I did it! I took all three kids to the swim club! By myself! And we survived! Yay me!
I was dreading this. I used to do it last summer when R was only 9 months old and content to sit on my lap in the baby pool. But this year she is 21 months old and a maniac in the water. She loves it. In her bath, she purposefully goes under water and comes up laughing. It’s frightening enough in the tub. It’s downright life-shortening at the swimming pool, as I found out when I lost at least a year off my life expectancy the day that Husband and I took the three kids to the indoor swimming pool this past winter.
But today I managed to keep her in the shallow end of the baby pool, and she entertained herself by crawling in and out about a jillion times. And it might have helped that we were only at the pool for a sum total of about 30 minutes, which was hardly worth the time and effort I invested to get there. But the weather just wasn’t cooperating today.
Our afternoon went something like this:
2:30 – I stupidly ask the big kids if they want to go to the pool and meet up with our neighbors. Of course they do.
2:35 – I rethink my foolish offer, in the interest of maintaining my last thread of sanity, and I suggest we fill the kiddie pool in the yard. No dice.
2:36 – I stall by saying we need to wait until R wakes from her nap.
2:40 – I beg, plead, and bribe my children with candy and a 10pm bedtime to reconsider my offer of the kiddie pool. No dice.
2:45 – R is heard whimpering over the monitor. The children beg, plead, and bribe me with promises of impeccable behavior if I will take them to the pool.
2:46 – I admit defeat and tell them to go get their bathing suits on.
2:47 – You’ve never seen two children move so fast. They were clearly hoping that they could get to the car before I change my mind.
2:50 – I dial my neighbor’s cell phone to see if they are still at the pool, praying that they have already left for the day.
2:51 – The neighbors inform me that they plan to stay for another hour or so. Dang! I’m about out of excuses.
2:52 – I take advantage of this rare moment of compliance to get my kids to pack the pool bag for me. Might as well milk it for all it’s worth.
2:55 – I quickly don my bathing suit, thanking my lucky stars I made use of my razor in the shower this morning.
2:57 – I collect R, the pool bag, and a few snacks and herd everyone to the car.
2:58 – An ominous dark cloud suddenly covers the sun. I tell the kids it looks like rain, and wouldn’t they like to postpone this trip for another day? No dice.
3:00 – We are on our way to the pool under a cover of gray sky.
3:15 – We arrive in the parking lot. It’s packed. We drive around and around and around, looking for a spot to park.
3:20 – We pile out of the car, gather our belongings, and trudge towards the pool.
3:25 – We locate our friends, who confirm my suspicions that rain appears imminent. Joy!
3:26 – The kids throw off their flip-flops and shirts and head for the pool. No sunscreen is necessary; score one for the rain clouds!
3:27 – I take all the necessary steps towards getting R ready to enter the baby pool.
3:33 – I put R in the pool. I spend the next 27 minutes with one eye on R, the other eye on both C and D, one ear on conversation with my neighbor, and the other ear listening to C say "Mom! Look at this!" over and over and over and… you get the drift.
4:00 – The whistle blows. "Adult Swim!" the lifeguard calls. The kiddie pool is suddenly inundated with children far too old and far too rough to be considered "kiddies". I shuttle my three to the towel to feed them snacks as I watch the hostile sky for signs of lightening.
4:02 – I feel the first rain drop.
4:03 – I feel three more rain drops.
4:05 – I tell the kids we’re outta there. I start barking orders like a drill sargent. We throw on t-shirts and flip-flops, grab towels and snacks, and I toss R into her stroller.
4:06 – I hurriedly say goodbye to my neighbor and start pushing the stroller towards the door as my children trail along behind me, holding onto damp towels and snacks for dear life.
4:10 – We arrive at the parking lot. More raindrops. I motion behind me for the kids to stay on the curb while I jog towards the car with the stroller.
4:12 – I pull up to the curb to collect the children, and as I do, I notice a remarkably nice-looking man and his family walking towards their car. I inadvertently take a second glance and make unexpected eye contact. Mortified, I rapidly turn my attention to my children on the curb, push the button to open the automatic door, and bark at them to GET! IN!
4:14 – We pull away from the curb.
4:17 – The sky opens up with a drenching downpour.
Phew! Just in the nick of time!