It’s time to teach the Worm to swim.  He’s almost a year old now and better parents will tell us we should have started months ago.  Also, it’s time for him to see and play with kids that aren’t over 30 years old and graying.  (I’m talking about my wife here, not me.)  Worm needs to get out and interact like the social butterfly I want him to be.  And what better way to get Daddy & the Worm socialized than at a bikini filled hot tub swimming pool?

Worm’s naturally drawn to water.  Every time he hears the bathtub filling up, he crawls his way over in anticipation that it’s for him.  Once in the tub, he splashes around and giggles like there’s no tomorrow.  He loves water so much, he has no problem wedging himself into the dog dish with the same gusto.  A swimming pool is just like a really large bathtub.  Right?  Well, that’s not quite the way Worm saw it.

We show up to the swimming pool in the afternoon.  Worm slipped into his asset accentuating Speedo-esque baby swim diaper.  (First, I was perplexed about how this diaper was going to absorb pee and poop while underwater.  Then, I came to the realization halfway through the class that the baby swim diaper only keeps chunky stuff from floating to the top of the pool.  Everything else sort of just um…magically vanishes into the water…yeah, vanishes.)

Man, does he look poised and ready to go!

Dad! Look at My Swim Muscles!

When Worm, Grandma and I show up to class a little early, Worm peers around flexing his muscles and ‘scoping the hotties.  (He’s a chip off the old block!)  We’re in luck because we find out there are 4 girls in our swim class and no dudes!  Picking up babes today is going to be like catching fish in a bucket.  So Worm and I primp ourselves to showcase the finest of the male species for the next 30 minutes for these lucky girls.

The Pre-Pool Jitters.

Though, as soon as we hit the water we lost the battle of the sexes.  For almost the entire half-hour class, Worm clung to me like a leech in a swamp.

Did we participate in the leg kicks exercise?  Nope.

Did we participate in back floating exercise?  Nope.

Did we participate in putting floating toys in the bucket?  Maybe once.

Did we participate in screaming, crying, and clinging?  A resounding yes!

Worm Taking His Mind Off of the Water For A Split Second.

Most children are curious about other children.  Worm didn’t look at any of them after he got into the pool.  He was too busy signaling for Grandma to dive in and rescue him from this water torture device.  Of course, I couldn’t make eye contact with any of the parents either.  Embarrassed, my excuse was that I was babysitting my friend’s kid for the afternoon.  “See?  He doesn’t really look like me.  Any resemblance is probably because we spend a lot of time together.  It’s purely coincidental.” I said.

You know how you get that strange feeling like every mom is watching you and dissecting your every move, saying to themselves “I would never do that with my child!” or “That baby’s a mess from poor parenting!”  That’s how I felt today during the swim lesson.  I was wishing I could just swim over to my gymbag and pour a double shot of Anniversario to take the edge off but I think the Boys and Girls club frowns upon such behavior. If there were any other guys there besides us, I’d get someone to ease our pain and break the ice with a story or joke.  There was none of that from the moms in the pool.  They just half-smiled at us fellas and splashed us with “I bet they’re both peeing in the pool” glances.

A couple of times during the swim class, the instructor tried to pry Worm away from me in hopes that he would forget his fears and paddle about in reckless abandon.  Not a chance.  His screaming only increased a few decibels and in defeat, the instructor handed him back to me.

Should I Make a Break For It While Worm's Not Looking?

So, my kiddo spent the better part of our swim lesson grappling with dad’s slippery body.  A couple of times I thought he would choke me out.  But, we both survived.  Even though a swim lesson wasn’t learned, a life lesson was.

Here are our takeaways from our first swim lesson:

1.  If the pool water is green, don’t dip your head under.  (For Dad)

2.  If you want to make a good impression on the ladies and you don’t know how to swim, wear a fake cast for an excuse to stay out of the pool.  (For Worm)

3.  Moms can be a scary bunch to deal with if you’re a SAHD, so drink heavily before any activity where you’re well outnumbered by them.  (For Dad)

4.  Have excuses ready for when your baby is making a scene.  “Oh, this isn’t my child.” works best.  Other standards are:  “It’s way past his nap time.”  “He’s going through a phase right now.”  “You didn’t see it, but your child slapped mine first.”  “He forgot to take his Xanax and missed his therapy session so his emotions are out of whack right now.”  (For Dad)

Ok, I think We've Tortured You Enough. Let's Go Home.

I guess I should have been better prepared.  But as a stubborn Dad teaching a stubborn Worm…He’s going to learn to swim whether he likes it or not.  We’ll be back on Saturday with a vengeance.

Gavin = 10; Dad = 5

By the way, if you’re in the San Diego area and you are looking for swimming classes to enroll your baby, check out Noonan Family Swim School.  They have locations all over San Diego.