Our 11 days in Malta (our longest visit since we left 5 years ago!), was a hugely successful holiday. Our trips back usually involve us darting from one lunch date to another, followed by a couple dinner dates, allowing us very little swim or chill time, resulting in us needing a holiday once the "holiday" is over.
This time we were determined it would be different. Now that Emily is here, trips to Malta need to be mainly about her spending time with family and some very close friends. We did organise a generic "Meet Emily" party which was a huge success, but after that, our individual time was dedicated to family.
We were lucky enough to have access to a private pool this time round, which also helped a huge deal. We were able to relax and enjoy the cool water in the hot sun while also enjoying family.
It was also to be Emily's first swimming experience. We weren't too sure what to expect as she has never quite been a fan of cool water. Her baths are nothing close to the recommended temperature... much, much warmer. I'd even go as far as to say hot.
So I wasn't too sure how well cold water would go down. But we were determined. She is Maltese after all, she can't not swim?! So we excitedly got her all dressed up in her full-body swimsuit, chuckled at how ridiculous and yet cute she looked, lathered her in sunblock, blew up her Zoggs ring, and pink fluffy towel in hand, headed towards the water.
Toes in. Face unsure. Splashed some water onto her legs. Face very unsure. Lowered her into the water some more. Face entirely unamused, frown growing by the second. But she wasn't crying so we brought the ring in and tried to get her into it. She was even less amused by that, especially when it turned out that despite saying it's for age 3-12 months, it was entirely too big for her and therefore completely useless. Zoggs ring was put to the side and not used again.
Back in our arms, she still hated the water. That day, her "swim" didn't last very long.
The next day, we tried again, this time armed with several of my niece's old sand and sea toys, but especially a bright red swimming lobster which she loved to bits. The bright colours kept her distracted while we lowered her further and further into the water until she was in up to her neck and not complaining.
She realised what we were up to a short while later and made it known that she was in no way amused and we were forced to take her back out.
Day three, I decided, on a whim, to use a regular swimsuit (ie not a full-body one). I am not sure whether that had anything to do with it, but that day, toys weren't even necessary. She was in, splashing and kicking away, loving it, for almost an hour!
Although the lobster was never very far away...
There was no turning back after that. We all swam every day, and she loved it every day. Our little water baby in the making!