I wasn’t born to swim. This became evident early in life after habitually swimming into the side of pools, then immediately sinking headfirst to the bottom. A number of factors can be attributed to my being hydro-challenged, beginning with the fact that I can’t actually breathe under water.
This traumatic realization was made one morning after watching Aquaman on T.V. and then, as a test to ascertain my level of super powers, trying to inhale running tap water from the kitchen faucet. The experience was a wake-up call, and forced me to admit that the closest I’d ever get to being an underwater super hero is if “dog paddling” and “consuming large amounts of pool water” qualified as special powers.
Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly waiting for a call from The Super Friends.
Thirty-five years later, I’m still not much of a swimmer, which led me to enroll my son in swimming classes. For those of you thinking of signing your kids up, there are a number of things you can do to prepare your child — and yourself — for getting the most out of class.
First, swimming trunks that enter a body of water too quickly will deploy like a driver’s side air bag. Add cargo-style pockets, and your child will be lucky to touch the water at all.
Secondly, if your child uses a “woggle” or “noodle” to float on in the water, wean them off of it now. Aside from adding a false sense of security, it’s nearly impossible to swim efficiently with one hand on your woggle.
And that’s as far as I’m taking that.
One way to transition your child off of using a woggle is by trimming away small portions of it in the weeks leading up to the first day of class. This worked well for my son, who showed up for his first lesson with a piece of green styrofoam roughly the size of a Lumberjack Biscuit.
I will complete the final step in this elimination process next week, when I replace what’s left of his woggle with an actual biscuit — which will then swell up and break apart in the pool.
Something a lot of people aren’t aware of is that chlorine actually causes temporary deafness in adults. This affliction is an indirect result of having your child — along with 20 to 30 others — all SCREAMNING EVERY SYLLABLE THAT LEAVES THEIR MOUTHS THE ENTIRE TIME THEY ARE IN THE POOL. Unless you leave the building all together (or are immune to high-decibel sounds because you regularly work on the deck of an aircraft carrier) ear plugs aren’t a bad idea.
The most important thing, of course, is that your child learn to swim, especially if they live anywhere near a body of water.
Your children will thank you.
I will thank you.
And, most importantly, The Super Friends will thank you.
Which reminds me; they still haven’t called yet. I guess until Aquaman hangs up his fins, there won’t be a need for Dog-Paddling Woggle Man to flail into action.
And for all our sakes, let’s hope there never will be.
(You can write to Ned at email@example.com, or at Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore. 97439)