For the month of September Mr. Finn was enrolled in survival swim lessons through the Infant Swimming Resource (ISR). Every day I took him to a 10 minute lesson where in four weeks he learned how to hold his breath under water, how to float for an indefinite amount of time, how to turn from his belly to his back, and how to right himself from numerous positions/falls in the water and get to a floating position.
It was amazing to see the transformation. He wasn't crazy about the lessons, but got more and more relaxed each week. The lessons are only 10 minutes each time so as not to fatigue the baby. And last Friday, our little fish graduated! We will need to practice his skills from time to time and he should take a refresher course and next season he can begin to learning how to swim more instead of just the survival aspects of it. I honestly don't know if I would have even thought about these lessons at such a young age had we not lost Cale. I think that my exposure to tragedy has just opened my eyes to so many things. The instructor who taught Finn (they only teach one child at a time - it's not a group lesson), got certified and teaches babies and young kids how to swim as several years ago she lost twins at 23 months old when they both drown at an at-home daycare (when a different provider than normal was watching them and fell asleep). Her kids woke up from their nap and wandered outside and through an unsecured gate. When the provider woke up, she found them both in the pool. I read about her kids and my heart just broke into a million pieces. Then I learned that they died on June 13th, Finley's birthday, and that they would have turned two on June 26th (two days before Cale's birthday). It is just an unfathomably sad story and as I told her when I first met her, I think it's amazing that she is taking her tragedy and doing so much good with it. She has taught hundreds of kids since her twins passing and who knows- she could have potentially saved another child from drowning as a result.
So now that I've just yanked at your heart strings, let me share some pictures of our little fish with you.
His first week was the toughest for him and he was the fussiest then. This was when he started learning to float and was figuring out that when going under water he needed to hold his breath:
The second week incorporated more rolling from his belly to his back, and re-establishing that good floating position by himself. As you can see in this video, she isn't holding on to him, but rather letting him feel that water moving under him and figuring out how to float:
Sometimes while floating, Finn would feel the water come up against his cheek and would hold his breath thinking he was going under water. It's amazing how quickly they learn that under water = hold breath. Sometimes when we was above water it would take him a second to figure out it was safe to breathe again.
The fourth week reviewed everything, but each day added more clothes and a regular diaper. The regular diaper can add a lot of weight:
Sick. This thing was like a Chipotle Burrito. Just massive.
I'm so heavy with all this stuff on!
Floating in full clothes:
Adjusting to all the weight when flipped backwards:
So, there you have it. We are so proud of our little ISR graduate:
Plump tummy full of extra water and air.
If you want any more info on what the program was like for us, I'd be happy to share.