Did I ever mention that I hate swimming pools?
As if it wasn't bad enough when I was a school girl. It could have something to do with being the last in my class to learn how to swim aged 9. Or being blind as a mole and rather water shy. I still prefer not to swim where I can't stand, and a snorcheling trip in Cuba taught me that I acrophobia can even kick in when floating with a rescue ring in reasonably shallow coral waters.
More than not being the best swimmer, I could never figure how to jump into the water - jumping off boards? You must be joking, I was so flipping scared. Head first? Why??? Still the teachers made me do it in front of everyone else, apparently to mark me, instead they made sure all my class mates saw how utterly rubbish I was. PE always had a feel of public humiliation for me, and swimming took the biscuit in that respect.
Then there's the smell of chlorine which makes me rather queazy; the dampness of the body that can't be gotten rid off and makes it impossible to stick clothes back on. Water getting in my nose. Being splashed. Being ducked. Tiny changing rooms. The floor which is a mixture of water and muck.
No, swimming pools never had much attraction for me and I only tolerate them when I have a full line to myself, and as means to an end for some fitness or to feel light again in the later stages of pregnancy (which both times led to even worse pelvic pain after the swim, so the relieve was very shortlived).
But Cubling had been pleading with me to go swimming again. I'd delayed a family swimming trip for quite a while because of Snowflake's dodgy immune system. But at 6 months and with all vaccinations done and dusted, even though delayed through illnesses, there were no more excuses I could find.We all want active kids, it's good to take them swimming, right?
So we arrived. Snowflake had just fallen asleep. Cubling was so excited she got changed herself without any delay. Wow. Now, who's going to change me? Ok, managed that. Snowflake next. Wake baby, baby not happy. Change baby. Baby not happy. Wait for Mr Cartside to deal with the mountain of clothes and the lockers while negotiating that no, Cubling can't go in the water yet because it's 1:1 and I have two kids just now. I feel a dribble of wetness on my legs. No I'm not in the shower yet and nobody splashed me. It can only be ... pee. Thank you Snowflake, that was lovely. I thought that cloth swim nappy would work, em, better.
Toilet, shower, playing musical chair with Snowflake. Finally, pool. Kids loving it. Mental note: Snowflake once again demonstrates how different her personality is from Cubling (the latter HATED the pool as a baby, much to my delight).
20 minutes later, Snowflake cries, does her Flamenco hand movement which means "had enough". I take her out while Cubling stays in with Mr Cartside. Dry her, dress her. Half the stuff in other locker. Try finding locker. Last number on armband-key is illegible. Try about 5 lockers. Finally find the right one though key doesn't turn. Mentally curse all keys and lockers and swimming pools. Locker opens, hurray. Take out all I need to dress Snowflake. Dress her, put her in car seat, she wails. Realise she not just tired, but quite possibly due a feed. Which translates to impossibility to happy baby in car seat. Notice that I'm still soaking wet, unshowered (did I mention I hate the smell of chlorinated water? No way I'm getting out of here unshowered even if it means leaving baby to cry). Being soaking wet is not conducive to picking up dressed baby to settle her, or to feed her in the changing room. Make mental note that it may be more advantageous to dress mummy first next time.
Go out to pool and admit defeat. Hand Snowflake to Mr Cartside, who now swings car seat and lets Cubling play in the baby pool by herself. And is promptly told that this is not admissible. Fortunately, Cubling is happy to play fishing from the rim of the pool. Have shower, get dressed. Can't get clothes on because still damp. For all my attempts to get dressed as quickly as possible, it takes absolute ages. Try to stay calm because at least Snowflake isn't crying so loud that I could hear it, surely that's a good sign.
Grab car seat with baby (who isn't actually screaming), massive bag with clothes, baby swim seat, Spencer bear (did I mention he had to come too?!) 3 jackets and try not to collapse or throw up (one jacket is in my mouth and it doesn't like the sensation. That's the mouth, not the jacket, though I wouldn't blame the jacket if it didn't like my mouth). Decide that there is no point in being so vain as to blow dry hair or even brush it, it's ok to be scrummy mummy.
Collapse on chair in cafe. Relax, feed Snowflake who promptly falls asleep. Realise I'm ravenously hungry and wonder why I always get so unbelievably hungry after just a few minutes in the pool. Pat on the back that all my shouting was internal and both kids are still smiling.
Seriously wonder why the kids love going to the pool.