Swimming with kids in today’s world is about as fun as putting your hand on a hot burner of the stove.
Put your hand down, let it sizzle, hold it there for a few hours and you’ll know how our trip to the pool went. It’s not that the kids misbehaved, they were actually really good. It’s the fear. Fear is equivalent to a crisply burnt hand. My sister and I packed the swim bag full of swim diapers, towels, and sunblock. Enter fear.
Do I have enough swim diapers? What if both Millie and Livie poop? What if they leak? Is that the right size? Too small might cause the shit to leak out. Too big might allow the shit to walk out like a hot dog at a pool party.
I know it happens, but I cannot survive being the mom who has to drag her baby out of the pool and let the life guard know that is in fact not a chocolate bar.
I decided to read an article online about sunblock the other day, again I should have just skipped right to the stove top. The article was all about how bad sunblock can be for babies and how most of it is completely useless. So all the torture I’ve put myself through trying to lather my very very pale blonde beauties with sunblock was actually toxic and ineffective. Good to know, thanks.
I line the girls up and lather them up anyway. I can say confidently that I successfully sun blocked Evie. Millie and Liv will burn everywhere except one arm, a nee cap, and their big toe. Sorry girls, it builds character.
We load them into the car and I grab their puddle jumpers. When I was little, we never wore a puddle jumper or anything of that kind. You stayed where you could touch or you went under. Either way, you learned quickly to stay where you could touch.
When my sister and I were maybe 6 and 7 we went swimming in a L shaped pool at a hotel. Half the L was shallow, then it dropped to 9 ft. Kait and I both jumped into the water at the inside corner of the L; she jumped into the shallow end, I jumped into the Mariana Trench.
I resurfaced to scream once. Kait, who was two feet away from me, blew me a kiss and mouthed “I’ll miss you”; even though she could have easily reached out her hand and saved me.
Our mother was fully clothed reading a magazine on the other side of the room. Another big difference in moms then and moms now. Moms then let kids be kids. Moms then wore clothes to the pool and sat on the side reading magazines. They didn’t squeeze their postpartum bodies into trendy bathing suits and hover over their kids after a morning of reading up on the latest study of death spray, I mean sunblock. Moms now can’t do those things without other moms looking at us and our book or phone all judgy and perfect in her bikinis while they splash around with their correctly sun protected child.
You know, I can’t wear bikinis right now for 6 reasons.
1. Boob slippage
2. Boob leakage
3. Boob unevenage
4. Postpartum belly flab
5. Postpartum bruising
6. Postpartum I don’t want to wear a fucking bikinitis
It’s not that I don’t have fun getting splashed in the face by the man child swimming in the kiddie pool, I just think life guards have it too easy now and need to earn their paycheck.*
As Kait started planning out the new layout of her room now that I was dying, our mom, again fully clothed, jumped in and saved me. The following week we were in swim lessons where they purposely pushed me into the deep end with a very literal sink or swim teaching technique. I’m no Olympian, but I can now tred water and doggy paddle to safety in a pinch.
Evie started swim lessons around 3, which is probably why she still won’t get her face wet. Millie started swim lessons at 6 months, and our biggest struggle now is that she won’t let you touch her in the pool. No matter how deep, how busy; don’t touch her. The only thing better than how much Millie loves the water, is how much Evie hates that Millie loves the water. Millie splashes, and jumps, and goes under. Evie nearly flips backwards she tilts her head back so far trying to keep her face dry.
Liv settled into our water ring sling and slept the first hour and a half we were there. Her snuggled up in a sling while I watch the older girls play was one of those reassuring mom moments. Like a maybe I am cut out for this kind of moments. The moment was perfect, except for the perv old guy staring at my ass.
“She’s got the best spot in the place huh,” he said pointing at Livie snuggled on my chest.
“Yeah,” I said with raised eyebrows.
“I’d trade places with her…”
I started moving away, but also began singing Stacey’s Mom to myself since obviously that now means I am somebody’s MILF; even if it’s creepy old guy.
I think I need to smile less so strangers stop talking to me.
Yet despite all the fear, we put our hands back on the stove top. We burn, and we spend the day under the sun with our burnt hands and our sunburnt kids. We squeeze into our suits with our uneven boobs and we tolerate the creepy men. I signed up for a summer long pass to the stove top.
Mothers should be studied, I bet we’re all clinically crazy.
*totally a joke, thank you life guards everywhere