Calgon, Take Me Away…

So yeah.  What I said about having no blog-worthy happenings at the pool this summer?  Scratch that.

AHEM.

I think my 2-year-old turned 3 yesterday.  Nevermind that her birthday is in October.  She has suddenly become that independent, defiant, limit-testing, 3-year-old that I’ve been dreading.  I’ve been through it twice already with my two older kids.  I knew it was coming.  But I was hoping I had a few more months before reality set in.

Yesterday at the pool she started doing the exact OPPOSITE of everything I told her to do — with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her blue eyes, no less.  And as the afternoon wore on, she became increasingly brazen in her defiance.  In the course of two hours she did the following, in this order:

  • ran in the opposite direction when I told her to come to me, saying adamantly, "No. I not comin’."
  • proceeded deeper into the pool until the water was up to her little
    freckled nose, grinning and looking at me the whole way, until I
    finally went over and drug her out…
  • and then she did it AGAIN.
  • BIT her sister on the cheek when C was trying to get her to come back to shallow waters, which incited a scream from C that silenced the pool and brought everyone’s attention to their little altercation.  (And I am only SLIGHTLY exaggerating about the pool being silenced.  I swear there was a momentary lull in the noise level.)
  • jumped into 6 inches of water and landed on her back multiple times, with
    me saying between each jump, "Don’t jump in there.  Come to the deeper
    water."
  • intentionally went under the yellow caution tape blocking off a construction zone immediately after I said, "Don’t go in there!  Don’t go IN THERE!"
  • AND THEN proceeded to run through it when I tried to grab her.  That time I gave her a swat on the bottom, right there in front of God and country and the entire swim club.  I just couldn’t let one more thing go unpunished.
  • got back in the pool after I had dried her off and told her she was done for the day and that we were going home. (This was done behind my back as I was gathering up our belongings, AND DURING ADULT SWIM, no less.  I didn’t know she was in there until I heard the lifeguards all whistling at her to get out, which only added insult to injury.)

The list goes on, but fortunately my memory does not.

Meanwhile, her 5-year-old sister decided to befriend Richard Gere, who happened to be in the pool with his daughter.  Okay, so it wasn’t Richard Gere, but he could have passed for Richard Gere, or Richard Gere 20 years ago. 

I tried to get her away from him several times, but she kept going back over (under the guise of playing with his daughter) and barraging him with questions, much to his amusement. 

Yes, I know.  We need to have a good hard talk about being too friendly to strangers.  Particularly STRANGE HANDSOME MEN IN SWIM TRUNKS AT THE LOCAL SWIMMING HOLE!

I would have been more insistent that she leave him alone except that was when R was reaching the height of her naughtiness, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her for a second.

I think the poor guy could see I had my hands full.  In fact, I’m quite sure he was laughing at me.  Fortunately he seemed harmless enough.  And, as my friend Sarah remarked as she watched the whole debacle unfold, "at least she has good taste."

Well, yeah, she IS my daughter, after all.

By the end, I was even getting sympathetic stares from the other mothers.  I decided to leave while I still had a shred of dignity left.  I started to gather up my things, but my son and his friend were nowhere to be found.  Murphy’s Law at work!

Meanwhile, C was back over at the side of the pool harassing Richard Gere, and R was trying everything she could to get back in the pool.  At my wits end by this point, I grabbed both girls and marched over to the playground, where all the kids migrate during Adult Swim.  Naturally it is at the opposite side of the pool from where I like to perch.  I finally located the boys, dragged them off the playground (figuratively speaking, of course!), and started towards the car. 

As if I hadn’t been through enough, on our way out, C started crying that she had lost her shoes.  I asked her where she had left them, and she said in the bathroom, where she had changed into her swimsuit earlier.  She went in to get them as I waited impatiently with the rest of my entourage, but alas, the shoes were long gone.  Fortunately we discovered them on the Lost and Found table on the way out.

We piled into the car and headed for home.  R was asleep before we got out of the parking lot.  Note to self: baby still needs to nap.