Bonding and splashing at the YMCA
“He’s met a lot of people here and he’s made a lot of friends. It’s great for him and great for me.”
Bonding and trust are the main ingredients to what Angela Townsend and her baby Merrick experience at the South Park YMCA. Each Saturday they participate in a swimming class called Bubblersand Splashers.
“He loves the pool and he loves the singing and splashing. We stay in the shallow end,” Angela laughs. “No diving!”
Parents and children under three years old gather together in the pool to swim, sing songs and play games. At nine months, Merrick is learning to have fun in the pool and to trust his mom.
Angela and Merrick come to the South Park YMCA for other activities too. Merrick has been enjoyingthe Child Minding Room, meeting and playing with other children. For Angela, the Child Minding Service was one of the biggest advantages of joining the YMCA.
“We picked up one of the flyers and they said free child minding,” Angela says. “I was like wow. We can make this work.”
A family membership affords Angela the chance to use the YMCA’s facilities while Child Minding Staff play games and entertain Merrick.
“It’s peace of mind for me,” she says. “I can get out that extra energy. He loves it too. He’s met a lot of people here and he’s made a lot of friends. It’s great for him and great for me.”
Merrick is more alert when he’s playing with other children, says Angela adding that they “have their own little language.” Merrick has adjusted to coming to the YMCA so well that “it’s almost like he expects it now,” she says. “He’s happier and he’s not as shy.”
Thankfully, leaving him in the Child Minding room to sneak in a little exercise isn’t an issue either. “I can leave him here and he doesn’t get upset and he doesn’t have any separation anxiety.”
Angela says that because of the Child Minding Service her son is learning to trust other people at an early age. “It’s a lot of exposure for him to get used to other kids and different people,” she says. “It’s great to see them and parents. It’s comforting. It’s like a community.”
Getting to know other parents is part of the fun for Angela. She says other mothers will check in with her when she’s exercising. “We kind of look out for each other and look out for each other’s little ones. We get lots of feedback from each other.”
“The YMCA is affordable and the more you come here you meet more people,” she says. Feeling welcome to the YMCA community helps Angela and Merrick make the most of their time together.”