It was quite fun, and he liked the splashy wheels on the bus, but when it came to going under, he just didn't want to. We'd sing Ring Around the Roses (or Ring a Ring o' Rosies, as I would rather call it), and the instructor would instruct us to blow on the babies' faces at the last line, to make them close their mouths when we dipped them under for All Fall Down.
"Why does that make them close their mouths?" I asked her.
She had no idea. "It's just what we're told to do," she said a tad sheepishly.
Well, whatever, but it wasn't working on Dash. So I didn't dip him under, I just swooped him gently down a little way. I didn't see why he should be submerged if he didn't like it, and he didn't.
The next summer we took some more classes, but by then Dash's stubborn streak was showing, and it turned out he didn't really want to put on his swim diaper and his swim shorts, because he knew that if he did that, next thing he'd know he'd be in the pool and we'd be trying to make him put his face in the water again, blowing bubbles or looking for rings, and generally getting water in his eyes just like he hated. So I'd cajole and threaten and ambush and he'd whine and cry and kick and we'd finally get into the pool in time for the last ten minutes of class. By the second-last day I decided to give us both a break and not bother even trying.
When he was four, he was finally old enough for a class I didn't have to get into the water and partake in, so I happily signed him up. He got into the pool willingly enough, but spent most of the time glued to the rail, or sometimes just sitting on the side. I decided enough was enough, and we didn't do any more lessons after that.
When we moved house that year we joined the local pool for the summer, and Dash slowly went from clinging limpet to confident mover-about-in-water-wearing-a-flotation-device. Last summer, aged 5, he started to doggy paddle, all self-supporting. And today, he put on a pair of goggles and put his head underwater.
He'll get there. He'll get to the moon and back, that boy, if we just give him some time and some space.