigBrother was timid in the pool. He would cling to me for most of the time spent in my parent’s pool. Eventually he would find enough nerve to jump off the side into someone’s waiting arms, and on a rare occasion, he might swim with swimmies (you know, floaties) and a pool noodle. But none of that “on his own” business. Until he saw his sister swimming like a fish this past weekend.



LittleBrother was always a fish. He would “swim” with his swimmies on, occasionally asking for help when he got tired. He wasn’t really a fan of putting his face in the water though and would sometimes panic if he thought you weren’t paying attention (which we always were).


I missed swimming lesson sign ups for all classes in our area. Though LittleBrother is technically too young, I have been informed by parents who are better than me that BigBrother should have already had two years of said classes under his swimming trunk elastic. I have failed yet again.

But do kids need swimming lessons?

I ask this not knowing the answer. I’m all about safety. I am 100% for children learning the importance of safety around water, how to properly swim and to learn to love and respect the water. But classroom settings, even in a pool, stress BigBrother out. In fact, the thought of swimming class stresses me out and both of my sons play heavily on how I react. Will swimming lessons be beneficial? Are they an absolute necessity?

I understand that my kids are still using floating devices and are therefore not technically swimming. I would never leave them unattended in their swimming devices just like I would never leave them alone without those helpful bits of floatie stuff. I’m not asking for permission to do so. What I’m wondering is if I have to shell out money for something I can technically teach the kids on my own or, really, that they can learn while in the pool with others.

This isn’t like the issue of organized sports. I believe they learn all kinds of things in a setting like t-ball (for which we have a year end pizza party tonight) or soccer (which went incredibly well this past winter). I think things like basketball camp can teach kids great skills that they can use in a team setting and even in real life. And, really, I’m not the one who should be teaching either of these kids how to properly handle a soccer ball with their feet seeing as how I never played. But I can swim and I can swim well. Can I teach them? Should I teach them? Will they learn from someone else better?

In short: did your kids take swimming lessons or did you teach them or a combination of the two or neither or… please chime in on my inner dialogue, okay?

[This is the last week to win the $100 Visa gift card!]
[This blog is nominated for two BlogLuxe awards (Eye Candy & Blog You Learned the Most From) while Chronicles of Munchkin Land is nominated for Most Inspiring. Vote if you feel so inclined.]


Official Warning: Dance Parties are Dangerous!

Last night after supper we decided not to play Mario Kart and, instead, have an After Supper Dance Party. We do this on occasion when we’re all feeling wiggly and jumpy and in the need to burn off a little energy. It’s one of the ways that we, as parents, trick our children into making themselves tired before bed. Very sneaky, I know.

We turn on the 90’s on 9 on Sirius Satellite radio and begin busting our collective move. There were also some bits of horseplay thrown in which I, the Safety Conscious Mom, may or may not have participated. Okay, okay. I did some under chin tickling on both boys because it creates the most wonderful set of giggles ever heard. But otherwise I danced and reminded my three boys (count ’em, it’s three) to be careful.

FireDad was spinning in circles with BigBrother in the air. It’s not an unusual occurrence, even in our house. Kids love to spin. Dads love to spin their kids. I’m sure that somewhere else in the world another Dad was spinning his kid and their house, like ours, was filled with giggles, laughter and whines of the other child saying, “Me now! It’s my turn, Daddy!”

And then it happened.

The sound of giggling was replaced with a thud. BigBrother had wiggled mid-air and FireDad did what every child and every mother has to believe is impossible: he dropped BigBrother. Thankfully we have carpet in the living room where our After Supper Dance Party is held. But, really, that didn’t matter too much. As I rushed to the Scene of the Accident, the pattern of the carpet was starting to show little pin-pricks of blood on his forehead.


I ran for ice and a rag. BigBrother expressed his outrageous anger with FireDad and clung to me. Then he yelled at me because I was freezing him to death. He sobbed. And yelled at his Daddy. And sobbed. And we kept calmly talking to him, helping him to remember the process of breathing in between his sobs and yells. Eventually he calmed down. And began laughing.

So, I took a picture.


Gosh, he’s cute.

I didn’t take this picture so that we could laugh about this story with our potential grandchildren someday. (Well, that was one reason.) I took this picture to tell the Internet that After Supper Dance Parties are DANGEROUS and SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS. I mean, isn’t that what would happen if some big government agency got hold of this story? Bath toys and slings are bad, and now you can add dance parties, spinning in circles and maybe even laughter to the list. Or, you could, perhaps, use a little common sense, and, maybe, not drop your child on his face while participating in said dance party events. Or, as my parents learned in the 80’s, if you’re walking across the ice with your little girl on your shoulders so her feet don’t get wet, it’s best not to be wearing slippery cowboy boots. Recently, Dee experienced a scary parent moment, too. Lessons are learned everyday.

BigBrother is fine. He went to school today, some carpet pattern still visible on his head. He was his noisy, bouncy, too-happy-for-morning self while getting ready for school. My next thought is how we’re having pictures with the Easter Bunny taken on Tuesday and how this accident will forever be immortalized with the big scary rabbit. It’s almost funny.

In short, no more spinning on hard surfaces. Today. Maybe tomorrow.