He Swims!

When he was little (littler), Vins quite enjoyed swimming. We had to coax him to get changed and into the pool, but once he was in, he was happy. As he got a bit older, it got harder to convince him to come in the water.

It got harder and harder until it was impossible. The last time Vin (Vin/Vins same thing) went swimming was in November 2013. He has point blank REFUSED to even put on his swimming shorts after that.

However, we had a bit of a breakthrough in April. We were in Dubai for three weeks. Unfortunately Booni got ill. And then Vin got ill – so we didn’t go to the pool until the end of our holiday. Vin had said all along that he was coming with us – to keep us company – but that he wasn’t swimming. ‘I’m not swimming. I’m a horse and horses don’t like getting wet.’ I said that was fine, but that I was going to pack his swimming things just in case he changed his mind.

We went to the poolside at the Shangri-La hotel and proceeded to get Booni changed. He was going through a phase (at seven months) where two people needed to get him dressed. One to hold him down and the other to put his clothes on. Vins watched. We all (me, LagosDad, my sister and Booni) got into the baby pool. It was Booni’s first time in a swimming pool, so we were all oohing and aahing over him. Vins decided he was going to sit on the side and put his feet in. I told him that was a great idea. He took out his toys (bath toys) and started playing with them. Then he said he thought it would be a good idea to get changed – just so he could sit on the first step. I told him that was a great idea. We pretty much ignored him for five minutes and then he said, ‘Oh ok, I’ll come in then.’ LagosDad raced to get his armbands and shove them on his arms before he changed his mind!

We sent Booni home (to my mum) early (after about thirty minutes) and stayed for the rest of the day. Vins had the time of his life. We were soon in the big pool – and he was squealing with delight. At one point he said, ‘I just love this, mama!’

20150412_151508 20150412_151423







While walking home, I asked him, ‘Did you enjoy the day today?’ His reply, ‘Not really.’


So once we got back to Lagos, LagosDad and I decided that we had to make more of an effort to take him swimming. So we started going on Sundays. And then a friend said she was trying to organise swimming lessons for her daughter and did we want to join. I immediately said yes – better to start while he’s enthusiastic about it!

The first couple of lessons, he wouldn’t get in the pool without me. But the instructor wasn’t too happy. Finally, I told Vin that I wasn’t allowed in the water during the lesson, but that I’d swim with him afterwards – if he listened to his teacher. This worked quite well.

At his last lesson, I told him that I wasn’t swimming with him at all – and that I wanted to see him listening and doing what his teacher told him to. You know what – he’s doing SO well. He’s still wearing armbands, but that’s fine. But he’s actually moving in the water!

Unfortunately it’s rainy season now – so swimming is pretty much out for a while, but I hope he’ll get back into it quickly!

He swims!!


Another Swimming Lesson

Last Wednesday we had another swimming lesson.  I was dreading it.  

I decided I wasn’t going to tell Vinay where we were going until we got there!

However he saw my towel before we left home and said, ‘Mama! Leave towel home. Me no swimming.’

I told him that I was going to swim and that he could just watch.

Our lesson that day was at a friend’s place.  I knew they had a litter of puppies (a few weeks old) and I knew that Vinay wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to see them.

We got there early (so early my friend wasn’t home yet), saw and played with the puppies and then went downstairs to the garden.

Vinay started playing with some sand toys and would not even look at the swimming pool!

My friend and her daughter were back, changed and in the pool already.

I took one of the little plastic watering cans from the garden and got into the pool and started messing around.

‘Someone’ started watching with interest.  And before I knew it – he was changed, arm-bands on and in the pool!!

And he had a blast 😀

He didn’t cling to me too much.  And he even went to the coach and did a few kicking exercises.

I was, and am, absolutely thrilled!

Progress!  Hooray!


This summer we were in Bali for a month.  It was fabulous!  

While we were there I wrote a post about how Vinay wouldn’t try anything new and how it was annoying me – because I knew he’d like doing/eating those things.

After our holiday I wrote a post about how much progress he’d made during the few weeks we were away.

See the picture below?  That was him during our last week.  In the pool, in his arm bands without holding on to anyone.  Amazing.


LagosDad and I came back full of good intentions to take him swimming at *least* once a week.  To continue to build his confidence in the water.

Sadly, however, it just didn’t happen.  He was ill, I had to plan his birthday party, he started nursery, I was ill, he was ill again, I was ill again, it rained a lot.  All the usual excuses.

When two friends said they wanted to start swimming lessons with their kids and would Vinay join, I jumped at the chance.  YES!

I prepared V for what was coming.  I told him over and over again that we were going swimming with his friends and he was quite excited about it.  Until we got in the car.  That’s when he repeated over and over again, ‘Mama no.  No swimming.’

As far as I was concerned, the boy was getting in the pool – whether he liked it or not.

The first lesson – he watched for about twenty minutes before changing and eventually getting in for about five minutes.

The second lesson – he watched, but cried the whole time and refused to get in.  I hate to admit that I took him in for a few minutes anyway – even though he was crying.

Later that week I took him to the pool with my friend and her son.  Again, he refused to get changed or get in and I didn’t force him.

Last Saturday the swimming lesson was cancelled, but LagosDad took him to the pool anyway.  I was busy at another bazaar.  

I was a bit relieved, actually.  I don’t think I could have taken any more of his screaming.

They came to see me at the bazaar after swimming and Vinay was talking about going swimming with his Papa.  Apparently they’d had the most fantastic time playing in the pool.


So he swam with LagosDad, but wouldn’t even get changed with me?!

What’s that all about?

I have three theories.

1. It’s a boy thing – he doesn’t spend much time with LagosDad during the week, so this was a bonding thing…

2. He’s quite shy and nervous (as I’ve said before) and didn’t feel confident enough to swim with so many other people around… (There were at least 3 – 6 other people about during our previous sessions).

3. It’s just me…

We’ve promised ourselves that we’ll take him every week and make it a family thing without a whole bunch of other people around.  

Fingers crossed!


My son never ceases to amaze me.  I’ve said it before, I know.  But I just have to say it again!

In my last post, I was moaning about all the things V wouldn’t do.  He wouldn’t walk in the sand, he wouldn’t get in the pool, he wouldn’t wear a hat, he wouldn’t try new food, he wouldn’t put on his swimming shorts.  You get where I’m going, right?

That was all during the first two weeks in Bali.  

After that…

He tried eating new things – and ate soup and noodles again.  He even said, ‘NUMMY!’ after each bite 🙂

By the end of our holiday, he was not only in his swimming shorts.  He was also in arm-bands AND he wasn’t just on the steps.  He was in the middle of the swimming pool, not being held and splashing about by himself!  He was even jumping off the side into my arms.  

And he’s started talking so much – I  can’t get him to stop!