If you know me—and probably for the first time ever, most of you don’t, actually—I make no secret about being afraid of water*. I can’t swim, or even float, and I’m terrified of being around large quantities of water. Panic. Inducing.
*And needles. And heights. And snakes. And small spaces. And clowns. And Julia Roberts’s mouth. And spiders. And about a million other damn things. But we’ll just focus on water for now.
Both Karli and I would rather that Squatch isn’t crippled by my fears. We’d much rather he came up with his own. As a preventative measure against my own hydrophobia (ooh, big word!) getting passed down, we’ve enrolled him in swim lessons, appropriately titled “Water Babies*.”
*I often find myself inserting this into the Muppet Babies theme song and singing it frequently. And now you do, too. You’re welcome.
This means that, every Saturday morning, we take Squatch down to one of the local high schools and get him into his swimsuit. Since he’s still not potty-trained (we didn’t spring for the deluxe model—just settled for the standard baby), this involves the use of a swim diaper, as well.
Now, if you’ve never used one of these, I feel I should give you a heads-up. The main purpose of the swim diaper is to keep poop from ending up in the pool. That’s really all they do. If you took the baby in with a regular diaper, it would absorb a bunch of the water and be really uncomfortable on the baby. Swim diapers don’t do that.
In fact, they don’t absorb much of anything. Including pee. Which we found out the hard way when I was trying to be proactive and dress him for swim class before leaving the house one Saturday and he proceeded to hose down Karli’s lap. PROTIP: Don’t put the swim diaper on till you’re actually ready to put the kid in the pool. Trust me.
After he’s dressed, we take him out and toss him in the pool.
TOTALLY KIDDING! This isn’t the 1950s and I’m not your jobless uncle who still lives in his childhood room at your grandparents’ house. There’s actually some organization to this class.
When he gets in (with Karli, of course—because crippling panic plus baby equals TV movie of the week) the parents and the babies start off with a rousing game of Hokey Pokey that it seems is meant to acclimate the babies to the water and encourage them to splash around a bit. It also appears that its secondary purpose is to allow the screamers to tune up and harmonize.
Because, yes, there are screamers. These are the children I identify with.
After Hokey Pokey time, the parents hold the babies on their stomachs and let them float around a bit. Parents will blow bubbles in the kids’ faces (because who doesn’t like that?) and let them kick around some. Then they float some on their backs and hang around on noodles before the kids do some jumping into the pool. All-in-all, it’s a pretty fun time. Despite him being surrounded by thousands of gallons of liquid death, that is. But I digress.
Outside of the fact that he’s conquering my fears, there are some other benefits of his swim lessons, too. For instance, Squatch has picked himself up a girlfriend. Usually, there is one lady—Morgan—who leads the Water Babies class, but since there are so many people signed up this month, there is a second one in the pool with them—Sarah. This past week, Squatch has taken quite a liking to Sarah, throwing some smiles and flirty eyes her way. This has made Morgan, as the French say, totes jealous. Nine months old and already leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. What a guy.
He’s also made a little friend. That is to say, Karli has made friends with one of the other moms whose kid is a couple months younger than Squatch. It’s nice to socialize, even if he has to conquer perilous circumstances to do it.
All this being said, Squatch’s favorite part of the whole thing is getting out and sitting around in his towel. It’s completely unsurprising since that’s his favorite part of bath time, as well. Once we get him out and wrap him up, he’s just a smiling, cooing, giggling ball of cute that turns everyone within 10 meters to a quivering mass of simpering goo. And this paragraph exists solely as an excuse to include the picture.
It would appear that our plan to keep Squatch from being terrified of the water like his dear old dad is working marvelously. Too bad the same can’t be said for other things. He still screams anytime the needles get broken out at the doctor’s office. The apple didn’t fall too far on that one.