I guess the irony is that no one involved is actually French. But the lingua franca between the Senegalese swim teacher, the Italian woman hosting the class at her home, her friends and our little American selves is French. So twice a week, Pape now goes to ‘French swim lessons’. And yes, it’s très adorable.


Here’s what we’ve learned so far.

“Grenouille, avion, fusée !”

Frog legs, airplane wings, rocket! I have no idea what English-speakers say to describe the leg positions which teaching toddlers to swim, but this is what we hear chanted throughout the class.

“Your son has no fear.”

Yeah, we kind of knew that one. But even after the first half hour, the swim teacher was impressed by how ready Pape was to dive right in, pun intended. That’s a actually a big reason we wanted him to learn to swim in the first place…

Talk the talk, wear the Speedo.

The swim diaper + board shorts combo was just not working for our little guy. And since the other kids were wearing European-style bathing suits, we decided Pape should get on board before the next class. So we went to the mall to buy a Speedo found a pair of newborn shorts that will work just fine.

All Speedo-ed up and ready to go!