Wednesday is our usual day for going swimming. Parent and toddler / baby swimming sessions happen Tuesday to Friday at both the pools in our town at the same time, but unfortunately that time is lunchtime: 12:15 to 1:15. It's a nuisance for babies and younger toddlers like Iona, as at that time she's often either sleeping or eating, but I try to work around it as she loves the water. She's been going since she was about 9 months, and apart from a few times at the beginning when she got upset at swallowing water, she really enjoys it.
Anyway, we went swimming today as usual. The main pool was really busy, with half-term, but the teaching pool, where the toddler session is, was quite empty. We met one of the families we know from the Salvation Army, and Iona also enjoyed meeting a 10-month-old girl and playing splashing games with her. Each time we go now I try to play "Ring a ring a roses" with her several times, going underwater with her on "We all fall down". It surprised her the first few times, but she doesn't get upset and today she even seemed to know what was coming. I try to encourage her to "swim" on her front - since the first time she went she's been doing quite a good breaststroke-style kick and occasional arm movement too. Lately I've only had to support her with one arm under her chest, although today she was a bit more clingy. I'd been wondering how to move her to a bit more independence, and today when we got to the side of the pool I encouraged her to hold the bar. She got the idea of that, so when she seemed to be holding on with both hands I tried letting go. She held on, and was pushing against the side with her feet, too. I was really chuffed! I wasn't able to leave her for more than a few seconds, as she tended to let go, but it certainly bodes well for future attempts at independence. Watch this space!