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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Splish, splash we went to swim class

All four of us trucked off to swim class this morning. We managed to persuade the girl to join us by promising that she didn't actually have to get into the pool. And she didn't. Not once. But she did sit by the side of the pool and put her feet in the water twice. The husband considered that a great victory. The rest of the time she stood by the side of the pool with either the husband or I as we tried to stop her from throwing water toys into the pool.

The girl did look the part with her very cute blue and white swimsuit and her blond hair back in a ponytail. I, however, did not enjoy standing at the edge of the pool in a wet swimsuit while clothed parents with older kids watched from the sidelines. I am thinking of looking into a Victorian swim costume. I would be happy to champion their comeback.

No, I much preferred it when it was my turn in the water with the boy. While his sister was loudly and repeatedly insisting that she didn't have to go in the water or trying to run on the pool deck (sigh), the boy was silently clinging to me like a little spider monkey. Seriously, he made not one sound the entire class. He reminded me of one of those miniatures deers who had been caught in a headlight. For most of the class his face was frozen in fear and his body rigid with tension. He allowed me to glide with him through the water, but only if the distance between his face and mine did not exceed half a foot.

By the end of the class the boy had relaxed slightly. Then came the Grand Old Duke of York. Uh, huh. You know what"s coming. Well, I had to dunk him! I have this compulsion to follow directions. He and I both went under and when we resurfaced he started at me in shock and then clung to my neck. He stayed like that for the rest of our time in the water. His arms wrapped around my neck and his head resting on my left shoulder. Oh, except for when I thought I had lost my glasses in the water and discovered them squished between us.

Over all the swim class itself can be labeled a success. It also resulted in both kids having excellent afternoon naps due to sheer exhaustion. However, both the husband and I briefly considered never returning due to the trauma of the before and after of swim class.

As we walked to the pool I wondered out loud what we could have forgotten. I even stopped at a bench as we cut through the park to check our bag. Swim suits, check. Towels, check. Yup, we have everything we need I said. Onward we continued. After we started getting the kids changed in the family bathroom at the pool I remembered what I had forgotten. The diaper bag. We had no diapers, no wipes, no wet bag for the very dirty diaper we took off the boy. The husband made due with wet toilet paper and wrapped the dirty diaper in paper towels. We had brought a swim diaper but since that was wet after our time in the pool the boy went commando on the walk home. Amazingly enough he and his clothes were both dry when we got home.

As the franticness of getting two kids changed for class was underway I cursed the family change room. Here I am with a wiggly baby on my lap who I am trying to strip naked and the floors in here are tile. Not a good combination. The boy likes to roll and shuffle at the best of times, never mind adding the slipperiness of a naked body. I was worried I was going to drop him. I did see the value of the tile though when the girl, who I had just asked if she wanted to sit on the toilet, peed about a quart of urine onto the floor. While she was a bit distraught and wanted to take her bathing suit off, which I had to say no to, the husband laughed and laughed.

In addition to the challenges of getting us and the kids out of their suits and into their clothes after the class, the girl decided that it was the perfect time to do some boundary pushing. This involved not listening about getting dressed, demanding snacks and trying to open the door and press the automatic door button while the husband and I were changing. There was a small time out break before we finally made it out of the change room.

On the walk home the girl stopped to pick up some rocks from a display in front of a store. When I asked her to put them back and not pick up the rocks she dropped them, looked at me, picked up another handful and then threw them. I picked her up and carried her home. There was another timeout when we got home.

I guess we are going back. The husband seems to think we will be better prepared next week. Personally, I think our kids have some kind of land lovers gene that dates back to my potato-loving Irish ancestors. Because that seems like the most rational explanation of their fear/ hatred of water to me.

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