Has anyone else noticed that Blogger has made life SOOOOOOO much easier by allowing you to upload multiple files at once and grouping them in chronological order automatically? I am loving it.
Anywho, today was going to be Clara's last day of swimming lessons, but I think that we are going to extend by at least another week. She has absolutely been loving our daily swim lessons for the past three weeks (except for when we were on vacation) and has really improved a ton. I was really, really hoping that she would actually be able to swim by the end of these lessons (not sure if that is a legitimate expectation for a 2-year old or not but if she can do it with floaties then I guess I don't really know why she shouldn't be able to figure it out without them), but I don't know if that will happen this summer or not. But by next summer I definitely think she will be swimming completely unassisted.
For the first week Clara had private lessons since nobody else had signed up during her time slot. It was just me, Clara, and Coach Grace. I actually think Clara has liked the past two weeks better with more kids in the class. We take turns practicing "swimming" (basically just being passed back and forth) with Coach Grace and Clara (who knows the other girls' names already) likes to tell everybody the order they go in (i.e., "Ashley's turn!", then "Jade's turn!", then "Eliza's turn!", then finally "Clara's turn!", ... repeat). We (the adults) were cracking up about this because none of the other girls in the class will say a word and I almost said something about Clara being a little bossy when I remembered this quote from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and how I felt growing up and being told often that I was bossy: "I want every little girl who's told she's bossy, to be told instead she has leadership skills." Because Clara was definitely NOT being bossy - she wasn't being rude or demanding or anything - she was just trying to keep things running smoothly in the class and narrating the world around her. I love that she is exhibiting this life skill already at age 2 and it is something I want to remember about her and tell her about herself as she is growing up.
In class we practice getting her wet up to her chin, then up to her nose, then up to her eyes, and my heart melts every time Clara comes up from getting her eyes wet and exalts "unda-watta!" She still resists floating on her back a little but has definitely improved and at least tolerates that exercise for ten seconds or so at a time. What she really loves to do is monkey crawl around the edge of the pool by holding on to the side of the pool and moving hand over hand.
She also loves jumping off the side of the pool into the water where I catch her. As if you couldn't tell that from the picture below.
When we are getting ready to "swim" to Coach Grace, Clara revs up by kicking as hard as she can while I struggle to hold her in place. She is SO close to being able to swim on her own - if only she could get her arms going better I think she would have it because she definitely has the kicking part down.
When Paul's parents were in town, they were able to come see Clara at lessons one afternoon and they took these pictures for me. And Paul was able to get off work really early one afternoon so that he could come watch his little mermaid too. Incidentally, Clara still declares herself to be a mermaid most every lesson. I love seeing her face break the surface of the water after which she immediately grins and splutters "Clara mermaid! Clara mermaid!".
After lessons we dry off and usually sit and watch the synchronized swimmers practicing while Clara eats her afternoon snack before we head back to the car and go home. In all honesty, swimming lessons isn't my favorite activity because I don't like feeling all chloriney every day but I keep doing it because I know that Clara loves it so much. That, and the fact that if Clara is having any sort of problem falling asleep for her nap at all the only thing I have to say is "after your nap we will go to swimming lessons" and she immediately puts her head on her pillow and tells me "bye-bye mommy!" then goes right to sleep.
We sure love our little fish!