First, I'm glad that we did them.
Second, they were pretty much a waste of money.
Sad, but true.
The instructor was really nice and did show us some things that I wouldn't have thought to do. She taught us various ways to hold our kids so they support/float more of their own body weight--including a handy way to get their legs out for kicking if they are still being clingy. She taught us to count them down from 3 and then say 'go!' before letting them do anything (so they learn to listen for our cues around water). She showed us how to practice blowing bubbles on the surface & also to use ping pong balls to give them something to focus on moving with their air.
My favorite part was when she put swim rings on the steps. The kids were to stand next to the rings on the steps and bend down to grab one. It was to entice them to get their faces near the water & blow bubbles, or try to put their face IN the water. The was something G actually tried to do--hooray (though she did get frustrated when she couldn't get the ring on the second step without getting her face wet). Oh, and the instructor taught us how to get the kids under water (gently bringing them toward you, not straight up dunking)...but we didn't do that part. I thought it'd be too traumatic for G at this point.
All in all, G is not really a water baby. She cried at all 4 lessons, though it got better as we went along, and I could usually distract her away from screaming long. She is kind of prissy & doesn't like getting her face or hair wet. She doesn't try to splash (I finally got 2 little close-fisted attempts on the third day, none since). She doesn't blow bubbles (after the first day she tried --not on the water-- in the bathtub with my husband, but hasn't since). It's a rare occasion if I can get her to float with the support of my arm. Her favorite thing? Sitting on the edge and listening to me count down & say go. Then she'll happily jump in and "swim" for about 9 seconds before wanting me to hold her.
I'm kind of jealous of parents who have kids that love being in the water, love splashing, and enjoy going to the pool. I personally love going to the pool, beach, water park, etc... My kiddo does not. I only found that out a few days before her lessons started when we went for a trial run, and I had already paid for them. I thought maybe it was a fluke thing and figured the other kids might help her enjoy it. False and False. Even when my husband comes with us to the pool, it's mostly whining to get out, shaking her head no, or sitting under the umbrella eating snacks (her favorite part of going to the pool).
The funny thing is that she SAYS she wants to go swimming before we leave and SAYS she wants to get in the pool...but when we get to the water...Nada. Strange.
Next summer, when she's 2.5, maybe she'll do better at the pool. Like I mentioned above, I am glad that we did the lessons, so that I can practice with her on our own. I'm also glad to have seen other kids enjoy swimming and met other parents. Finally, I am proud of myself as a mom for not letting G quit after the first day. I hope that at a young age she can see that I am not the kind of mom that just accepts quitting right off the bat. Maybe if the lessons were longer, but it was only 4 days and we had to give it at least that long to 'sink' in ;-)