Getting back in the swim

In the swim: a swimming pool.

It’s funny how certain things can completely confound your expectations at times. Take last weekend, for example.

It was my turn to take youngest to her new weekly swimming lesson early on Saturday morning.

While I was, of course, looking forward to spending time with her it’s fair to say that the time and venue wouldn’t be my first choices.

The prospect of going out with no coffee in my system and to a ridiculously warm and echoey environment wasn’t particularly appealing. Particularly as one of her brothers has previous there!

But it was lovely in many ways. Now that I’m working full-time, I have significantly less time with my family. Especially one-on-one time with each of the kids. So here was an opportunity to get back in the swim. Sorry, not sorry.

On the bus, she immediately began the stream of consciousness commentary that preschoolers excel at. It was funny listening to the things she came out with and how she responded to things I chipped in with.

Suddenly, she seemed very grown-up and knowing. Until recently, she has really embraced being the baby of the family. But here she was acting very differently without everyone else around.

She strode into the leisure centre, confidently greeting the receptionist and leading the way to the changing rooms. There, the only thing she needed help with was her swimming hat.

Actually, I could have done with an extra pair of hands for that. Her hair is best described as an explosion in a mattress factory.

It was just as well we were 15 minutes early. Getting her spring-like curls into a tight rubber cap without hurting her was really bloody difficult!

She got in without a fuss while I found a space in the crowded sweat pit of a viewing area. I had to crane my neck to see what she was up to but didn’t mind – she was doing so well.

While she was a little unsure of herself at first – and not best pleased with other kids accidentally splashing her – she gave everything a go including retrieving weights from underwater.

I remember being a lot more reluctant in the self-same pool when I was a couple of years older than she is now so I was very impressed.

She obviously enjoyed her lesson as, once it was time to get out, she refused! I must have cut a rather ridiculous figure stood at the poolside fully clothed and holding all her stuff while trying to persuade her to climb out.

And, yes, in case you were wondering, I did resort to that essential parenting tactic of bribery. It was either that or jumping in, so my conscience is clear.

All in all, it was a lovely morning and, although I still don’t like the location, I’m looking forward to taking her again. I’m back in the swim.

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