Swimming lessons in the Wicks household started on the day Harry and Josh began school (great planning Jonny ). Lesson 1 – (08/09) went something like this:
5.40pm – excitement at starting swimming
5.45pm – [lesson starts] apprehension at starting swimming
5.50pm – Josh in tears
5.52pm – in 1000 degree temperatures at poolside Daddy seeks to convince Josh to continue swimming
5.53pm – Josh retreats from pool deciding swimming isn’t for him
6pm – Harry in tears as asked to do something he can’t
6.10pm – Harry still in tears and struggling to see through tear misted goggles
6.15pm – Two children in tears, seeking to get them dry in now 3000 degree heat by side of pool. Dad close to tears.
A week passes and fear and trepidation fills Dad as Tuesday approaches. So aware of the previous weeks episode, to try and alleviate their fears Daddy gets them to do some ‘dry swimming’ (aka walking) in the living room to mentally prepare them for the lesson ahead. Should have been a Psychologist.
Lesson 2: 15/09 5.40pm – Wailing and gnashing of teeth in car on the way to pool (mainly by Daddy)
5.45pm – Harry enters pool. Josh does not.
5.46pm – Daddy lifts Josh into pool. Josh in tears. Daddy lifts Josh out of pool and takes seat by wet, teary child to watch Harry. Daddy concludes he is not yet a world class psychologist.
6.15pm – Harry finishes lesson successfully with zero tears.
6.20pm – Visit to chip shop to celebrate our (semi) success.A week passes and this time both children are looking forward to the next lesson. Harry because he has the confidence to know he isn’t going to drown, and Josh because the teacher had said at the end of the last lesson that if it helped, Daddy could get in the pool with him next week…. Daddy does not look forward to this.
Lesson 3: 22/09 5.30pm – Daddy tries on swimming shorts and ponders how ridiculous he is going to look in the pool with a bunch of 4-6 year olds. Decides to definitely have his back facing the bank of onlooking parents who he feels will almost certainly be laughing at him.
5.40pm – arrive at poolside. The tension is palpable as Daddy checks with the teacher if it’s still ok, insisting it’s really no problem if it’s not.
5.41pm – teacher confirms it’s ok.
5.45pm – teacher instructs little people to walk to the side of pool and get in. Daddy unsure if this includes him so gingerly walks to side of pool and as invisibly as possible slides into the pool. Daddy realises he’s directly facing the bank of parents opposite.
5.46pm – Josh a little nervous but takes Daddy’s hand to do several of the activities making Daddy feel he has a purpose.
5.47pm – Josh loving swimming and clearly has no need for Daddy anymore. Daddy stands in pool occasionally offering a reassuring ‘thumbs up’ to Josh but largely just standing there like a lemon trying not to look at the sure to be sniggering parents opposite.
6.10pm – Josh needs a wee so Daddy takes this opportunity to get out of the pool and once Josh is back, tries to blend into the wall behind so no-one will be able to see him.
6.15pm – Lesson concludes and a happy Josh and Harry retreat from the pool. A very sheepish Daddy slinks into the changing room without catching anybody’s eye and waits there for at least 3 hours until everyone else must have left. Next week Daddy intends to wear a fake moustache and glasses when watching on the side of the pool to avoid identification as ‘That 36 year old guy having his first swimming lesson with the kids’.