Today was Abby’s last swimming lesson and, although this was her third round of swimming lessons, I still fully expected to get a report card with what would amount to a failing grade (if they actually graded infants in their swimming) because she doesn’t follow along with what she is “suppose” to do. Her level is called Starfish (“Let’s all do our big starfish floats! Let’s see those arms stretched out!”) but she’s more like an suckerfish.

It’s a thirty minute session that breaks down something like this:

  • 10 minutes of her holding onto me, arms and legs wrapped tightly around my neck and torso, watching all the other kids as they are being dunked to their chins, mouths, ears, nose, eyes, and then hair to the tune of a nursery rhyme. Sometimes I can dunk her, but then she gloms right on again.
  • 10 minutes alternating between her floating on her stomach and her holding onto me while the other kids practice their front floats and back floats. Even trying to get her to look at the kites on the ceiling will not convince her to float on her back.
  • 5 minutes of slip-ins/jump-ins, which she actually seems to enjoy.
  • 5 minutes of songs, most of which she spends watching the other kids.

Am I concerned that she doesn’t follow along? Not in the slightest. I know that it’s not the water that bugs her, it just takes her a while to get used to the noise of the swimplex (well, except for the refusal to do back floats, those she just doesn’t like). She’s also only 17 months old and this is just swimming lessons. Where they teach them how to float.

But she does only do half the activities, so you can imagine my amusement when we got the following report card “Excellent swimming this session Abigail. Great job kicking and splashing when swimming after your toys. Continue working on blowing big bubbles when doing your front position. You were a pleasure to teach.”

No mention about her octopus arms and legs. Not a peep about the lack of back floats.

I’m all for encouraging kids, but let’s call a spade a spade. And Abby doesn’t even read, so really this is for the parent’s benefit. Are most parents that sensitive about their children?