Swimming? In Summer? Ridiculous!

So I had this grand idea to help get us through the summer. The YMCA advertised outdoor swimming lessons at the heated city pool. Forty-five minute lessons would take place daily at 11am, ensuring we'd get out of the house at least once a day, and fairly early. Makes sense, right? Sunshine. Water. Kids having fun.

It hasn't turned out that way.

The swimming pool is most definitely not heated. It's more like frigid. The kids spend 45-minutes shivering, crying, complaining, and shivering some more. Even Juliette, who loves to swim, has been seriously reluctant to go each day. I'm afraid this experiment has set Ilsa back a good six months.

What's worse, the teachers are not the usual YMCA swim instructors; they're college girls employed by the city. The woman who's been working with Ilsa goes from being frustrated by all the crying to actually talking to her. "Well then, Ilsa, what do you want to do?"


Apparently she knows a lot more about swimming than she does about ensuring pre-schooler cooperation. No asking. Just doing. Ilsa can talk and cry her way out of anything if given the chance, and a malleable enough opponent, so this instructor never stood a chance. She's also been trying to teach proper backstroke form, which is ridiculous because Ilsa can't even float on her own. Float first, then swim.

Needless to say, I've been very frustrated. Normally swimming is a wonderful time for me. I sit by the side of the pool and read a book for 45 minutes. Brilliant stuff. But this has been 45 minutes daily of cajoling, promising, threatening, and teeth grinding. No one's having any fun.

I had decided on this course of action after the Montessori canceled its third summer school session. But they've since reinstated it. So that means I've traded pre-school summer school bliss for this swimming disaster. I think I'll cut my losses and get a refund on the August session we've signed up for. Gah. Wretched failure of an idea.

A farmer there lived in the north country,
And he had daughters one, two, three.
These daughters they walked by the river's brim--
The eldest pushed the youngest in.
The Bonny Swans" by Loreena McKennitt

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