I don’t know if he’ll be the smartest kid in school, but he’ll at least know his way around a swimming pool.
I wrote an article several weeks ago about an Australian study which concluded that young swimmers are generally brighter and better coordinated than their non-swimming peers.
To see if the study had any validity, I took my four-month-old son to the YMCA for his very first swim lesson.
Suddenly he can recite the periodic table of elements while juggling rubber nipples. So, yeah, I’d say those Australian researchers are onto something.
Kidding, of course. But you don’t have to be a behavioral scientist to see that there’s something about being in the water that gets his wheels turning.
When the instructor dumped a bucket of toys in the pool, Tyndale instinctively reached for a rubber duck floating by. His aim was off. His hand slapped the water, sending the duck farther out of reach. By and large, Tyndale gets what he reaches for, whether it’s a lock of mom’s hair or plush ear of his Pluto. But this is a different environment with different rules.
Let the stimulation begin!
The instructor walked us through several exercises. Straddling giant foam noodles, we cradled our kids as we took long, bouncing steps across the pool, stopping, turning left, turning right and walking backwards at the coach’s command. Tyndale also got to do some baby body-boarding and briefly dipped his head underwater. (He didn’t care for that last part.)
Time will tell if Tyn develops extra smarts because he can doggy paddle better than the average tyke.
For now, he's just happy to be in the pool.
Beats the crib any day.
Off the Deep End is an occasional blog from PSN senior editor Nate Traylor.