We had been taking occasional swim lessons with a lifeguard at our pool. When I say occasional, I mean a half an hour, one or two days a week, whenever her work schedule allowed. I don't think they had more than 6 lessons all summer, and they didn't seem to be making any significant progress.
The last lesson we had was about a month ago, and the lifeguard cajoled them into getting into the deep end. Once they got in, Light Bulb! They realized that it wasn't any scarier there than in the shallow end. They'd jump in next to the ladder, come to the surface, paddle like mad for the ladder, get out, and do it again.
After about 50 repeats of this, the lifeguard asked if they wanted to try it from the diving board. I really didn't expect either of them to take the bait, and if I'd had to pick, I would have predicted Natalie would be the one with enough guts to go for it, since Noelle was the one who put up the most fuss whenever I tried to get her in the deep end.
To my amazement, Noelle was the first one to make the jump. She angled her jump from the board toward the ladder, and surprised herself by being able to swim the short distance with ease. Of course, Natalie couldn't take that lying down.
That was the morning that changed everything. Since then, they OWN the pool. There's nowhere they can't go. They can go after the diving rings now. They're working on their cannonball and pencil dives. Their latest challenge/thrill is having me push their heads down in the deep end to try to touch the bottom of the pool with their feet.
|Noelle still won't dive without holding her nose.|
And the added bonus, for Mom, is that that they're so completely exhausted by the time we go home that they can't wait to fall asleep. Win-win.