Since I’ve had the two boys getting places has taken me longer and been much more daunting.
Ignore the fact that I managed to fly them both home and back in one piece the first Dubai summer after the two year old was born. That was easy, he didn’t move.
Now? Now taking them on transport requires an iron will and a gutful of determinations.
So far this holiday we’ve been on a fair few trains. Firstly to Leamington Spa to visit expat friends. Then I had a trip to London planned with both boys and a weeks worth of holiday luggage to meet my husband on his halfway trip. So when Zoggs asked if we wanted to join them for a #ZoggsforSprogs swimming lesson in London we jumped at the chance. For both the chance to try out Zoggs latest water wings alongside a dry run at getting down to London on my own. Without carting a weeks worth of holiday gear for three of us for all weather.
So armed with a brand new Kindle Fire (thank you Amazon Prime sale thingymajig) I set to work downloading a load of shows that the boys could watch together. Realizing belatedly that they’d both need to be able to use headphones I quickly shipped out a headphone splitter and taaaadaah, one Kindle Fire, two boys and no sounds of Paw Patrol reverberating around the coach.
I sat back, chilled out and frantically text Harriet from Toby and Roo train updates so she’d be around to meet me at the station with the adorable Edith.
And it all went to plan. I met Harriet, we headed on the tube and with only a slight detour from Google maps made it to try out the brand new water wings from Zoggs.
Living in Qatar, especially during the summer, one of our daily activities is swimming. We have a pool on our compound and, quite frankly, when temperatures hit 40° plus it’s the only thing to do!
However, for five days a week, my husband is at work. I know. How dare he ensure our financial stability by working. So it’s me in the pool on my own with them.
I need to be confident, I need them to be water confident. But most of all I need them both to be safe. And safety means I need to use buoyancy aids. For so long buoyancy aids have meant rubber rings and arm bands, both of which I felt hindered swimming. The bobbing around lazily without having to work to stay upright and afloat. To not have to use your arms and legs.
I was excited to see what they new water wings from Zoggs would bring, especially as they claim that they help with learning to swim rather than just having them bob about in the water.
Goggles on at the ready it was time to see if they live up to the claim.
From that first session with Simone, where my four year old took to the water like, well, a duck. To subsequent sessions at our local pool we’ve found that the water wings live up to their claim.
Whilst they assist in my pair floating, enough for me to be an arms length away and they are still safe, they do not do all the work for them. They have to move their legs. Their arms have to be free to move, which they are in the water wings unlike arm bands where those little arms are splayed to the side. They are safe to discover their limitations whilst wearing the water wings. Most importantly THEY feel safe to go off and discover.
Which, to me, is the most important thing.
I needed the water wings to help my four year old push himself to the limit and to keep my two year old safe. The differences in their water personalities meant that for one I needed him to feel safe and for the other I needed him to realise his limitation.
The new Zoggs water wing fulfilled both needs.
My four year old trusted in the water wings enough to push off, kick and be in deep water. My two year old was safe when he tried to kamikaze off the side before I manage to get in the water.
I want my children to fall in love with the water. I don’t want them to be like me who wouldn’t put her face under until she went to secondary school. And having had my four year old spend the first years of his life being terrified of the water I want to make sure we keep building his fragile water confidence rather than ripping it out from under his feet.
Not that you’d think he was water shy from the video, yep the little one who kicks up and away at around 18 seconds is my water shy four year old, looking decidedly more confident.
And for me, that is everything I need from a buoyancy aid, confidence in their own ability to allow them to push themselves to learn to swim.
Going forward we’ve had the vests on during our local splash sessions, again, it’s meant an improvement in confidence and the ability for me to move to the deeper end of the pool as the boys happily floated around in their vests, kicking and practicing the swimming moves we’ve been sent home as homework! Each time we head to the pool we see a difference in both the boys, from the four year old kicking more (and becoming confident enough to insist we take of the vest so he can practice in shallow water) to the two year old being reigned in enough to take a moment to stop and kick.
Since getting the vests it’s gotten to the point where I’ve become more confident in taking them swimming and it’s been more enjoyable. To the point where we’ve been going up at least once a week. A far cry from last year when I avoided the pool at all costs…
The Zoggs Learn to Swim Water Wings vest retails at £23 and is available to buy here.