By Samantha Labriola of Mother Haggard
So, you’ve just signed up for Mom and Baby swim class.
And you’re excited! You know it’s important to start the water education journey early, and that there are tons of benefits to baby swimming. Okay, and yeah, maybe you’re mostly just pumped about your baby wearing that adorable bathing suit with the ruffle on the butt.
But you’re also nervous: what exactly happens at these classes, anyway?
Let’s walk through the ten things that happen at your first Mom and Baby swim class.
1.) The entire morning before class is spent urging your baby to take a nap and do her usual post-breakfast poop.
Neither happens. You re-read the pool’s policies on accidents and begin to sweat. The phrases “swimsuit diaper inspection,” “mandatory pool closure” and “sanitization fee” buzz in your brain, briefly replacing the ever-present Dora the Explorer theme song.
2.) You spend 20 minutes wandering around the empty school where your class is being held, trying to find the pool.
You find it with one minute to spare and dash into the change room.
You realize that changing a six-month-old baby into the newly purchased swim diaper, lycra bathing suit and neoprene wetsuit that were recommended on the website (farewell, ruffle-butt swimsuit; we hardly knew ye) is perhaps the most challenging task in the world.
3.) Class begins with the instructor, a perky woman named Tina, telling you to place your baby into one of the strange boat-like contraptions you see bobbing in the water.
This boat, which is quite different from the life jacket and sixty floaties you assumed your baby would be wearing, appears awfully unsteady.
“Just tuck your towel in behind your kiddo so she can’t fall out!” Tina says with a smile.
Fall out? FALL OUT? Are you kidding me, Tina?
You wonder if fear-induced vomit will shut down the pool as well.
4.) Unbeknownst to you, the first 15 minutes of the class are an Aquafit exercise routine for the parents. Okay, sure. Strangers still sometimes ask you when the baby’s due, so a little Aquafit can’t hurt.
This means that you wear a large foam belt and do underwater bicycle kicks to a Lady Gaga song while a dad named Barry pedals furiously next to you. Tina marches on deck, shouting at you to point your toes. Your baby bobs perilously in her boat, chewing on the sleeves of her $40 wetsuit. You and Barry lock eyes awkwardly six times.
5.) Two Katy Perry, one Beyoncé and four unidentified Latin songs later, you’re able to rescue your baby and move to the shallow end.
Tina produces a box filled with what looks to be the entire toy aisle of the Dollar Store, and you realize that the class is not so much of a “baby swim class” as it is a “bounce baby in water while singing ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ and spinning a pinwheel” class.
And you know what? You’re okay with this. As long as it’s not more Aquafit, you’re okay with anything.
6.) For the entire class, your eyes remain laser-locked onto your child’s face, looking for any sign of an upcoming diaper blowout. With every look of discomfort, your brain is busy formulating an emergency plan.
“If any floats out of the diaper, I’ll just grab it before anyone notices,” you think, choosing to ignore the finer logistical questions of where you would then place the floating poop fragments. “I’ll just grab it.”
Confident with your new plan, you bellow out the last verse of “Hokey Pokey” with a sudden burst of enthusiasm. Tina gives you a concerned smile.
7.) There is one baby who hates the water and cries for the entire class and one baby who loves it and can’t get enough. The rest of the kids are generally perplexed by what is occurring, which is currently ten adults singing, “Mr. Golden Sun” and throwing little plastic balls into a bucket.
8.) Five rounds of “Old MacDonald” later, you can sense the end is near.
Three of the babies are crying, two have left early and one is nursing. There’s a restless energy amongst the parents.
Everyone knows what’s next: THE DUNK.
“Sit your babies on the pool ledge!” Tina hollers gleefully. She demonstrates the dunk with a nearby baby, who emerges and promptly screams for the next seven minutes.
You inch further away, clutching your child.
The babies are placed on the ledge and the singing of “Humpty Dumpty” begins. As you sing, “Humpty Dumpty had a great FALLLLLL” and lift your baby into the air, the thirty different articles about dry drowning you read the night before rush into your head, as well as the two articles that said not to worry about dry drowning, and also that one Pinterest recipe for red velvet cheesecake brownies, because, wow.
You chicken out at the last moment and skip the dunk. Your baby cries anyway.
9.) After the class has ended, you discover that the real challenge awaits: climbing out of the pool while holding a crying baby, stepping your way to the change room and attempting to change both you and your soaking wet baby as fast as possible.
You have a bizarre conversation about teething, naps, and the location of your pants with a mom while you’re nude from the waist down, attempting to remove your baby’s wetsuit top.
You find your pants in a puddle in a corner of the change room. And while you brought four different outfits for the baby, you forgot a pair of underwear for yourself.
10.) You pull your wet bathing suit back on and wrap a baby towel around your waist. You walk to your car, wet thighs a-blazin’, while singing “The Grand Old Duke of York.”
Your baby falls asleep instantly in the car. You are five minutes from home.
As you sit in the driveway, thinking, “That was fun, right? Was that fun?” you hear the unmistakable sound of your baby filling her diaper.
This post was originally published on Mother Haggard.
About the Author
Samantha lives in Toronto with her toddler, husband and an excessive amount of pets for her small apartment. She enjoys thinking about exercising but not doing it, obsessing over nap schedules and working on her Waiting for Guffman-themed motherhood memes, which have not yet taken off. Her work has been published mostly on scrap paper that she enjoys sliding under her neighbors’ doors, like some kind of weird newsletter. Samantha is the Hag behind the humor-based mom blog, Mother Haggard, and can be found on Facebook and Pinterest. Blog: https://motherhaggard.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/motherhaggard/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/motherhaggard/