Swimming Like Fishies


I think my kids have been punking me.

A few months ago, I signed them up for a session of swim lessons. It was 8 weeks of pure torture. Robert would do everything in his power to avoid getting in the pool. He would cry, he would run, he would pretend he was pooping for 45 minutes straight. He hated the lessons. Hated them. Of course, he didn’t start hating the lessons until after the refund cut-off point. Thanks, pal.

Peter was better about the lessons, but not by much. Near the end of the session, he started doing what Robert was doing because driving your parents crazy is super fun! He did come out of the class telling me how fun it was, though. And I did see him paddling around like a pro so….

Well, I am masochistic, okay? I signed them up for another session. I figured Peter would mostly participate and, if after the first lesson Robert was on track for more hour-long sessions on the toilet to stay out of the water, we could quietly drop Robert out of the class and avoid stressing him and everyone else out. If you aren’t ready, you aren’t ready.

We had nothing to lose by seeing if they would both swim on the first day, though. So, they got suited up and ready to go.

Before the lessons started, I sat with Robert at the side of the pool. He was getting anxious and I was ready for him to not even go near the water when the class was called to the side of the pool. I reassured him and he gave me that patented, sidelong glance children give their parents when they think their parents are quite possibly the stupidest people on the planet.

But, to my amazement, he followed all the other little ducklings over to the pool when the teacher called to them. He stuck his feet in and kicked like everyone else. I was pleasantly surprised.

Then, my son, who told me he would rather eat broccoli and die than swim, jumped in to the pool with absolutely no coaxing from his teacher. I had to pick my jaw off the floor.

Both boys were doing their kicking and paddling and bobbing under water like they were born to do it. I noticed their teacher from the last session was teaching another group of kids this time around. He stopped what he was doing, swam over, and took a long look at the twins.  He looked up at me on the bench.

“Robert and Peter, right?” he asked, pointing at my boys.

“Yeah, I have no idea how this happened either,” I shrugged.

Last session, Robert spent one entire class period hanging off this man’s arm, screaming bloody murder. He has also been responsible for trying to catch the twins when they escape from the pool. So, more than anyone there, he was completely shocked to see Robert kicking unassisted with a kickboard in the middle of the pool.

I am impressed and proud of the boys for swimming so well but, I know I can’t count this as a successful session yet. We have 5 more weeks to get through and, apparently, they change their opinions of swimming on a dime.  So, I am going to go ahead and hold my breath until June.


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