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Hunting for THE Perfect Swim Instructor

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Yikes. Who ever thought that teaching my son to swim would be so complicated?

young boy geting swim lessons

Lara Shriftman: I wanted to get a swim teacher to teach my son how to swim. A very dear friend of mine (who is also a doula) is the most down-to-earth pregnancy life coach, and recommended an instructor that all of her mommy friends were obsessed with. She was known as the swim whisperer. Reverential name aside, I assumed that because my friend recommended her, she would be down-to-earth as well.

I was wrong. REALLY wrong.

After three unreturned phone calls, I was able to get the woman on the phone, where she proceeded to interview me on what I do, who I know, and how I got her number. I quickly realized that this wasn't the swim coach for me, but (call me crazy) I still wanted to hear what she had to say. Here is the laundry list of what she does and doesn't do:

1. She doesn't train people that she doesn't know.

2. She only trains people that are recommended by other well-known mothers.

3. Each training session costs $45 dollars, and you have to train at the house where she is working on that particular day. Translation: my son will be swimming in someone else's pool. Yuck! When I asked her why she couldn't come to my house, she said, "It's just the way I do it," and "The houses are so big and the people are so famous, they wouldn't even know you're there!" I don't care how famous you are, I would have an issue with some foreign kid in my pool.

4. Then she told me that I'd have to call her on January 1st to actually get into the class. The first 50 people who called in and applied were the ones that got locked in for the rest of the year. Isn't it August?!

At this point, I was extremely frustrated and called my pediatrician, who immediately recommended Head Above Water, a fantastic swim service for parents. The owner of the company quickly recommended Nicole, one of the instructors.

My son loves her, calls her my "girlfriend Cole," and even kicks as if he's in the water whenever she's around. And, there was no interrogation about what I do and who I know.

All I can say (wearily) as my son enjoys his swim is: Mission accomplished.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Raul August 27, 2009, 12:03 AM

Great Article! I was actually thinking of something like this today.. what are the odds :)

Anonymous June 20, 2010, 8:01 PM

Wow! Its amazing how people never cease to amaze me. This just goes to show that when it comes to your child its important to stick with what you feel comfortable with rather than following the trend.


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