Lovely commenter (I know — a what?! Really?) Midtown Mommy recently posted here about fun baby classes, and I realized that in my “Things to do in the Winter” post I mom-brainedly forgot to mention the one class we actually sign up for and pay for and go to every week: swimming!
It took me a long time to commit to this one, since it seemed like so much work (it is) and when Harper was a tiny peanut and I was into dragging her around everywhere it seemed silly to pay for an actual class. I know, I’m weirdly cheap about some things. And then totally not about others. I guess everyone’s like that a little? Maybe?
Anyway, now swimming is sort of perfect. As much as I love my local YMCA, and I really do love it, the classes have been so freaking crowded since winter hit I find myself never going anymore. I mean, who wants to trudge through the snow just to be put on a wait list in the hopes that maybe if you’re lucky and your kid doesn’t have a meltdown first you’ll get to squeeze into an art class where you can watch nannies joylessly piece together projects while toddler run around screaming? So it makes sense to, gasp, pay for a class where at least we’re guaranteed we’ll be able to go. So there’s that. Plus, it’s a way we can get some sort of exercise in forbidding weather. Plus, it’s lovely to, on a winter’s day, slough off all those layers and bop around in the water, especially if you’re pregnant and could use a few minutes of weightlessness.
Best of all, Harper LOVES going. At first she wasn’t so sure. The very sight of her swim cap would inspire a nervous breakdown. But after a session or two she got really into in , and now she wears the swim cap recreationally, talks about swimming all the time– “Kick kick! Pash pash!” – and not to brag but last week Amanda the instructor complimented Harper’s bubble-blowing AND scooping and I about busted a gut. I mean! She is a good scooper! And now that I got her a stylish wetsuit – people complain that the Y pool is too cold and I have to admit it is – she no longer makes a scene by turning blue and shivering when we get in. Seriously, she loves the wetsuit. I also am hoping this contraption will be good in the summer, when perhaps its SPF-powers will save me some time that would normally be spent constantly applying sunscreen to her shoulders. And you know what that means – more time for margaritas in novelty cups at Coney Island! For me, not her! Come on!
One thing I will say about swimming is that even though the lesson is a half hour, it’s basically a whole-day commitment. Getting ready, getting unready — I only wish there were more mirrors in the locker room so I could better observe my wobbly white pregnant self trying to get dressed while balancing on one foot and keeping Harper out of the puddles. Pretty. And usually – usually – and by writing this I better not be jinxing anything – there is a looooong nap afterwards. So one swimming lesson eats up basically five hours, which is pretty good bang for your buck, really.
Oh yeah, and it’s good for the kids to get used to the water and eventually learn about water safety, or something.
PS – We go to the Prospect Park Y and love it and our instructor, but Mommy Poppins (of course!) has a great list of other NYC Mommy and Me swim lessons for people who live in other neighborhoods, aren’t too lazy to travel, or are turned off by freezing pools filled with schoolkid pee.