Oscar had his first swimming lesson yesterday, after a two year hiatus.
The last time I took him for swimming lessons, he was the least buoyant boy in the world, and spent his entire lesson time either sinking, diving or sitting on the bottom of the pool like some small miraculous swami who could breathe through his ears.
Hence the break.
I found it rather galling to spend money on a child who was patently not afraid of the water, but equally patently not in the slightest bit interested in learning to stay on top of it.
It has taken me two years to pluck up the courage to try again.
I had forewarned the new swimming teacher that it might not go according to plan.
As a result of this, Oscar naturally made me look like a massive fibber by rising to the occasion and giving it his all. He had enthusiasm rather than style, and his method of propelling himself, spider like across the pool, does tend to leave rather a backwash, which wetted all the parents, including myself, on more than one occasion, but these are all things which can be fixed.
I am not sorry about the fact that I came away looking like a massive fibber. Nay, I would go further. I am delighted. He thoroughly enjoyed his lesson. He tried really hard and he made measurable progress. He cannot wait to go back next week. He is even delighted about having to wear one of those head pinching rubber swimming hats that leave wavy lines in your forehead and make your eyes slightly pop out.
I do wish however, that when these things happen, that teachers might just give parents the benefit of the doubt. If I was going to tell whopping fibs about my children, I personally, would big them up, making them out to be, say, the Tom Daly of the swimming pool, rather than an enigmatic, sinking gnome.
As it was, I was subjected to incredulous looks by the teacher as Oscar gamely hurled himself across the width of the pool with his fellow swimmers.
If you didn’t tell them, and he did indeed spend twenty five minutes gently sitting on the bottom of the pool, you would be inevitably treated with equal incredulity had you known it and not bothered to warn them.
It is my lot to have people spend my entire life as a parent looking at me with raised eyebrows. I must accept it with equanimity.