Charlotte starts swimming lessons through her daycare today. She's quite the fish, and we've been taking her for lessons at the Y on and off since she was about 7 months old. Lately she swims very very well for hours unassisted with a bubble belt, and can travel about 5 feet underwater without one. Her daycare shuttles the kids (ages 3 and up) who sign up to a neighborhood pool nearby, up to three days a week. Last year, although she could probably out-swim several of the older kids, she wasn't old enough.
I'm scared, excited, and nervous. It's scary packing a 3-year old off to a pool without me. At the Y she has to have a parent in the pool area during all lessons, and in arms reach whenever she's just playing in the water. I know that there is some student-teacher ratio at work with the daycare lessons that's not 1-1. Deep breaths and the knowledge that they've been offering this service for years (presumably) without a casualty is helping. Some.
I'm excited because swimming lessons at the Y has become an all-day, whole-family ordeal. With two day jobs, our only options for lesson times are Saturday mornings, when every other 2-career family on this side of town is also at the Y swimming, and there are not enough family changing rooms for 1/4 of the folks who try to cram in there. The chaos generally results in frayed tempers, cranky parents, and recently, a lost bathing suit. With the daycare option, we are cutting out that mess, and actually getting Char in the pool more often, and for less money than the same number of lessons would be through the Y.
I'm nervous about how Char will handle herself, changing her clothes after class (we send her to school in her suit on swimming days, but she'll have to get dressed afterwards), with her goggles (that she insists on wearing but needs help with), and her hair and skin. Blonde hair, for those of you without it, has a nasty habit of turning green with prolonged exposure to chlorine. I finally found Ultra Swim shampoo on Drugstore.com, which ought to help. I've broached the subject of cutting Char's hair short for the summer, but she is adamant that she likes it as is. She hates to comb her hair, though, and that worries me too. I did pack a labeled comb in her pool bag today, but I don't know that she'll allow any of her teachers near enough to use it (or if they'll even try). My husband coated her in sunscreen before she left the house today, and they have another bottle at school for recess. I hope they use that as well.
Of course, today, the first day of swim lessons, Charlotte headed to school among light showers and a tornado watch. I'm afraid she will be disappointed. But, she has the rest of the summer to make up for it.