Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A Giant Leap for Momkind

It's no secret that so far, this is the summer of my dreams. Even without a trip to somewhere lizardy and exotic, this is probably the most relaxation I've had since 2001.

For the sensitive and mathematically savvy out there, it feels downright mean to hint at the fact that summer has been a little non-fun since I had kids, but it's slightly (cough cough) true.

Of course there has been "fun"--the kind of excitement and thrills that are available when you take toddlers to the pool. And the thrills are multiplied when these toddlers love the water so incredibly much that they are FEARLESS and try to drown themselves regularly.

Both Jackson and Lilly discovered immense joy by catapulting off the side of the pool before they had the faintest clue that emerging from deep waters alive would be a nice follow-up to a canon ball. They didn't even gesture for me to "watch this!" or "catch me!"

{p.s. i cannot even tell you how many things i love about this photo}

NO. They waited until I blinked for one nanosecond or dared to pick my swimsuit out of my hiney to run to the other end of the pool and try some daring stunt (headfirst, if they were really plotting things out) into water far deeper than their toddler stature.

{they shunned flotation devices and the zero-depth section in infancy}

At this point, the lifeguards were whistling violently and clearing out the pool. While I hung my head in obligatory motherhood shame, the OTHER child, who I admittedly left unattended to rescue the co-conspirator, had pulled the same stunt at the other end of the pool, thus clearing out a 25 meter swimming radius.

If you aren't relaxed and thinking of strawberry daquiris and palm trees by now, then pull up a lounge chair (or DON'T since I hadn't sat poolside in nearly a decade) and get ready for Act 2: Adult Swim.

Step 1: Lifeguards blow whistle to get kids out of water.

Step 2: My kids dramatically sob and cry because paid teenage sunbathers force them to stop their near-drowning tactics for 10 minutes while they check to make sure no one has puked in the pool.

Step 3: I finally calm the kids down and bribe them with a snack.

Step 4: Approximately 2 minutes later, the lifeguard blows his whistle, signaling everyone to jump in.

Step 5: Kids start crying because they are TORN between wanting to eat and wanting to swim and they desperately want to take food in the pool.

Step 6: I cry behind my over-sized, under-priced sunglasses because I am exhausted and cannot win and there isn't even a Snack Shack to sell me a consolation prize ice cream bar.

{i cannot believe they used to fit in a chair together}

Of course, I quickly discovered the route to true happiness was the backyard pool with waterslide.

The greatest downside is that there is no dignified way for an overheated adult to get wet except to slink over the deflating sides of the starfish pool and curl up sideways in the fetal position.

Which, since I have no dignity, I did from time to time.

(I'll not even list the drawbacks to the backyard swimmer's paradise, except to mention the freezing water temperature, dead grass patch, obvious peeing in the pool, wide variety of bugs and their eggs, enough grass to support a small pasture, and entire popsicles submerged and then eaten.)

Clearly, this is all a distant memory as I read novels (yes, actual books, not just magazine headlines) from the sidelines now.

I do miss the sweet toddler smiles and daily language discovery, but the swim diapers gone awry and pre-naptime meltdowns are blessedly forgotten(ish).

All that drowning/swimming chaos aside, I thought it was wise to bring a teeny bit of structure to our summer. And it looks like this:

Nothing big, but a small daily goal to bring some rhythm to decidedly lazy days. We're a few weeks in and the kids and I are loving it.

What I didn't put on the schedule is "pool"...every single day.

Ah yes, the world is as it should be.


SEF said...

Glad you didn't put "art" on F-ridays. W-art looked funny enough.