This September we joined our friends Emily and Keely Frazier for our first swim class. Magnolia soaked in her time in the pool, kicking and splashing, mesmerized by all the commotion around her. We learned lots of new stuff: fun songs; "jumping" into the water on command; "swimming" toward a floating toy, which she loved; going under water, which she didn't love; and reaching for toys in the shallow end, which she couldn't really do since she doesn't stand on her own yet.
Her lack of sea legs--or land legs for that matter--proved a challenge for me too as I tried to wriggle a slippery baby out of her bathing suit afterwards and into jammies without getting her all wet from my suit. I was jealous of the other moms with their standing children dressing like it ain't no thing. Usually though, my twinges of sadness about how fast my little girl is growing up kept that jealousy in check.
One of my favorite memories was when each baby had to crawl across a 3-foot rectangular piece of floating foam. I was a little nervous: "My baby is 6 months old and you're making her crawl the plank?!"
After the first little mutineer was rescued by a maternal sea giant, I seized my opportunity, not wanting to follow a braver, more succesful attempt. The seas were calm, so I gathered my wits, wiped my eyes, and placed my only child on the wobbly hatch of Davy Jones' locker. "Farewell, sweet Magnolia!"
Apparently Magnolia didn't think this was as frightening as her Mama did. This was her time to shine. I barely made it around the rectangle in time to greet my grinning speed-crawler.
My second most memorable moment was during life-jacket fitting. While all the other kids were sqirming in their new apparatuses, my Maggie was perfectly relaxed floating on her back. All that was missing was a baby-sized Pina Colada, with an umbrella in it.
In the end Magnolia did not pass the class because 1) she does not blow bubbles in the water and 2) she is too young. In a couple of months I think we will repeat the class to get the bubble blowing down before we move on to the class for 12 months and older.