We caught up with the lovely Lucy Rattenbury at Turtle Tots Central Scotland. Baby Freya (of #RhonaRecommends fame) is a regular at the classes and LOVES them!
Turtle Tots is a specialist pregnancy to playground swim school that teaches your little one how to swim both above and below the water in a fun (and often splashy!) environment.
Lucy tells us all about the 'amphibian reflex,' family picnics and a boozy weekend at Glastonbury!
1. What does a typical day at work look like for you?
My days always start early thanks to two kids who think that sleep is overrated! On a day when I am in the pool, I drop them off at nursery then go and bag my favourite table at the Perthshire Visitor Centre and get a much needed latte whilst I catch up on marketing and emails.
When it gets to pool time, I like to arrive nice and early to set up all of my kit – lots of people can’t believe how many toys, floats, woggles and mats we cart around, but they are all put to good use once in the pool. I teach 4 classes over the two hours and these are, without doubt, the best hours of my week.
Babies and toddlers are built for swimming as they are born with loads of cool reflexes which are perfect for being in the water. They learn so quickly and have so much fun in the pool that I am constantly amazed and amused by them. It’s also lovely to see the different relationships carers have with their little ones.
There’s never two the same and I find this really interesting. Classes are full of songs, games, splashing and various toys and floats to make learning to swim above and below the water fun and enjoyable.
2. What signals the start of your weekend / days off?
Weekends are family time for us. I like to pack up a picnic the night before and get the bags packed so we are all ready to enjoy the weekend. As we aren’t from Perthshire, we love to go out exploring new places and forest walks and parks are always a hit.
3. What makes for a perfect night in?
A perfect night in for me is with the husband, a bottle of red, a pack of cards and some great tunes on the decks. I met my husband when he used to DJ in the bar I worked in and so music has always been a big thing for us and I love reminiscing.
4. What makes for a memorable day or night out?
Nights out these days are few and far between as we have a distinct lack of babysitters! When I do get to go out, good friends and good music with a load of good food thrown in is always a winner.
5. Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?
For me, this has to be Glastonbury 2011. It was BC (Before Children) and so we went with two of our good friends. It was a weekend filled with belly laughs, mud, dancing, singing in the rain and too much pear cider out of paper cups! It truly is a magical place and something everyone should experience at least once.
6. And now your best ever day at work?
This is going to sound cheesy but I have never had a bad day at work with Turtle Tots. I genuinely love what I do and the little people make me laugh and smile my way through my working day. It doesn’t actually feel like work and I feel privileged to do what I do.
Teaching toddlers is always fun (and very splashy) but I think my favourite lesson to teach is probably the first underwater swim for babies in Level 1.
Parents are often really nervous but mostly the little ones take it completely in their stride and are amazing. It’s such a special moment and I still remember doing it with my kids for the first time.
Babies are born with an ‘amphibian reflex’ which means that when under the water sometimes their arms and legs start wiggling to propel themselves forwards (looks like they are disco dancing!). This is amazing when you see it in a baby who is just a few weeks old and always gives me an I-love- my-job moment.
7. What’s in the perfect day off breakfast?
My favourite breakfast has to be continental. We load the table up with fresh bread, cheeses, meats, pates and a HUGE pot of coffee and all tuck in. Food is a real family-focus time in our house.
8. Any words of wisdom for us?
Not sure about wisdom but I am a strong believer in living for the now rather than worrying about the past. Concentrate on what you can change and influence, and not what is already written.
I cant get much past the scenery. Its breath taking and I still find myself blown
away by it, even on a drive to work. We are so lucky to live here.
The people, since moving up here just over 2 years ago, I have met all sorts of people and made some friends for life. People are so friendly and love to know your story.
Nature, I love the amount of animals, plants, birds, fish and trees that you can come across here. My little girl is constantly fascinated watching the
red squirrels in our garden.