Swimming, Playing and SuperMario

I have been worrying for a while about A’s inability to swim and how impossible it has been to fit swimming lessons back into our weekly schedule for her (or the others, who can swim but don’t get much chance to practise) so was really happy when Gina pointed me in the direction of a set of lessons at her local pool which are cheap, flexible and have a very high adult to learner ratio because they are for training swimming teachers. I booked the girls in for all the days we could make: Thursday and Friday this week and Tues, Thur, Fri next and was then offered the opportunity to double up so that they have an hour of lessons at a time, making it more worth the drive to get there. That sounded a good plan, especially as I was assured that the girls could ask to get out partway through the second session if they were too tired to continue. Since the lessons were in the morning and there was a teen meet in the afternoon it made more sense for the boys to come along and Gina offered them space and a chance to hang out with her J, which made the early(ish) start less of a trauma 😉
A was lucky enough to have a teacher all to herself for both sessions, and to be in the middle of the pool with plenty of space and no disruptions. Her first teacher was exactly what she needed: very patient and gentle, in the water with her from the start and able to gradually get her back to pretty much where she had been when we stopped lessons. Having started off almost in tears with fright, by the end of that first half hour A swam a width unaided. The second teacher had obviously got her measure and jumped in with her just as the first lesson ended, so she had no time to think about getting out and getting nervous again. He was much jollier (she commented afterwards that she thought he was nice but just a little too enthusiastic!) and despite having drawn the short straw of taking over when she was already tired he managed to keep her going (and smiling) until two minutes before the official end of the lesson, when she asked to get out.
L, meanwhile, was a in a class of two down in the deep end, at a level which was a good refresher for her for the first class and then a little easier for the second (again with only one other child, but a different one). She worked hard, but enjoyed it – she still can’t sink though, so struggled to get down low enough to go through the hoop or pick up sinkers from the bottom.
Back to Gina’s to collect the boys from their Wii-fest and we were persuaded to stay for lunch, which made us a little late for all the various afternoon activities but gave a bit more friend time both for the children and for me 🙂
We dropped the girls off to play with A and Z then the boys and I went on to the HE teens meet, where they disappeared into the garden (and then the studio, since the weather was not kind) while I chatted with other parents in the house. I had taken H’s Kentwell kit with me to sew, but a combination of good company and low lighting meant that didn’t happen.
By the time we left there and collected the girls we were running late for getting to band so had to call in reinforcements in the form of Bob, who met us there with instruments and music. H has now been lent a baritone on which to start his brass lessons, the hope being that J will teach him the basics during the week and then he can either start in the band next week or have a lesson while the others are in band. I’m not sure he’s really convinced, but Bob won him over with the promise that he’d be able to make loud noises. Hmmm…