If you bring your four year old to swim practice bring crayons, a coloring book, and a High School Musical CD. But even with these distractions, please don't expect to swim much. This is how it will go:
She'll see water and decide she has to go potty. Right after you finish the first 50 yards.
You take her to the potty, then you resume your workout. Ten minutes later she'll realize the CD is skipping. She'll wave you over to tell you. You'll get out of the pool to fast forward for her.
Once the CD is running, she'll start climbing the stadium seats up to the top. Then she'll lay down on her back. You'll see her out of the corner of your eye while you are swimming with the pull buoy. You'll get nervous she might fall so you sprint to the end of the lane, ditch the pull buoy and go get her down. Tell her to please, please stay in the first three rows.
You tell her you'll be done in ten minutes and promise hot chocolate because she's so patient. Then you get back in the pool
She'll start looking for the baby scissors you brought. She won't find them. After you finished two thirds of the next 3 X 200 set, she'll come down to your lane, and tell you: "mommy I can't find the scissors." You'll hop out and find them in the front pocket of the backpack, right where you put them. You give them to her, warn her to be careful. Cut paper please, not fingers.
Then you resume your workout.
Another 400 yards into the workout, she'll come down and stand at the end of the lane. When you finish the lap she'll lean over and ask, "can we go soon?" You'll feel guilty for dragging her to the pool and you tell you'll be done after two more laps. You ask her to count them for you.
You do those two laps, then you jump out of the pool. Ten minutes before swim practice ends.
Net result of the workout: 1200 yards.
Yardage posted by the coach on the whiteboard: 2700 yards.