Nicholas has started swimming lessons, and is, in fact, becoming quite the fish. If you wonder why there have not been many updates lately, well, the swimming is certainly part of it. His 10 minute lessons manage to exhaust the entire family, not just the lesson-taker.
I should also add that Caitlin will return to school for the first time today after a two week absence. She was stricken with pneumonia, and her 'hacking-cough' level is finally low enough for her to hang around others at school without sounding as though she will, indeed, cough up a lung. It took a while to diagnose as the only symptom for quite a few days was a high fever. The cough began five days in, and when neither the cough nor the fever dissipated, she was whisked away to the evil doctor's office.
A quick exam and a chest x-ray later revealed that she was not headed back to school anytime soon. She took a course of antibiotics, and is burning the midnight oil with her tome reading. Translation: she's back to her normal self. I should add that I am convinced the weather is just too nice here.
Our kids were almost never sick in Iceland, and spent oodles of time outside in what most people would consider bloody awful weather. They liked it, I loved the snow and their healthy, red (not from sun) cheeks, and we were all happy. Well, we were all fine with the exception of our frequent trips to the ER, but that was entirely different.
Back to the swim lessons. I always, always, always regretted not doing these with the girls. Primarily because I think (especially if you live remotely close to a large body of water and/or a bathtub) it is crucial that a child know how to save himself. I tried with both girls, but when Caitlin was born, the nearest swim class (of this sort) was in Miami. Nope, not a go.
Kelsey came along 3.5 years later, and the idea had expanded to the point of the Norfolk/VA Beach area. With Peter on SD, and two small kids, it just wasn't a go. We would have to go for 4-6 weeks at a time, and I just didn't see it happening. The kids ended up learning how to swim just fine and love it, but I figured if I had the chance to enroll Nicholas in this course, I would do in the blink of an eye.
Once we were out here and settled, I started to research lesson options. I should amend that: we are still not settled, and may never be. However, we are temporarily not in the middle of moving. I found several options and settled upon the All Star Swim Academy in Danville. Their website described the lessons I desired for Nicholas to a t. I called them up and voila!
Yes, the primary infant teacher, Jen, was pregnant and due two months later. As we all know, there is usually a recovery period (kind of mandatory in my opinion), and she would not be back in the water until January, but glad to put Nicholas on "The List". She kept her word, called me at the end of December and after a bit of phone tag, we chatted, dealt with logistics and scheduled the first of his 4-6 weeks of lessons.
Four to six weeks, you gasp? To their credit, they are very short, but very intense lessons. Trust me that ten minutes is more than enough to wipe out the child (in the exhaustion from crying their eyes out sense) and the mother (from listening to said crying). In the end, though, sobbing or not, the job gets done, the lesson is learned, and the child is that much safer.
We are only halfway through, depending on how many lessons he needs. He could test out at 4 weeks, could be 6. However, they do not quit until he tests out, no matter how long it takes, and one only pays for the first six weeks.
Now some of you may have seen this video (check lower right hand corner of the page) by email. Yes, the video that is making the rounds of the world's email inboxes correctly details exactly what Nicholas is learning right now.
So, wanna see? I recommend you turn off the volume, at least on the first go round (we know you love him so much, you will watch again and again!). For those of you Nervous Nellies out there, don't EVER turn on the volume, and in fact, you may not want to watch at all. For those of you who want to see an 11 month old learn how to save his own life, click here. Enjoy and look for more updates and a final graduation video in about three weeks.
Note: The wandering voice in the background is Jen's husband, Brian, who also teaches lessons, but tends to work with the older kids. We imagine lessons with him will also be in the offing, once we have these lessons squared away.