Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer and Swim Lessons

Summer is half way over, and it is just now getting hot. Weather-wise it has been a cool, wet summer. This means the grass is very green and the mosquitos are feasting. 
It’s our first summer in the new house and we are enjoying it. The first 4th of July party was a success. The big back yard proved the perfect setting for all that is expected; yard games, eating, drinking, playing and general debauchery. Jonathan even surprised me by renting an “inflatable babysitter” or bounce house. 

Right now the girls are currently taking mid summer swim lessons. This was not a well planned or thought out event. It was all brought on because Caroline freaked me out. Each and every night, right before she’d close her eyes to go to sleep, she look up at me worried and say “Momma, I don’t want Maggie to go under the water.” Well neither do I! The first night I thought it was a fluke, but it became as regular as nighttime prayers. Seriously kid, what are you doing to me? Each night I have to reassure her that Maggie is safe in her own bed and no where near water.
She got into my head man. I had to DO SOMETHING. 

So here we are, in the only lessons that had availability for both of them at the same time. They are every night Monday – Thursday for two weeks. Here I am, week two, telling all of you working mothers, THIS WAS A BAD IDEA. I’m going to skip through the normal every day routine and just focus on what we now have crammed into the short two hours after work but before bed time.

The bell rings at and I’m off – bolting from my desk to fight 12,000 employees all of whom are also trying to get somewhere equally important. I’m cursing traffic the entire way to the sitters house, weighing the idea of racing home for a bite or giving in and getting fast food. I ensure I have a bag packed with their swimsuits, swim diaps for Mags, towels, my swimsuit and appropriate pool attire (flip flops, not the heels I wore to work). Once I wrangled the children from the sitter into their car seats, we are back in the car, cursing more traffic and settling on fast food. At every red light I’m slinging french fries and nuggets in the vicinity of the back seat. We arrive at the pool and I try to gather ALL THE THINGS before I unload the two children. They continue to fight with me as I insist they eat the APPLE SLICES TOO. Backpack on, still in heels I sling the little one on my hip and hold tight to the other one’s hand as we weave through the parking log and toward the pool bathroom. Once inside we all change clothes. One child undoubtedly escapes to run around the pool bathroom naked with NO SHOES ON, busting in on a poor soul trying to use the curtained room to change. My naked children do not understand your sense of modesty lady, can’t you tell? Finally everyone is changed. Then Caroline has to pee. wah wah

Finally we are dressed and ready to swim. We go find a bench and wait. For them, this is the hardest part. I mean, the pool is right there. But guess what? The class hasn’t started yet so we wait. I’ll get the timing right by the last day of class…  

Once class does start, I make solid eye contact with Caroline’s teacher. You see this one? I’m leaving her with you now. You see her right? I have to walk away and you are now responsible for my BABY.
I then proceed to the mommy and me class, strap the unwilling youngest into the floatation device and reluctantly get into the pool. I make happy faces and noises to try and encourage her despite the “no, no, no, no, no” coming from her mouth. Listen kid, you’d better get used to this cause your sister is having crazy premonitions about you and water! After she gathers that the barrage of emphatic no’s are being ignored the hitting and scratching ensues. Here’s the thing with Maggie. It isn’t the water she’s objecting to, it’s that this swim lesson is not what she wants to be doing at this exact moment in time.  

Finally – after what seems like an eternity, but has only been two minutes – Dada arrives.  Maggie cries with joy and relief. I echo her sentiments.  I tag out and wrap a towel around my translucent skin. Then I take my perch where I can see both classes keep my maternal watch.
By the end of swim lessons, we are all worn out which results in a usually a tantrum or two (only one has been mine so far). The children and bundled up like sausages in their towels. We carry them to the car and get home. Once they go to bed, I fire up the washing machine, repack the bag and prepare to do it all again the next day. 

OMG, don’t do it this way!

I will admit that Caroline is doing great and she is being stretched outside of her comfort zone, sometimes crying the whole time, but hopefully feeling brave and accomplished when it’s over.  UPDATE Last night Caroline was pushed way beyond her comfort zone. She was hysterical the majority of the class. I practically had to restrain myself so as not to intervene! But I totally trust the instructor. When we got home she said “Momma, I don’t do swim lessons anymore”. Then we had to have a talk. We’ll see how tonight goes…

Maggie on the other hand is missing the point. Don’t forget that her well being is the whole reason I forced us all into this hectic schedule. Ce la vie

But look at all the happy pictures that disguise the anxiety and stress…..