Annabelle is on the far right in the blue swim suit
After the first day of swim lessons (you remember...the Annabelle break down and nightmare!), the rest of the week went much, much smoother. Annabelle got the Polly Pocket doll she earned for swimming with her teacher for two minutes that first day, and each night we'd put Polly away and in the morning before lessons, I'd remind her that if she wanted to play with Polly again today, she had to stay with her class and do what her teacher wanted her to do, and cheerfully. And she did. We didn't have any more problems. I think that first day it was so bad because it was kind of a fear of the unknown: new teacher, never taken lessons before, she knows the water can be scary and dangerous especially for little ones her size. Once she tried it out and saw it wasn't too bad and that she was safe, she was able to relax and have fun.
Since Jane got in the water with all her street clothes on the first day, I decided she might as well wear her swim suit too since I had a really hard time keeping her out. She played on the steps while the kids had their 40 minute swim lessons each day, and I stood right by her. She was SO happy just walking on the steps! On the last day of swim lessons, I got in trouble. Apparently little Jane is not allowed to be in the pool unless she's taking swim lessons(which makes sense...if all the other moms let their little ones in as well it would be very distracting). So out she came. She threw a fit and tried to get back in a few times but then she was fine...and it was the last day anyway.
Charles and Elisabeth did amazingly well. They both can swim under water for a short distance, and do the breast stroke for a short distance. On the last day, Elisabeth jumped off the diving board and swam to the edge of the pool without a life jacket and without any assistance from the lifeguard. And then she did it again and again. Charles will swim just fine if he knows he's in an area of the pool where he can touch, but if they're in the deep end, he tends to freak out a little and wants the teacher to be right with him. Annabelle learned to float on her back for a moment unassisted, and on her tummy. She also learned how to swim with a life jacket on which is such a relief!