When I signed the boys up for swim lessons, I chose an inexperienced swim instructor at good time, 10:30. She was all that was left. Our pool doesn’t open until 11:00, so I thought being able to get there a half hour early was a major score, that’s one half hour less that I have to endure my boys fighting at home.
What I didn’t realize, was that getting to the pool at 10:30 means I’m wiped out by 1:30, at which point I’m left debating whether to prolong the monotony of the sun and the splashing and the “I have to go poopy, no I don’t” game. Or, go home and endure the “He hit me!” “You’re so stupid!” game. Usually, I choose the pool.
A typical swim lesson day starts like this. First, we rush around the house, me scrambling to get lunch packed, the water jug filled, little lady dressed, find first son’s diving badge (again), find goggles, torpedos, and sandals. Then, we rush to the pool so we can get there by 10:30, so we don’t miss out on one minute of the measly half hour the boys share, in what my pool calls, a semi-private lesson. Now, don’t ask me why we are always rushing, it’s not like anyone sleeps in around here (except little lady). We’ve usually been up for about four and a half hours before it’s time to leave the house, but, nevertheless, we end up rushing.
Once at the pool, I dump the boys with their sweet, but not very good, swim teacher and take Ella with me to settle our stuff under an umbrella. Securing an umbrella is also a perk of getting to the pool early. Umbrellas are prime real estate.Once I lay out the towels and apply sunscreen, I have to endure the pout. Little lady is not allowed to swim until the pool officially opens. She doesn’t like this rule.(I think I need to do a better job brushing little lady’s hair, and by better I mean start.)
This is the baby pool with the family pool behind it. This the splash pool. This is the Olympic size pool where no rafts or diapers are allowed. There is one more pool, a lap pool, which hosts adult swim and lane swimming. We also spend a lot of time here (which is when I’m most relaxed).My pool is pretty awesome, but it has it’s faults, a full summer membership is expensive, there are no umbrellas to sit under within the perimeters of the baby pool and it gets crowded, even though it’s a private club and every year they say they are going to limit memberships. They don’t. In fact, they have a half membership, which starts in July, which just means more people come mid-summer. With a pool so large, they would have to have an awful lot of members to max out. It also means that on very crowded days, like the weekend, the pool can get pretty nasty. Let me just give you an example. The first year we joined, pre-recession (because it doesn’t seem to be as crowded nowadays), I remember the first weekend we went to the pool. I was grossed out by the sheer number of people in the pool, but then I saw a little girl, who probably drank too much water, vomit in the water. Horrified, I jumped out and went to tell the lifeguard. You know what she did? Nothing.
We don’t go to the pool on the weekends anymore.
But, back to the July routine. Little lady and I busy ourselves with set up, sunscreen, and bathroom trips while the boys are supposedly learning how to swim. Except every time I look over, there’s not much swimming going on. One day, I saw her helping second son do a forward roll, and almost all days end with first son learning how to dive, which for the first two weeks meant second son sitting on the side watching while first son massacred the art of diving.
It’s my mistake, swim teacher is young and naive. She was deeply impressed with herself for teaching first son to swim so quickly. Except, she didn’t. I’m sure I told her that he’s had swim lessons since he was three and that he just needed a refresher, maybe she forgot, because it was pretty obvious that she was taking full credit for his freestyle. Poor second son, who got to the swim game late after a run in with a swim teacher (a story I’ll tell another time), well, he’s just not as satisfying of a customer. She actually has to teach him to swim, and I’m not talking doggy paddle, he already knows how to do that. He definitely gets the short end of the stick. In hindsight, I should have just signed second son up for private lessons and let first son go on his sloppy freestyle way.
Yesterday, was the last day of swim lessons, so I toted along the camera, which meant I watched closely, which meant swim teacher was a little more swim instructor like. She had first son demonstrate his back stroke. Second son, something that sort of resembled freestyle, and then they took off for the diving board. I could have stopped her. I could have put an end to the diving, but in truth, second son doesn’t have his diving badge and the last two lessons, she allowed him to jump off the diving board while she waited in the pool for him to “catch” him. It seems silly, but it’s given him confidence and taught him that if he can swim in water that’s three feet deep, then he can swim in water that’s twelve feet deep. Yesterday, not only did he jump off the high diving board, but he jumped in by himself. He was beaming with pride. Look at him fly! First son’s diving is coming along, slowly, but not for lack of trying. Sometimes it looks like this, OUCH! Sometimes, it looks a little better. Either way, the only time constraints we had for the month of July are over, and frankly, I’m relieved. Time lines mean stress and we have plenty of time lines and stress during the school year. Hopefully, the boys took something (besides the candy she gave them) away from the experience.