Monday, January 13, 2014

Fights on Facebook, Swimming

I've mostly been posting quips about my kids on facebook lately. See, I was born to tweet, not blog. But I don't have any twitter followers to tweet at. So I use facebook instead. And then my husband suggests that perhaps I could tear myself away from an extremely pressing argument on the treatment of angora rabbits and do something productive, such as write stories about how and why I didn't get anything done today.

The problem with facebook is that unlike in the glory days of chat rooms, one actually knows these people. For a person like me, someone with a broken filter between my brain and my mouth (keyboard?), this leads to getting very carried away over, say, bicycle maintenance. With someone who teaches Sunday school to my kids. Identities have been altered to protect me.

So let's rejoin our cast of characters, shall we?

Munchkin has finally convinced me to take her to swimming lessons. I need to pause here for a moment. Who in all of creation came up with these ridiculous Red Cross swimming levels names? The preschool ones, I mean. Not the proper ones for five-year-olds. They're sensibly numbered 1, 2, 3, you follow. The preschool ones though. Oh, mercy. The first level is Starfish. The second is Duck. Next is Sea Turtle. For all of these, mum needs to get in the water. I'm not paying to teach my kid how to swim so that I can put on a bathing suit. I digress further. At this point children actually get to take lessons, not the type where I am instructed on how to hold my infant in water and not drown him. Sea Otter. Salamander. Sunfish. Crocodile. Whale.

Forgive me. There is absolutely no pattern discernible here. It doesn't move from invertebrates to vertebrates. We don't go from dim animals to intelligent ones. We don't move through families. We don't progress in size. And all of these animals seem to function most adeptly in the water. Exactly how am I to discern that a Sunfish is more adept a swimmer than a sea turtle, but less adept than a whale? They all look pretty damned good to me, especially in comparison than a four-year-old. Clearly this is all a plot to trick me into signing up my children for the wrong level and forfeiting $15 to the community centre when I have to change them due to my error, albeit a completely reasonable error given their ridiculous naming.

So I held off until I could put both older children into Swim Kids 1. This not only fills up my evening and makes dinner rather late, but also rids me of two children long enough to attend the library with a three-year-old and a one-year-old. This is exactly as much fun as it sounds.

I would put the three-year-old into otter or salamander or whatever just to keep him busy, but refer to that aforementioned naming system. Not worth the trouble.

So my oldest has been begging for swim lessons for some two years, and I haven't been able to get it together, and now I have, and she bears no grudges. She travels with an over-the-shoulder bag that she considers sufficiently pink. In it, she packs the novel she was reading (see, I did teach her to read). She carries a Play Mobil princess set. And she carries her swimsuit. You know, just in case. Might need it.

Gnome has gone for a different tack. He travels with a bear puppet (NB: puppet, NOT a teddy bear). The puppet is creatively named Beary. Gnome has decided that Beary needs a swimsuit. That way Beary will be protected in the rain.

It takes a marvelously unobservant child to think that a swimsuit is appropriate Canadian rain gear, even for a puppet.


  1. Only good thing that came from swim lessons was meeting you! My body literally tensed up the moment you mentioned swim lessons. I still don't put my head under water if I can avoid it. Your daughter's excitement for swimming disturbs me.

    1. It disturbs me too. She talks about nothing but. And I have her in the intensive variety, because I was hoping to get this over with quickly. I don't even like the change-room-deal-with-swimsuits routine.