Swimming is a valuable skill to learn

I THINK when my children grow up they are going to be fish. They have just spent the whole of the week diving into the private swimming pool attached to our villa.

At first I was apprehensive about going. Open water, some of which is quite deep, and two non-swimmer children were giving me nightmares.

“Don’t worry, I intend to spend all my time on holiday in the pool with them” insisted the other half.

“What, from 7 in the morning to 7 at night?” I queried.

And as it turns out, three small children into two adults doesn’t really go. Most of the time was spent fishing one or other of the smaller members of the family out of danger.

Thank goodness for the mini life jacket the canny child minder insisted we buy for the 19-month-old. It quite literally was a life saver.

Despite all our best efforts to persuade the youngest to stay in the shallow end, her favourite game turned out to be running to the steps into the deep end and grinning as she fell down them, splashing into deep water.

Luckily the eldest, who is quite a good little swimmer, was brilliant at rescuing any smaller child as she got out of her depth – which was pretty much the whole pool for the youngest, shortest, child.

I had thought going to the beach would be the nightmare, stopping the smallest wading out of her depth into choppy water armed only with her bucket and spade. But the times on the beach were some of the highlights of the trip. We spent endless time there, none of us complaining about the 15 minute walk.

Stopping the littlest one eating the sand or deliberately sitting on other children’s sand castles were the only real problems. The sea seemed to slightly daunt her.

I am determined all my children will learn to swim. It is a life-saving skill, not a luxury in my book. That is why we have insisted on weekly swimming lessons for the eldest for years now.

And following this holiday and the great skills shown by the middle child, I think he will be booked for swimming lessons on our return home.

Sheffield City Council and Sheffield International Venues are offering children the chance to learn to swim, with low cost sessions, including crash courses, all summer at its various venues. For information visit: http://www.sivltd.com/swimming/swimming-lessons-in-sheffield#