Our local pool has $3 swimming for families on Saturday afternoon. Yesterday was a dreary day, too cool for the park, so we headed to the pool with every other family from our neighbourhood. I love family swim time. I also hate it with a vengeance. Why, you ask?
- The hair on the changing room floor. It was beyond disgusting. That floor hadn’t been cleaned since last Tuesday. It was a land mine of hair. I gave up trying to find clean patches to step on and resigned myself to coming home with some deadly disease plastered to the bottom of my feet. On the flip side, I love that my bathroom floor looks pristine and practically magazine-worthy in comparison.
- The shivering, whining waiting to get into a family change room. About eight tiny change rooms lined up down a long, narrow, floor-hair infested hallway. We waited and waited for a door to open up so we could change into our suits. It reminded me of a game-show where you don’t know which door is going to open next. We were competing for an open door with ten other families so every time a door opened, the mothers nervously glanced at each other, evaluating which family had been waiting the longest for a room. I was flabbergasted when a door finally opened and out came mom, dad, little girl, other little girl, little boy…they just kept coming, like people climbing out of a Volkswagen beetle in the commercial. Just when I thought it was safe to enter, grandma came out too. That group took “family change room” seriously I guess. On the bright side, the change room made the bathroom in our 1966 home seem huge in comparison. I won’t complain anymore when our whole family is clamouring in there together in the mornings.
- The screaming. Release one hundred kids from the confines of home and school and chaos ensues. Children were shouting, splashing and thrashing around. A week’s worth of forced-quietness at school or daycare was unleashed in two hours of madness. Dads weren’t dads anymore; they were hungry sharks. Moms let go of the rules and leaned back into the water to breathe, if only for a moment. The look on my own children’s faces was pure joy. I’ll put up with the shrieking and yelling any day to see my two in such bliss. They were so worn out when we got home that the bickering and picking and poking at each other disappeared, for a few hours at least.
- The pee in the baby pool. Baby pools scare me. Does anyone else remember the signs at hotel pools in the 80s that said, “This is our OOL. Notice there is no P in it?” Great idea except babies can’t read. Both my children bee-lined for the baby pool, even though I tried to convince them otherwise. My two-year-old daughter decided that she was very, very thirsty. She defiantly scooped up that pee-water and drank it by the handful. Every time I asked her to stop she gave me an evil grin and lapped up even more. But really, aren’t I always trying to get my children to drink more water? Gag.
- The post-swim sleep. As a parent of young ones, life is all about sleep. Our days and activities are planned around naps and bedtime with one goal in mind: getting our children to sleep as much as possible. After our wild weekend swim, both children slept. My son, typically ready to rise and shine at 5:00, slept in until practically noon. That’s what 6:15 feels like when you are used to 5:00. I thought my daughter must have been in a coma, as we didn’t hear a peep from her until after 7:00.
We’ll be there next weekend so I hope to see you too. First I need to make a quick stop at Target for a family pack of flip-flops. 😉
Murphy’s Laws of swimming with a toddler:
- Now I know why children wear swim diapers. Those things really work. Note to self: Next time don’t leave the baby wipes in the car.
- It is near-impossible to prevent a child who has just mastered the skill of running to not run on a slippery pool deck. Ear-splitting screams travel very well in a large pool facility.
- I was a little naive thinking we’d chill out in the toddler pool all morning. There were 4 small pools, including the hot tub. We visited each pool approximately 15 times. So much for hiding my I-have-two-children-with-me-24-hours-a-day-and-I-really-am-too-busy-to-work-out self in the water. Nope. My daughter paraded me up and down and around those pools for 90 minutes straight. I knew I should have invested in one of those bathing suits with the skirts. 😉
- My toddler loved the little yellow slide into the baby pool. Why sit and slide down carefully when you can hippity-hop down? *shudder*
- Fear? What’s that? I took my eyes off her for 2 seconds to grab a floating fish out of a bucket and Whoosh! Baby under! Momma-reflexes are amazing.
- The best moment was when my daughter looked towards The Big Pool and saw our next door neighbour doing aquafit. The smiles and shouts she sent across the room were enough to make the whole class stop stretching to see the little girl creating such a ruckus.
I’ll take my fearless child to the pool any day.
These wild, heart-stopping, joy-filled moments make the no-paycheck and no-time-alone parts of being a full-time momma…no big deal.
A fellow blogger was kind enough to nominate me for the following Top 25 list of Funny Mom Bloggers (even though I’m only sort of funny, some of the time).
Please click the link, scroll down and vote (every 24 hours) for Murphy Must Have Had Kids. It’s very easy to do. Voting goes until February 13th. Thank you!