All my kids show signs of being good swimmers. Good listeners? Not so much. In fact, in their mid-session report cards for swimming lessons issued just today, all my kids were told they needed to work on their listening skills. Backstroke? Nope. Going under water? Nope. Diving into the deep end? Nope. They need to PAY ATTENTION. If you’re curious, no, this wasn’t news to me. Although I did need teenage swim instructors to help me feel as tall as, say, Dora the Explorer’s backside. But, heh, that’s a topic for another post. So on with the second installment for (cue the music) “Yep, this is my life.”
On Friday, after swimming lessons, I had this silly thought, and it went something like this: I know how to help my inattentive little swimmers be on-task during their lessons. Give them the chance to play in the pool, unchecked, for a good two hours. That was my reasoning for attending Family Swim last Friday night. Sounds good, right? You would think.
I’ve already explained that Zack is a swim glutton. Show the kid 3 feet of water and he can’t get enough. His favorite thing to do is climb the stairs and jump into the pool, over and over again. And each time he does I’m guessing he takes in about one liter of chlorinated water. A stomach can’t like that. Even a swim glutton’s stomach.
Well, because this isn’t the first time we’ve had an “incident” at a public swimming pool, I was on the lookout for all the signs, the first of which is usually a shoulder shrug accompanied by the arched tongue. And there it was. I plucked Zack up at the waist, face-out, and carried him from the pool just in time for him to hurl on the top step. Not much, but enough to gross out the 15-year old lifeguard. While Zack rinsed off in the shower, I cleaned up as much as I could with a handful of paper towels before the lifeguard with a power hose came to spray the vomit residue into a drain (By the way, if I ever design and build my own home, all the rooms with have cement floors with big drains smack dab in the middle. Instead of a central vacuum system, I’ll have a central power-hose system. Oh, I get giddy just thinking about it.)
At this point we’re only 20 minutes into family swim. A smart woman would’ve packed it up and left. But we’d paid about ten bucks for two hours and I planned to get our money’s worth. Besides, how much could a three-year old’s stomach hold, really. Confident he was finished we re-entered the pool. Yes, the lifeguard gave us a look, but I didn’t care. Caution be damned. We was swimmin’.
And then another shoulder shrug accompanied by the ever-icky tongue arch. Only this time we were deep in the shallow end and I didn’t quite make it to the steps. In fact, we didn’t quite make it to the edge. Zack hurled into the overflow—you know, that stepy thingy all around the pool where water laps up and drains out? Better than IN the pool, right?
The youngling lifeguard didn’t think so. Her entire face puckered. And she had to call in reinforcements. So an older, more seasoned lifeguard came with the sanitary gloves and scooped Zack’s half-digested dinner into the garbage before spraying the residue down the drain. A hundred apologies would have gotten me nowhere. There was lots of talk at the Aquatic Center that night, and it was all about us.
The moral of this story? As to the upchucking tendencies of a toddler in a public swimming pool: vomit once, shame on Mother Nature; vomit twice, shame on Mommy Nincompoop.
The latter? Ahem. That would be me.