By Bill Evans
Hannah is a baby. She’s the one on the left. I am her dad. (Pay no mind to the three well-meaning strangers who have told me I look like SUCH A PROUD GRANDPA!)
Hannah recently completed her first Baby & Me class at THPRD’s Sunset Swim Center. Our class met 10 times – twice per week for five weeks – this spring. It was time well spent.
Here are a few things we enjoyed about Baby & Me class:
- May is National Water Safety Month, so let’s get the obvious one out of the way first: swimming is an essential life skill. My wife and I want to keep Hannah around long enough to wipe the drool off of our chins someday. Getting her comfortable in the water was critical.
- We’re busy parents, with jobs, hobbies (emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, a fourth grader) and iPhones. It’s easy to get distracted from giving Hannah the one-on-one attention she sometimes needs. Since iPhones aren’t waterproof, Baby & Me provided the perfect place to give her 30 minutes of undivided attention.
- The class was designed to provide a few introductory elements of swimming -- floating, kicking, scooping and blowing bubbles in the water. We could see her progress from week to week.
- Each skill is accompanied by a sing-a-long. Hannah learned a few classic tunes (“ABC song,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “London Bridges,” etc.) and I got some much needed practice for my next karaoke night*. (*if I can find a sitter).
- The class gave my wife and me the flexibility to divide and conquer. Parents (caregivers, too!) can alternate turns accompanying their child into the pool. This convenience allowed Hannah to enjoy the experience with both mom and dad.
- Each Baby & Me class is nearly identical. That repetition was comforting for Hannah. She got a little more relaxed with each class. That repetition was also comforting for mom and dad because we could skip classes with no repercussion on days when other needs took precedence.
- Hannah enjoyed an active half hour in a social environment around a handful of her peers (6 months – 3 years). Pretty soon, they’ll probably have their own book club.
- 3q,dz123reweesfddfcweedsssssf. (This one was submitted by Hannah; I don’t understand it either, but I’m pretty sure she’s left-handed).
- The price is right. All this child’s play was ours for less than $5 per class. For an instructor-led class, that’s a pretty nice* (*awesome!) price. Madi was a pretty nice* instructor! She provided encouragement and remembered every child’s name.)
- It was fun! Hannah's smile made it all worthwhile.
Undoubtedly, we’ll enroll her again for a refresher course sometime within the next year, when she has a better grasp of language. I want her to understand kicking and scooping … and singing, for that matter.
When she’s three, we’ll get her enrolled into THPRD’s Level 1 preschool Learn to Swim class and she can hit the
ground running water swimming.
Bill Evans is THPRD's communications specialist. To follow his lead and sign up your child for a Baby & Me class, search upcoming classes here.