I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Swimming, Who Would?

This is a post I forgot to publish from May 2011 when Ellie was 4.5 and Maia was nearly 3 and I was not pregnant yet with Millie!

The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. 

Its seems like a good idea when frequently suggested by the girls, a great source of exercise and immense fun,  but generally something seems to come up and we usually manage to not go,. As if some force were keeping me safe....now I remember why!

Today though, I followed through on the request, organised ourselves, did a bit of house stuff first and off we went.  Well, I say that like it was nothing, initially they emptied out the prepared swimming bag to see what was inside, so everything had to be found and repacked.  Costumes were worn already, so some persuasion on clothes was required.  Maia decided on a trainer and a welly, I didn’t see the point in arguing since she was making her way to the car of her own accord...don’t break the spell!  Ellie had to be convinced to actually wear shoes instead of just tights.  Momentary stop on way up road to check Ellie had definitely put her costume back in the bag. 

I had made the decision to go to a further away pool, for reasons which will become clear, but 5minutes into our journey Ellie was screaming she needed the toilet, the nearer pool was 2minutes away and I couldn’t actually remember the way to the other pool without going all round the houses, and peeing needed,  I decided not to stress and go to the near one.  I knew there was a reason not to, I knew this already and yet STILL I chose to go. 

This pool has 4 different pool type areas.  The main deep pool.  The baby pool.  A smaller shallow round pool and a 'spa' pool with slides coming off it into the baby pool.  I say 'spa' but it NEVER works and is just a through pool to the slides into the baby pool.

Herein lies the problem.  The council policy says I can go swimming with two toddlers, 1:2 ratio but they also say I MUST be with my child at ALL times.  So in we go......Maia wants to go into the big main pool straight away but I persuade her to go into the baby pool first.  So far so good, they are having a ball with their rubber rings and I feel in control mum.    We make friends with a grandpa and his devil jump right in no fear 3yr old grandson.  After a short while, Maia needs to go to the toilet again, but Ellie refuses to come with.  I can't leave Ellie alone in the pool, so ask grandpa who is there he can 'watch' Ellie too.  I say, she can touch the ground and I have no worries.  I take Maia to the toilet with one of the staff saying I can't leave Ellie, I let them know that she is being watched by → that person.  They are appeased. 

Next, Maia wants to go to the shallow round pool, but Ellie wants to go on the slides, Maia doesn't.  I am in the process of persuading Maia out of the baby pool and possibly go on the slide with me, whilst Ellie walks round to the spa pool, make her way through it and starts to go down the slide.  The staff start having kittens.   I can't persuade Maia to go to the slide, meanwhile Ellie is already out and walking round to go down the slide again, this time with the grandpa and boy in tow.  I have an ingenious idea and suggest the grandpa stays at the top of the slide and I stay in the baby pool to 'catch' them whilst Maia stays and swims about.  This doesn't meet with council approval.  Someone has to actually WALK with Ellie round to the spa pool in case:

1.She might run and slip
2.She might suddenly decided to go over to the main pool and jump in (even though she would NEVER even try without me being there to catch her)
3.Someone might walk off with her ??????????????????? WTF

I then suggest that maybe the staff instead of sitting in their high tower could stand half way between the pools and 'guide' Ellie to the other pool.  I inform them that she would never go to the main pool alone, she knows to walk and how this makes it utterly impossible to go swimming  at their facility.  The staff helpfully suggest I should bring someone with me, I practically laugh in her face and say 'well yes, if I could, I would have someone with me all day every day'.  Meanwhile Ellie is happily using the slide and Maia is bobbing in the baby pool, so effectively I am with neither whilst they 'talk' to me about it

So now Ellie has had a few turns of the slide and  decides she wants to go to the main pool and use the mini slide there.  So I have to persuade Maia to join us and we stay there having some fun whilst splashing in and out of the lane swimmers who go right past the mini slide, why they didn’t choose to go on the other side of the pool I don’t know.

Maia needs the toilet again and Ellie has persuaded the mum to go with her to the slides again, so all is well for a bit. 

We then we all take up residence in the shallow round pool and we are joined by grandpa and boy, and mum and dad with little girl. Mum agreeing with me the difficulties of swimming with two and the lack of involvement of staff considering the place is practically empty.  Then disaster strikes.  Whilst ALL of us are in the shallowest of the pools, Maia accidentally tips on her rubber ring and goes under the water for a few seconds, unable to right herself.  The guard who is on the complete other side of the facility makes a shrieking sound and I turn to rescue her.  A split second indeed!  Shaken and upset, Maia needs a feed for comfort, but as I have previously had issues with feeding in the pool, I need to get out and persuade Ellie to come out too.  Thankfully the mum, takes Ellie away to give me time to calm Maia down. 

By this time I REALLY want to go home, but realise Maia needs to get straight back in the water and have fun to avoid further fear.  And the brave munchkin she totally is, she is right back in on her ring no problem!

I finally persuade the girls its time to leave and make a mental stamp on my forehead NOT to go back to that pool any time soon probably even with another helping hand. 

Swimming...who would do it with 2 toddlers?

Meltdowns - none
Losing the Plot - almost with pool staff
Breastfeeding - in the pool shock horror

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