Learning how to be a fish

When Frog was first born, nearly 14 months ago, I knew one thing: she was going to be a water baby.

I didn’t know how I’d get on breastfeeding. I didn’t know what kind of bedtime routine we’d have. I didn’t even know if she would sleep in her own cot or in a moses basket at the side of our bed. The only parenting decision I had properly made was one involving water and swimming. 

I always loved the water as a child. My summers were spent swimming in the sea and in rivers in France. I once walloped my head winning a backstroke race in a swimming gala. But the water was my friend – and it still is. The same is true of the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine – he was a lifeguard during university days. So it’s fair to say water is in Frog’s genes.

So on her second day in this world, the first day Frog saw her new home, we gave her a bath. And we splashed her face. Her reaction was something like this…

Her complete indifference to the water wasn’t surprising really, considering she’d spent the last nine months immersed in the stuff in my womb. And that’s the day I signed her up for swimming lessons with Water Babies.

Frog was only six weeks old when I first took her to a swimming pool. It was loud and colourful and very, very wet. But she loved it – for about ten minutes anyway, until she decided it was time for milk and a nap (can’t blame her really).

Frog was seven weeks old when she had her first swimming lesson. I was taught how to splash water on her face and dunk her under the water. It was terrifying, but amazing. So amazing, that nearly one year on we’ve gone swimming every week. It’s become a part of our weekend routine and Frog now waves her arms around with excitement when we pull into the pool’s carpark.

But the best thing about Frog’s love of the water, the thing that makes me so sure I made the right decision braving a cozzie in public only six weeks after childbirth, is the way it has helped her bond with her dad. I’ve already written about fact Frog’s relationship with the NLM was a slow-burner to start off with. Those early days were a struggle, he didn’t find her particularly interesting, because she didn’t do much, and his lack of boobs meant the feeling was very much reciprocated.

But the water has firmly cemented their friendship…

This is my entry to this week’s Gallery. Pop over to Sticky Fingers to see the rest.

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17 Comments

Filed under Baby stuff, Development, Family, Travel

17 responses to “Learning how to be a fish

  1. awww, what a beautiful story 🙂 I was a water baby too! Love it!

  2. Love your photos. I keep wanting to take mine swimming but always chicken out! I’ve seen some really nice baby swimming related entries today, made me think!

  3. My three kids have all done baby dunking, it is expensive but worth every penny!

    M and O wore arm bands for approx 6 months and are so confident in the water it makes taking them a delight.

    Me, you, frog and BB should head out for some dunking together!

  4. What beautiful photo’s and you look glam swimming which is amazing as I end up smudged and frizzy! Swimming with daddies is a great thing. x

  5. My kids love water too! When my eldest was 2-and-a-half, he used to ‘play dead’ and role off the steps of the baby pool into the water, to the alarm of onlookers. He’d then sink to the bottom, swim under, before triumphantly jumping up out again, with a look of the mischievous elf about him!

  6. That’s so lovely. Kids get so much enjoyment from water – definitely to be encouraged from an early age x

  7. Something about this post makes me think you a very good and clever mum indeed.
    My try is over at http://celebratingmums.wordpress.com

  8. What a lovely story 🙂 I’ve only taken Iyla once, it was to an outdoor pool and she did really enjoy it. I need to sort it out and go more really but I always think it will be too much effort (I am lazy!) Maybe I could sit and watch while my OH takes her in! X

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