An amazing thing happened this week, my own child got his 5 metre badge! I thought I would share our swimming journey to this point….
A little over 3 years ago, before I launched Puddle Ducks, I began the teacher training. At the time I had a 3 year old and a 3 month old – a ‘floatie’. As I began the ‘floatie’ training, I questioned ‘am I really expected to put my own precious bundle of joy under the water?’ My own anxieties were high and I wondered what a baby could gain from the lessons. But he took to the water a dream and it’s in the pool that our bond formed. A busy mother of 2 launching a new business (looking back I think I was a bit mad with my timing!) to have 30 minutes of dedicated time with my baby, skin to skin was just wonderful.
When I launched Puddle Ducks, Ozzy was a ‘splasher’. I was desperately trying to find family and friends to take him in the water for me while I taught the classes. That’s exactly when separation anxiety hit big time and all Oz wanted to do was cling to me like a koala bear rather than join in willingly with the activities!! But the songs and fast changing actions soon got him engaged and I was simply amazed he could swim around the pool independently on a woggle and learn key signals to respond to.
As we entered ‘kickers’, activities that were always his favourties ‘Jelly on a Plate’ or ‘Sea Horses’ suddenly became the enemy and his strops were made clear. All of a sudden under no circumstances would he sit on said floating device that week! Patience I needed but we did just that and very soon his favourite activities were reinstated! He did however enter the inevitable water can fight in splash time which was very embarrassing!
In ‘Little Dippers’ it all started to come together. It still amazes me how children suddenly show you what they have learnt the past 2 years. When you think they haven’t been listening or paying attention, they demonstrate it – turning under water, diving confidently down to the bottom, able to resurface to the top, to name a few. Although he was doing all the activities with me, if Dad took him, he would reimstate grumpy child and refuse to do anything asked!
Lastly came ‘Dippers’ – such a wonderful programme. He has been learning how to tread water, swim independently on his back, roll backwards off a float, numerous floating positions and most recently prove he was capable of swimming 5 metres whilst correctly showing breathing techniques.
I am so proud of him and Puddle Ducks for providing such a splendid programme. It’s not about how quickly we can achieve 5m but about providing a nurturing environment for them to learn key survival skills, learn their own buoyancy and develop a love of swimming for life, all at their own pace.
It’s with a tear in my eye that I write this as I never want my Puddle Ducks journey to end with Ozzy, thank goodness we will have lots more customers to start sharing their own journeys with after my last term in the Autumn.
Claire (Ozzy’s Mum) x