Tuesday, 13 March 2012

ruby tuesday

Tuesdays are all about Ruby. Just the way she likes it. She has swimming lessons in the morning and dance in the afternoon.

{Ruby's first swimming lesson}

We started the year with swimming early on Saturday mornings. I wanted Saturday mornings so that we could go to the pool as a family, and have some swim time together following Ruby's lesson. I am proud to say the kids are water babies. They have all been in the water since three months of age, the perks of having family living in the sunshine state with two pools in the apartment complex and the beach just down the road. None of them have had an aversion to water, whether it be a pool, bath or shower. There is no eye shielding going on with hair washing at our place.

Like most kids, they would be happy to spend hours and hours in the pool. Diving, splashing, jumping off the edge. Over and over and over again. It is so wonderful to watch and see the vibrant joy on their faces. They are always bursting with excitement, whether they've been in the water for five minutes or fifty five minutes.

Since Ruby started swimming lessons at the beginning of February, we are onto her third instructor. I am that annoying mother who knows her kid is too confident for the other kids in the group. For the first few weeks I just wanted her to find her feet within a structured class. This is her first taste of lessons. We never did any of the water confidence classes as babies, when we spent too much time at Mum and Dad's and could do it for free. Sing songs, dunk them under the water. I don't need to pay someone to do that. She was happily confident in the water with floaties around the age of two and then onto a bubble to make her work harder. But she is really ready to learn strokes. Her first instructor was young, and not very experienced. She could only handle one child at a time, which meant in a half hour class, Ruby went up and down the pool about four times. That's a lot of sitting on that step. Just watching. And the instructor showed no signs that she was actually enjoying teaching the kids. Very little genuine encouragement going on.

We moved to Tuesdays. I didn't want to, I thought it would be too much for her (and me and the boys) having another commitment during the week and the same day as dance, but surprisingly, it has worked well. Her second instructor was brilliant. An older and more experienced instructor, she was terrific with Ruby and the other kids in the group. But the variance in confidence and ability between the kids was too extreme. The instructor told the supervisor that Ruby and two of the other kids were too advanced for that class. So onto another instructor..

A newly employed one. Which means the class isn't full yet. I mean Ruby is the lonely little learner! So for $11.50 a week, she's getting private lessons. I'm enjoying it (and so is she) before the class fills up. Apparently there will be another little boy starting next week. Which will be good for Ruby, for learning and making new friends. It's hard work swimming non stop for half an hour and concentrating on all the new things she has to remember for her strokes. But she is like a sponge and anything that is asked of her, she does, and her lovely instructor Susanne, looks up to give me a gentle smile and lifts her eyebrows as if to say okay, so she's got that already too.

I just love watching her do her lessons. Quite sad to say that my eyes well up every bloody week at some point, when I am flooded with that feeling of watching my child growing and learning and blossoming, right before my eyes. Usually when she turns to look at me for reassurance or gives me a beaming goggle smile to show how proud of herself she is at learning something new. I'm such a sap. Eliot is happy in the pram munching on his sultanas and watching the water, and surprisingly Cole actually manages to sit still next to me for half an hour. Could be the amount of food I pack and shovel in to him so he has no chance to move. It works. When Ruby has finished, the boys and I strip off too and we head over to the kiddie pool with all the fountains and waterworks and giant frog head slide. The slide is the frog's tongue. As much as it's hard work to pack everything and keep watch on all three of them for an hour or more while they splash and play, then shower everyone, strategically feeding again to keep them still and quiet in the change room so I can dry and dress Eliot first, put him back in the pram so I can help the other two, and finally myself.. I really enjoy our mornings at the pool. And of course, it goes without saying, so do they.


  1. Well done Ruby!
    The second half of the session, well gosh, that sounds exhausting just reading it! Well done you!! I've not taken the three of them to the pools by myself yet. It's been put into the too hard basket. Maybe it's time to give it a go.

  2. Coincidentally we just got home from swimming. The logistics of taking two kids swimming is tricky enough for me! Three sounds exhausting!

  3. Lovely post Tahnee. Oliver is also a water baby and loves his swimming lessons. He's not at 'stroke learning' stage yet, but is certainly very confident in the water which is great to watch. Sounds like you and Ruby have a lovely day together on Tuesdays! x

  4. snap with the goggles! my rube has the exact same ones! my gosh girl, you are a wonder woman! the after swimming lessons part sounds very exhausting! i bet it's worth it at night though. there'd be no hassles with anyone going straight to sleep! xo


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