Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sink or Swim

Two weeks ago the boys started their annual session of swimming classes. The whole topic is a weird area for me.

Growing up, we had a pool in my backyard from when I was age 3 until I was 10 or 11 I think. By the age of 4, I was a "fish" in my mother's words. And, probably because of that, I've always ASSUMED that my boys would be swimming by now. Only recently did my mother mention to me, that my brother didn't learn to swim until he was about 6. So, that knowledge should make me feel better but it doesn't.

And while I want the boys to be able to swim, and figured they would be able to by now, I don't put a TON of effort into getting them to that point. Trevor took his first "swim" class at age 12 or 15 months or so, in a Mommy and Me setting, really to get him used to the water. I figured it was important to get him exposed and used to it, especially since we go out on the boat in the summer. So we took a session of classes about once a year.

But because we are busy experiencing so many things in life, we don't seem to take classes more often than that. In fact, taking swim classes in January-April seems to have become a tradition, since it's a crummy time of year to be outside, this gives us an activity to do! So the boys are in swim classes again. Last year they were both in the "Pike 1" level at the Y, which is basically the lowest level for kids without their parents. They don't have to have ANY ability to swim on their own, as long as they are willing to try. This was the 4th set of classes for Trevor and 3rd for Blake (after a few years of Parent/Tot). They enjoyed it and did well last year, but at the end of it, BOTH boys were recommended to stay in the same level, not advancing. The teacher wrote some comment on Trev's that he was very close to being in the next level, but she thought he would do better repeating again, just to get stronger.

January came, and the brochure arrived in the mailbox. I debated and debated what to do. The Pike 1 is for 3-5 year olds, as is the Pike 2. I read and re-read the descriptions and the teachers comments from last year. I looked at the schedule of when the Pike 1 and 2 classes were. Ultimately, I decided (with some input from DH, who usually defers to me in these types of situations) to put both boys in Pike 1 AGAIN. But, I figured I could be smart, and put them in one that occured at the same scheduled time as a Pike 2 session. Then, if T was ready for the Pike 2, they could just move him over. Easy peasy, right?!?!??!

So 2 weeks ago we went to class for the first time. I briefly talked to the instructor and gave her the summary of where T was. She said she'd watch and see what she thought during class. As I watched class, one thing was obvious to me...T was much more comfortable than the other 4 boys in his class, and he was probably at least 1.5 years older than all of them (I think Blake is older than all of them, but not by much!). After class, the teacher agreed with me that T could go into the Pike 2 and probably be fine. During class, I had also watched the 3 kids in Pike 2 and I felt the same way-T could handle that.

So I talked to the lady in charge....who basically blew me off, and gave me the run around!!! GRRRRR! I understand I registered him for Pike 1, but really!!! And I can't move him to the Pike 2 at the same time because it is FULL. There are 5 kids in it (only 3 showed day 1) and they CAN NOT have more than 5 kids!! No way, no how! She made that clear!!!

I wish that this pool had a system to test the kids on the first day of classes and then assign them that day. And if they did that, they could split up siblings (which I think would be good for the boys) and they could put like age's together!! There were some Pike 2's that Trevor could swim laps around (if he could swim at all!!!) and there were quite a few other bad fits in terms of kids in wrong classes. I think it's really hard to have parents choose a level for their kids if they haven't been in a class for a while...especially since we've been going to open swim's and "practicing" in the last month or two. Trevor's level might have changed from last April to now for LOTS of reasons!!! Anyway...

After begging and pleading (politely!), the lady in charge said she'd see what she could do and would get back to me, but it was unlikely since the Pike 2 was full. So last week we went to class. No lady in charge, no message, no information, no nothing. (But there were 5 kids in Pike 2-Damn!!) Trev was upset, as he really wanted to be in the next class. Heck, Blake was even okay with Trev not being in his class (and that is a big thing for B usually!). So T and B went to the Pike 1 class and Trev was great (and B did his best and was pretty good). At the end of class, T took off his floaty and tried to swim to the stairs all by himself, and really did a good job. Not full swimming, but pretty close!!

Today, we go in and get ready for class. As we sit on the deck waiting, here comes the lady in charge. She says to me that she can do a Pike 2 class for T, but it would be after B's class, so I'd have to sit there for 2 seperate classes (35 minutes each). While it's not that long, the classes are 25 min away from home, start at 5, so right now we're barely getting home at 6:15, eating dinner and getting all the bed time stuff in. Add another 35 minutes of class to that....yikes!! And then there's the Izzy factor-poor girl's dinner and bed time is all messed up because of this! So I thought about it, and then decided not to do it. Trev's teacher has been wonderful about helping him and pushing him to do more than the other kids in his class, so I decided that would cut it. Lady in charge gave me SUCH a dirty look!!!

So I watched them swim. And 4 of the 5 kids in their class were there. And then the 5th showed up on deck. Incidentally, this little girl is probably about 3 1/2, and she was in their swim class last year. Last year, she barely got in the water, with her mom sitting 5 inches away, and I don't think she ever got her face/head wet. Moving on.... the little girl walks out on deck (with her dad) and he takes her over to the Pike 2 class. In my head, I'm thinking, "Oh Dad, you don't know what class she belongs in". But NO ONE fixed it!!!! The Pike 2 teacher took her with the rest of her kids (now 6 total!!!) and the Pike 1 teacher didn't go over and say "hey, she belongs in my class".

So I want to know.... WTF?!?!??!?! How can she be #6 in class, when her skills don't seem to be that advanced, and you CAN'T have 6 kids in a class.. No way no how!!! GRRRR!!! At least the boys didn't notice!!! And now they get more attention since there are only 4 kids in their class!!

1 comment:

Linda N. said...

That's really frustrating! But I'm glad the boys are both doing well in their class.