Monday, July 30, 2007

Yep, this is my life (part 2)

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.


Pinks & Blues Girls said...

Oh goodness... how I feel for you. Had a similar incident at the YMCA this winter with my middle guy. Lunch was all over the shallow end... it was horrifying. I kept him in (thinking nobody saw it and chlorine is pretty good at killing this, right?)... well, with another up-chuck... we had to close down family swim for a good shallow end sweep. Didn't show my face again till this summer... I swear my photo is behind the counter at the YMCA to BEWARE!
- Audrey
Pinks & Blues Girls

shauna said...

Oh, thank you, Audrey. You just helped ease my shame. I thought I was the only one who kept her little hurler in the pool after a first alarm (because with us, the second time is always worse than the first). We'll both be in the Nincompoop club together. What good company. :)

Thirty-One Trendy said...

Well, at least they didn't pull out a bullhorn and make everyone evacuate the pool. These are the times you thank your lucy stars ou didn't feed the children something like tuna fish or spaghetti oh's for lunch.

Rachel said...

hey...I only see the positive...
youngling lifeguard+puking child=one less unplanned teenage pregnancy. I say all of us mommies, with our puking, tantrum-throwing, snot nosed children, are walking public service announcements for abstinence.
nincompoops or heroic civil servants?

Gustogirl said...

haha, Rachel funny comment. I so feel for you Shauna. What a day, and I thought throwing up at home was horrible. Glad you survived.

shauna said...

I can tell I need to practice looking on the bright side.

Thirty-one trendy, I am now very glad there was no tuna fish involved in this incident. And Rachel, I'm sure the two youngling lifeguards will think twice before having children of their own. I gotta tell ya, I need to work with someone on getting paid for all this work we do as a public service announcement for abstinence.

Mama Zen said...

Hey, you gotta get your ten dollars worth!

Absolutely Bananas said...

I like Rachel's comment -- you're a walking advertisement for kids not to have kids!!

Becky said...

Boy am I glad I read your blog this morning....I read it, but I didn't have a chance to respond.

Then today, we decided to go for a swim in our pool and Matthew was doing just what Zack loves...climb up the ladder, jump, gulp, cough and go back for more. Over and over again. But on the last jump and gulp it was followed by a choke, cough and scarry burp. I grabbed him as fast as I could and hurled him over the edge (I was thinking of you). He didn't get sick, but it sounded like he was any second.

So, thanks to you...I was ready!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, vomit is worse than a lot of other things I have seen in the public swimming pool...Believe Me!! Zack makes me laugh, what a crazy kid!! Can't wait to see ya, love ya, jen