Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘swimming lessons


Last weekend Niko made his first ever trek to the cottage. It’s one of my favourite places, and somewhere lots of memories have been made, and lots will follow. One day (soon) he’ll have fun splashing about in the lake and running around with all his cousins and friends. You could say it’s the beginning of a new era, and he’s the perfect age to be initiated into such a lifestyle (especially considering all the swimming lessons he took this winter!). So bust out the BBQ, get the family together and let the summer begin! There’s so much to look forward to!

PS – Niko’s bout if impetigo seems to be clearing up nicely. Thank goodness.

PSS – A trace of Niko’s fourth tooth is also cutting through his gums. Now if only I could get them in pictures…


Only seven months old and he’s already being evaluated! Well, now that I think of it, I guess all babies are evaluated the minute they are born – otherwise how would they have discovered our little guy needed to spend some time in the NICU. But Niko did receive his first official non-medical evaluation yesterday, when he completed his last lesson of Parent and Tot 1 swimming lessons.

And what has he accomplished over the last few months? He’s practiced jumping, back floats, front floats and each time I managed to dunk him completely under water to the tune of Ring Around the Rosie or Alice the Camel. A lot of people in the class commented on how much he has changed since our first lesson (which was in mid. February). The most constructive piece of criticism he got on his report card was, “No more falling asleep in the pool!”. OK, so he did fall asleep that one time! But who could blame my sleepy little man, after all swim time coincides with what’s usually nap time!

Note: Niko took swimming lessons with his pal Eli. On the day these pics were taken, Paul (Eli’s dad) swam with Eli and Traci (Eli’s mom) snapped all the photos.


Well, it turns out that feeding solids (or the mush that is classified as solids and otherwise known as barley cereal) adds a whole new dimension to the process of getting ready. Niko had his swimming lesson today and I woke him (which I hate to do in the first place) with what I thought was enough time to eat some barley, get dressed and get out the door, and we did make it there with just a minute to spare, but the feeding of these “solids” takes longer than expected at times. I mean, Niko likes to look around, talk between spoonfuls, occasionally suck on his fingers and then proceed to rub barley all over his face, neck, nose, you name it. You really just can’t rush a baby into eating, and I don’t want to rush him, but I was definitely watching the minutes tick away as he was babbling between mouthfuls of barley this morning.

On a side note: Once we got to swimming Niko had a great time. The whole class donned lifejackets and he was happily floating around on his front and his back, and I gave him his weekly dunking, which he didn’t seem to mind either. We always end our lesson in the hot tub – which, from a purely selfish perspective, is a great way to relax and warm up. But little Niko got so relaxed that as we were sitting there, me chit chatting with some of the other moms and Niko sitting in the warm water, I felt him getting progressively heavier and heavier, and when I looked down I saw that he had completely nodded off. One mom noticed and laughed and said to me, “I saw him looking down further and further, and I thought he was really foucssing on something. But then I realized, I don’t think he’s focussing, I think he’s fallen asleep”! Who falls asleep at a swimming lesson!? I guess a baby with a belly full of barley does.


The other day Heather came over and we brought our kiddies, plus Frasier for a walk out back. We had our little ones secured on our chests in the trusty Baby Bjorns and as we were getting ready to leave, Heather asked if Lena could borrow a soother clip (you know, one of those things that attaches to the soother and then clips onto the baby’s outfit). Anyway, of course she could borrow one, Niko has two and he wasn’t using either of them. Now, at the time the only place I could think where there was one, was in Niko’s room: the one that had fallen behind his dresser the week before and the one I had not yet gotten around to finding. So, with my winter coat on, and Niko secured in the Bjorn I headed upstairs to get the soother clip.

Yes, I could have unstrapped baby N (this definitely would have made the task easier), but that would have taken time and we were ready to go. So instead I pulled a limbo move of sorts: I got myself crouched down on the ground as low as I could, and reached under the dresser. But it was to no avail; I couldn’t quite reach it. So I crouched a little lower, until I ended up flat on my back, still wearing my winter coat, Niko completely bundled for winter and still strapped onto my chest, one of my arms secured around him, while the other reached and searched blindly under the dresser. It would have been quite the site had anyone other than Niko witnessed it, but it was in this position that I had success and was finally able to reach far enough under the dresser to get the clip. So, with clip in hand I shimmied my way back to an upright position (go quadriceps!), went back downstairs and we all continued on our merry way.

This little episode got me thinking. It’s amazing how being a stay at home parent sort of forces you to hone a whole new single-handed set of skills. Things that in the past had always required two hands (cooking, laundry, everything…), can now, for the most part, be completed quite adeptly single-handed. So kudos to all those parents who have become skilled one-handers!

Beyond reaching for the soother clip, a few other tasks which previously would have been two-hand chores, but can now be completed while little N is secured in one of my arms, are as follows:

1) Showering after swimming lessons. Washing slippery little N’s hair and rinsing him off.

2) Swiffering the floors. (See pic.)

3) Transferring cloth diapers from the washer to the dryer. (Well if Niko makes the mess, he might as well see how to clean it up, right?)


We’ve got a little fish on our hands! Today Niko and I started baby and Mommy swimming lessons, with Traci and Eli. The lesson lasted half an hour and to get there on time, with one errand thrown in beforehand we left our house an hour before it started. I find anything with a baby takes longer – it’s such a process – but if I give myself enough (or more than enough) time the stress levels go way down.

All in all the lesson was a great experience, despite the fact that Niko cried when he first felt the water, but who could blame him? Up until now the only water he’s really been exposed to is the warmth of a bath. Anyway, once he acclimatized and I put on and used my best “let’s be happy and enjoy this” face and voice, he was good to go. He floated on his back with his ears in, he was on his tummy with his chin in and then we got to end off our lesson in the hot tub where the instructor encouraged us to dunk the babies – if we felt comfortable. I remembered from my lifeguarding days that this was encouraged for babies, that apparently they don’t mind it, and it helps them to really get used to water. So, after a round of Ring Around the Rosie we all fell down, and Niko was completely submerged and back up in a second. And how did her react, you may wonder? Like it was no big deal! He just blinked back the water from his eyes a few times in a row and we continued on our merry way. I figure if he does one good dunking per lesson then he will really get used to the water – and who knows maybe we’ve got a mini Michael Phelps in the making!

With registering for swimming lessons followed the purchase of a teeny tiny bathing suit for little Niko. When I first looked the only one I could find him was for 12 month olds, although post purchase I found another one that was for 6 – 12 months so picked it up as well – I mean I just have tonnes of time to make returns, right? It turns out that I went with the bigger size anyway, because then he has a little room to grow, and it didn’t appear that the shorts were swimming on him too badly.


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