One of the many (many, many) challenges I've come across as a new mom was figuring out what to do with Henry once he transitioned from the "like a potato" stage of infancy to "actual baby with opinions, desire to be a member of society, and do all of the things."
It just so happened that the very week I decided it was time we expand our journeys into the world beyond the four walls of Target, Goldfish Swim School reached out asking if we'd like to attend for some lessons.
Incredible timing. But my response was something along the lines of, "Thanks for the offer, unfortunately Henry is only six months old right now but we'd love to do that when he's old enough!"
Again, new mom.
Turns out babies can begin at four months old (aka not potatoes anymore).
So, we took them up on the offer and have since completed several lessons. The classes are a blast, Henry loves the water and it's something fun for us to do together out of the house. And, perhaps most importantly, he's already learning about water safety.
I can't tell you how good it feels to know that even though right now he's more concerned with chewing on the edge of the pool, he will eventually now how to climb out of it should he ever fall in. He will know how to swim at an early age and understand techniques for staying safe in the water. As a new mom (or I imagine for any mom), that's worth it's weight in gold.
Of course, in typical "me" fashion, I learned a few things the hard way. Here are a few tips I gathered from our first few visits.
1. Pack light. I'm either the mom that completely goes overboard - or I forget to bring our diaper bag entirely. While a bag with a swim suit, a swim diaper, a towel, and a change of clothes along with your daily diaper change set up is a must, you most definitely do not need three swim diapers, two outfits, toys, and a blanket in case it gets cold. For example.
2. Prepare yourself. I've not yet learned to prepare for the following day the night before so I'm usually running back in the house two or three times after I'm in the car because I forgot a towel, or the swim diaper, or any of the above recommended items. Don't be me. Pack your complimentary little bag from Goldfish with everything you'll need in advance so you can grab it along with your every day bag and go out the door without running back into the house. Over. And over.
3. Get ready at home. While Goldfish offers plenty of changing stalls, restrooms, showers, and a blow dry/diaper change station for use following our lesson, I find it's easier to arrive with Henry and I both in our swim suits and ready to jump in. I put him in his swim diaper with another diaper over the top for the car ride (shoutout to the mom who I learned about this from in a Facebook group and the mom I had to text to explain the concept to me when I didn't understand it).
4. Don't stress. Because I've not mastered getting organized until 10 minutes before we have to leave to be somewhere when I realize, oh yeah, I forgot I have to feed the little critter, too...we often run late. Today, I called the school concerned about running a few minutes late. While being on time is encouraged, I was told not to rush or stress and I could easily join another class if need be. Music to a mom's ears.
5. Go at your own speed. Henry has consistently been the youngest student in class but it's been very easy to adapt the activities to his level with some advice from the instructors or my own creativity. While many kids are practicing dunking their heads under water, we're not quite there yet. And that's okay. I feel totally at ease going at our own pace.
As I mentioned, we're still fairly new at Goldfish Swim School but it's been a huge chance for us to grow - him as a swimmer and me as a mom. I can't see where this journey takes us. Hopefully, I remember to bring along the diaper bag.
Goldfish Swim School has provided me with the experience of lessons for my candid reviews.