Saturday morning is an early start; any morning in a baby household is an early start, but, on a Saturday morning we swim. The ‘Royal We’ is actually daddy and baby crabb and the ‘swim’ is actually Level Three of the Turtle Tots Baby Programme; we don’t do things by half in the crabb shell! Baby Crabb took his first tentative dip into the pool when he was a few weeks old; he wasn’t keen. But now he is a true crabb and scuttles into the water on daddy’s back, sometimes upside down, (those of you reading this who are fellow swim parents on a Saturday morning will be able to picture daddy crabb’s death defying entrances into the pool) with a smile on his face and a shine on his shell.
This morning we were met with the usual sunny smiles from the Turtle Tots team, but, to my, I’m ashamed to say, excitement, I was handed a certificate AND a badge, well I was handed them to hold and keep safe for Baby Crabb.
“These badges are new.” Our swimming teacher says.
“I love them.” I say.
“You can backdate them and get them for Stage One and Stage Two.” Our swimming teacher says.
“I want them.” I say.
I write ‘ashamed to say’ because I realised, for a split second, that I had turned into one of those parents. One of those parents I, in my pre baby crabb teaching life, used to snigger at. One of those parents I used to murmur under my breath, “what a lot of fuss.” What a lot of fuss indeed. What a lot of fuss I will be making of baby crabb as I proudly sew his three (yes THREE, he is only ten months old) swimming badges onto his swimming towel and hang his three swimming certificates on his playroom wall.
And then I realised something else, being a parent is about being proud. Being proud of watching your little one do something amazing and being there to help them along the way. I’m proud of baby crabb. I’m proud of baby crabb for being a top turtle tot every week, I’m proud of daddy crabb for being a great water aid every week and I’m proud of myself for sitting on the poolside every week, watching and chatting with the other mummies and daddies.