When little girl was just 4 months old we took her to Florida, I decided it would be a good idea to go because as I’m on maternity leave, I don’t need to book any additional holiday. I knew that there would be a pool where we were staying so I thought it would be a good idea to start taking little girl swimming beforehand. When we went to the pool for the first time I felt a little bit lost, I really wasn’t sure what to do with her so I decided to enrol her for some swimming lessons. I eventually chose to take the lessons at First Strokes, in Billericay. Our instructor was Andrea and she was really nice and I made a good friend in another mum but after our second term I decided to stop going because we were setting up the landscaping business and had to cut back our outgoings for the time being. I vowed that I would take little girl to swim at the Brentwood Centre at least once a fortnight to keep her used to it. We have been only once since and that was August.
We are going back to Florida in the summer, so I thought I’d better get back into the habit of going swimming again so I looked at the timetable and decided that we would go the next day. The swim times are not the most convenient, due to lessons the pool is open to the public at around early lunch time, which is when little girl tends to be taking her nap. Nonetheless I kept her awake and took her to the pool. The timetable said that swimming begins at 12.30 so I thought we'd aim for 12.15 to give us plenty of time to get changed. A warning to future potential users - this is not a good idea because you are not allowed in until 12.25. We had to wait in the foyer for 10 minutes in which time little girl got bored and proceeded to make a run for it into the badminton hall. When I stopped that she then went on to destroy displays, making me look like the ultimate I-can't-control-my-child mum!
I was worth it because she was thrilled. It was a lot more fun this time because now she can walk she enjoyed splashing around on the steps and thought it was hilarious to splash at me! She was laughing as she kicked her arms and legs about and pointed at various toys and other children excitedly and enjoyed pretending to swim towards them. Thanks to the swimming lessons, I have plenty of ideas to play with her in the water and how to build her confidence up. Even though she is now 14 months old I noticed it still didn’t take her long to show signs that she was getting cold, so I got her out of the pool after about 35 minutes. It was a lot more difficult to get changed this time than it was over half a year ago, now that she won’t lie on her back for more than a few seconds! Sadly there are no play pens in the family changing room. There are two in the normal changing room, but after using the baby change table to dress little girl I wouldn’t have managed to carry her, our bag, our shoes and outdoor coats into the next room. I can imagine it would be a little easier in the summer. I will definitely keep taking her though.
Swimming at the Brentwood Centre is £5.00 for one adult and one baby.