Right now, I’m holding a sick baby. He has a runny nose, congestion, a cough, and hasn’t slept well for days. I’m not worried that it’s coronavirus because he doesn’t have a fever and he’s acting fairly normal in the daytime. He’s trying to crawl, plays with his toys, and jabbers to us.
During the week, he goes to Baby Sensory and baby dance class. All of those classes are socially distanced and he doesn’t play with any other kids. This makes me think it’s not germs he’s caught from anyone.
However, at the swimming pool he’s so cold that he shivers, and I have to change him in a crafty hallway because they leave the door opened. Remember, we’re in North East England and the high is about 50F in October.
Before I even had Jack, I really wanted him to learn to swim. I was disappointed when I took a long time to recover from the delivery, then, of course, lockdown happened and there was no change he was going to the pool over the summer.
I was so glad when he could finally go to the pool but I quickly came to dread the classes. I’ve been a strong swimmer my whole life, so I understand getting babies used to the water and increasing their confidence in going underwater, climbing out of the pool, and knowing to hold on to an adult if they fall in.
It’s freaky to watch your baby go underwater at first and you feel so awful when they come up crying and confused as to why he’s being harassed. When I first took him, he clung to me a lot and I was reluctant to get him involved. Now, as I said before, he’s shivering and confused when we go into the pool each time.
He splashes the water like he does in the bath, but he doesn’t smile or act like he’s enjoying it – not the way he does when we go to other baby classes.
We swim in a circle with other parents and babies. We have to use swim noodles and baby boogie boards and I’m told by the instructor how to hold the item rather than my baby. Twice during one class, I dropped him into the water and was so frustrated that I wanted to leave. During the last class, we were supposed to let go of the baby as he went through a hoop. No one was in front of him or had their hands on him, so I naturally scooped him up and was promptly told that I was going to have to accept that they (the trainers) knew what they were doing and had to trust them. The baby, they said, would come up to the top of his own.
Needless to say, those activities have been stressful to me and after I was told I needed to trust them, I felt worse as if I was hindering Jack’s progress.
Aside from the lessons themselves, the whole process of getting him out of the pool and ready to go home is more than frustrating. There is one baby change table so we have to either change the wet babies in the changing room on benches or, as I end up doing, in the hallway on a vanity where the mirror and hair dryers are located. There are ten babies per class with parents trying to get crying, wet babies changed together.
There are no trash bins for dirty diapers because of Covid. I can’t walk into the pool using the stairs because of Covid. The door is opened at all times, I presume, because of Covid. There is only one toilet by the pool available because of Covid.
Now that he’s gotten ill, I can only think that the running around with a wet baby has caused this. I know they’ll say that cold weather and wet hair doesn’t cause illness but he’s not close to kids otherwise, so how else would he have gotten this?
I want him to keep swimming and I want him to enjoy it, but right now I am thankful that half term is next week so we have a week off.