Dallas in the middle of summer can get a little hot. That might be a bit of an understatement… it gets REALLY hot. When we moved into our home 6 summers ago it was above 100 degrees for the entire first month! If we’re not spending our time hiding from the heat indoors with the air conditioning blowing full blast, we’re outside and in the water. Pools, splash pads, backyard sprinklers…. as long as water is involved, being outside is still an option! And the kids absolutely love it! BUT with their love for water comes the many, many scary experiences we’ve had around pools with my little ones falling/jumping/being pushed in the water.Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. among children under 5 years old. Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1-4yrs. I don’t know why we waited as long as we did to have them take swimming lessons… But we finally did it! 6 private lessons for our oldest and the twins with Sunsational Swim School. They are the #1 provider of private, at-home swimming lessons in America. They are the only school to offer a learn to swim guarantee for children ages 3 and older which focuses on water safety skills. I loved, loved my experience with them! Our certified instructor Jake was perfectly matched for our kiddos. Jake was so patient and good with each one of them. He was incredibly accommodating to my crazy schedule changes and driving out to my pool locations. Sunsational even has a swim guarantee, which I honestly had a hard time believing at first for little Char-char (see below for details on that). So we did our lessons at my parent’s and a best friend’s pools—30 minutes each session for our 5 year old, and 45 minutes each for the twin 3 year olds. Here’s how all that craziness went:
- Savannah is 5 and was almost swimming at the end of last summer. This summer, she quickly caught back up to where she was, and after spending an afternoon with her friend Emma (who’s a pro), she pretty much had the basics down. No more immediate drowning risk. After the swim lessons she’s incredibly comfortable, which makes me more comfortable! She can swim one end of the pool to the other and absolutely loves diving for toys from the bottom of the deep end. She’s really fast under the water and her instructor (who coaches a swim team) threw out the idea to put her in competitive swimming in the future. We’ll see! The lessons were a little hard with her because she has the hardest time listening (not her favorite attribute of mine). But her instructor was really good with her and would let her do “fun” stuff in the pool for a couple minutes before getting her back on track. I really appreciated that while I was sitting off to the side holding Avery, trying not to glare at her big sister for interrupting him for the hundredth time. Give me patience!!! So so proud of her though!
- Ethan is 3 and loves loves loves water. He cannot get enough. Ever. At the start of this summer, he was always wearing floaties, but loved jumping in the water, or making daddy throw him up in the air into the pool over, and over, and over. He loved putting his head down under the water and trying to swim. He did awesome in his swim lessons and was done with floaties after the first one! Ethan is probably my favorite to watch because to me he’s still sooo little and it’s too cute watching him launch himself in the pool and swim to the other side like a little fish. After the 6 lessons, he’s very comfortable in the pool and can swim from one side to the other, coming up for these huge, adorable breaths every few seconds. No more floaties for my little fella!
- Charlotte. Oh, Charlotte. My little shy one. Ethan’s 11-minute younger sister. For some reason, at the beginning of this summer, she decided to become terrified of the water. She refused to go in water deeper than her knees without gripping on to the sides. When we went on our San Antonio vacation earlier this year, she pretty much spent the entire time in the sand and would occasionally venture into the 6 inch deep water to cool off. Absolutely no way she would put her head under the water! So she was the biggest unknown going into swimming lessons. The first 2 lessons were a little tough. The instructor was so sweet and patient, but she wasn’t happy with any of this! She would reluctantly, and with her huge, tiny person attitude comply for about 5 minutes and then stop to inform him that it was time for Ethan or Savannah’s turn. She even stomped completely out of the pool, sat down, crossed her little arms, and yelled “No!” at one point. Poor little girl! But around the third lesson, she was starting to actually enjoy being in the water. Her instructor played lots of games with her to make her feel more comfortable and excited to be in the pool. That was apparently all she needed. She ditched the floaties by the last lesson and was swimming pretty well. Now, no more fear of the water. No more death grip on the side of the pool. No more dry hair after 2 hours at the pool. She loves swimming around, but hasn’t quite mastered the coming-up-for-air thing just yet. So short little sprints under the water are her fav. She’ll be chasing her twin around the pool in no time.
Meanwhile, Avery and I hung out watching the whole spectacle. She loves the water, most of the time 🙂 Love my tiny sidekick!