Who’m I kidding? Swimming really shouldn’t feature in any blog incompetent mothers. Getting a wriggling baby dressed and changed is difficult enough in your own home - on a wet, slippery, verruca-seasoned floor while sharing a single changing mat with three other frantic mothers, it’s enough to give you another mental breakdown (I assume as an incompetent mother you’ve already had a least one…)
But for some reason I can’t recall, I was determined to take Cosmo swimming – so from four months old, that’s what I did. I’d heard good things about Waterbabies. They cost more than some but I took that to mean Cosmo was less likely to drown. No truly. That’s how my mind works.
I can’t pretend the preparation was easy. Battling tears, squeezing into ill-fitting swimsuits and trying not to have any ‘accidents’ in the water has become a regularly feature our Wednesday afternoons – and that was just me. For Cosmo it was even worse. Twice I’ve got into such a panic that I’ve taken scissors to edit his wet clothes rather than attempt to change him. His howls, before and after swimming can be heard on the west side of the Tamar when the wind is in the right direction…
Cosmo, from birth hated – and I mean HATED – water. When I took him to Cornwall for Christmas, my parents almost called Social Services after hearing Cosmo’s screams when we tried to bathe him. But curiously, from the very first lesson, Cosmo loved swimming. And loved the instructor.
So although I can’t pretend an incompetent mother will find swimming easy, I’d still say to give it a go. The only thing you might lose is your hearing… and a sock… and a swimming nappy… and a dummy… and your back-up dummy…and your sanity... etc, etc.