The dreaded swimming lessons

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The dreaded swimming lessons

boy swimming through hoop

I am currently kicking myself for signing up to another term of swimming lessons for the boys. Wednesday evenings fill me with dread and my blood pressure reaches sky high limits. The only reason I continue is that swimming is a life skill and I like to think that at least big man could swim out of trouble. Knowing him though he'd be underwater swimming right into it!

So why do I hate swimming lessons?

Firstly the time. We spent a good five and a half years devoting every weekend to swimming. A 30 minute lesson took half a day. Now we have changed to an after school class. The problem with this is knowing when to feed them! I have decided to feed them as soon as school finishes so that they don't eat their own arms off on the car journey back from  the swimming pool.

Then there is the hell that is the changing rooms. All packed into the ladies where people tread on your bag to blow dry their daughters hair. Middle man refuses to dress and undress himself, whilst little man thinks its fun to try and hide in the lockers.

Next comes the viewing platform. Firstly it's so hot I wonder if I have hit the menopause early. Then I find I am stuck next to competitive mum blowing kisses to her kids over the barrier. I am usually shouting at big man as to which group he has gone and dropped his brother off in.

Then the class starts. A time to relax.


Little man wants to be there as much as I do. He likes climbing up and down the seating area and getting in everyone's way. I have tried to take toys and he isn't interested in them. Other children's toys are however, very interesting to him. He tries to walk off with them, whilst some poor child starts crying at their Mum. I look over at my water babies. Middle man is fluttering his eyelashes at some young girl helper so that she loads him up with floats and pulls him round the swimming pool. Infact I have just realised that he has been given the same badge as his 2 year old brother, so I am wondering if he has made any progress in 2 years. (We probably already have that badge from a previous swim school!) I turn to watch big man. Big man is underwater, not listening to instructions. He definitely hasn't progressed in 2 years. Infact by switching swim schools he has probably got worse. I turn to little man to realise he has run out the door whilst I have been looking at the other two....

And then the lessons are over. Deep breath as there is still more to get through. Mothers blocking the way so you can't get your kids. Children left shampooing their hair for 15 mins while their mums continue to chat. Your bag being stepped on so a little girl can get to the hair dryer and little man trying to hide in the lockers.

Every week I put myself through this. Thank God I have 2 weeks off til the hell starts again.


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  1. You forgot to mention the fight for the showers and dirty changing rooms... Those are my bugbears about our swimming lessons! So damn stressful but most kids don't get lessons at school or if they do, not til much later so I feel we should pay to make sure our kids can swim! Great Rant. Popped over from Ranty Friday

  2. ooh i feel for you! My youngest loves swimming and we do it for physio but I realise that when you get good it means early swim starts before school. I'm not looking forward to that!

  3. rebecca beesley4 April 2014 at 22:08

    I dread swimming too - thankfully mine aren't having lessons at the moment - but I do remember it well from when they did! x

  4. Give Little Man your phone to play with! My youngest and I take turns with various games on my phone - some educational, some involving flinging raging avians at sickly looking swine. I have also hugely improved the changing room experience by segregating the (tiny) cubicle into separate areas in which we must remain (although quite why the eldest can't get dry and dressed dressed with the youngest sat on the bench next to him I don't know!) Plus, perhaps most importantly, we have a sweets reward system which has dramatically decreased the time spent getting dry and dressed. :-)

    Can't help on the making progress and paying attention fronts though - it took my eldest 17 months to get his 5m badge...

  5. Sarah MumofThree World5 April 2014 at 08:48

    Feeling your pain here! We've been doing swimming lessons for so long and my boys just stopped learning a couple of years back. It was soul destroying! They're all done now and I've just booked my daughter on for a final term. I'm kind of regretting doing it. She is a good swimmer, but failed the final stage only because her breaststroke isn't quite up to scratch. We've had the 'when to feed them' issues too with after school lessons, but we're back on Saturday mornings now. Just about to set off, actually...

  6. Oh goodness, I feel your pain! I hate public swimming pools, both my older children can swim but don't think well enough to get out of danger so this will be a challenge I must face!!