Level Two. Swimming.
Level Two – Swimming.
By Michelle Lloyd.
This is how it began… R V took one look at them and point blank refused. He would not wear them. He would not be pushed into it and that was that. What the refusal was for involved two rather brightly coloured armbands. They were the culprits. R V knew that swimming could be good fun, he needed no persuasion in that area. He had friends who had done it, learnt all about it and taken the plunge. He even wanted to have a go himself…but when his Mum had showed him what he would have to wear to do it, then no had to be his final answer.
Armbands were so obvious looking and R V was not going to put himself out for all the looks he knew they would bring. The Oh isn’t he sweet learning to swim looks and the hehe looks of amusement that would signal his arrival to the novice learners of the swimming world.
It was a bit of a fight to get R V out of the changing rooms and that was without the actual armbands on. Reluctantly he came out in his Aqua Spotty Shorts and when he got over that hurdle of embarrassment, he quite literally skidded and slipped off towards the room where all the action was going on (the pool). R V’s Dad insisted that he put the non-slip sandals on that they had got him specially for the occasion but he was not keen on it as an idea and instead slipped off trying to look aloof about it all. When he was finally at the edge of the pool then the debate got into full swing. R V was on one side insisting that he had no need of the armbands that his Mum was waving around at him like the shaming flags of a swimming junior. Eyes had started to lock in on them and R V stood there shivering in his Aqua Spotty Shorts. The water looked ever so slightly daunting…no realllly daunting and so much so he decided to turn away from it all and go back to the safety of the changing rooms. It was then that his Mum made the mistake of actually getting into the water to show him there really was nothing to worry about. Only her splash of a dive made a bit too much of a wave of water and the onslaught of splashes hit several tiny tot learners inadvertently and this then got the attention of the parents who asked for her to please swim over at the other end of the pool. Poor R V’s Mum tried to explain that she was encouraging someone but when she turned to gesture at who she was talking about it became clear the subject of the conversation had slipped, quite literally again, off.
At home the watery L plates sat out on the table top looking at R V, a sign of his failure to swim and he in turn looked at them defiantly. He did not need them. He would not use them.
It was a bit of an ongoing subject for R V and his parents but nothing they could do seemed to get him into the armbands or out onto the water.
New One, Little Herbert and Lana had all been invited around one afternoon to play with R V and it was oddly enough that the paddling pool put out for them gained quite a bit of attention from one of them. It was Lana who found the body of water irresistible. She was into it and despite not really having known what to do, keen to do a doggy paddle of her own. It certainly was not conventional. She flopped in, lapped at the water and looked to love her ability to sort of float and flip herself about. New One, Little Herbert and R V thoroughly loved watching her love the water.
It was not the encouragement of Mum or Dad and not even the advice of his friends Little Herbert or New One but Lana that did it and the passionate doggy paddle got R V into the water that day. Armbands on and water around him R V took a leaf out of Lana’s book and thought that maybe fun should outdo any embarrassment he thought he would have felt. It was R V and Lana who swam a lot that afternoon and both loved what swimming could be like…not too long after that lovely first time and R V did not even need the armbands anymore. He was adept and a keen swimmer had been born.