Soccer Mom would have a much better ring to it, but I only have so much to work with.
Our Fall sport of choice was for my daughters to join a swim team. They have a natural ability which they inherited from their father. Had they inherited my swimming genes, they would sink like stones every time they enter the water.
We began swim practice about a month ago. And by “we” I mean the two girls, the younger brother, and the hapless chauffeur/mother. The only two who are actually on the team roster are the two sisters, but I would like for it to be known that I’m getting just as much of a workout. And Jensen is along for entertainment value.
The girls practice 3 times a week. During Saturday practice, we have a lifeguard, so that all the siblings can frolic in the shallow end of the pool. But during the weekday practices, the moms have had to resort to desperate measures in an effort to keep the youngsters cooled off.
For the record, it took me approximately 236 pitchers of pool water to fill up Jensen’s tub. Then I happened upon the brilliant plan of bringing our 6 gallon water container, wherein I could lug all 150 pounds of water in three trips.
This worked like a charm until I lost the 6 gallon container in the mayhem of packing the children up after a particularly grueling practice, which included me taking an unplanned swim.
Jensen had tired of his mini-pool and was wading into the actual forbidden pool (because of insurance reasons, the younger kids couldn’t actually swim without a lifeguard present). I allowed him only to sit on the first two steps. Well, because he is who he is, Jensen pushed the envelope by attempting to work his way down another two steps.
I was sitting in my folding chair enjoying a little shade, adult conversation, and some cole slaw, when I noticed my son deliberately throwing his dinosaur out into the pool so that he’s have to recapture it by going outside of the forbidden zone. I hauled myself out of my chair while still holding my cole slaw and marched over to the steps of the pool. I leaned over to give the boy the stink eye, while issuing a significant threat under my breath so that only he could hear it.
I must have shifted my center of gravity in such a way that I found myself no longer standing, and I realized that a soaking was imminent. Hoping to avoid getting wet and thusly saving the cole slaw, I reached out with my free hand and grabbed the railing. This only succeeded in somehow turning me completely around so that when I landed in the water, I was facing all of the parents. I managed to save the cole slaw, but my behind was down around the 3rd step and my feet were up on the side of the pool. My right hand still clung to the railing. And yes, I was fully clothed.
You know how you have those moments when you think, “Please dear God, let the attention be focused elsewhere.” I looked up to see many many sets of surprised eyes upon me. One girlfriend mouthed, “Are you all right?” I nodded. My mind raced. There was no way I could make it look like that was a planned move.
I got up, dusted off my pride, wrung out my palazzo pants legs, and sloshed back to my chair. My friends made note about how surprised they were at how silent I remained throughout the whole ordeal. One said, “I impressed that you didn’t even blame Jensen!”
“Oh, but I did. IN MY HEAD.”
We had our first meet last Saturday and I made the tactical error of volunteering to be the tent mom for the 11-12 year old set during the meet. I had my list of my group of kids and all their events cut and pasted onto card stock. Then I color coded them by event and gender using numerous shades of hi-lighter. A work of art, to be sure. And I assumed that by volunteering to be a tent mom, there would actually be, you know, a tent.
We were told to arrive at the meet (after a 2 hour practice that morning) at 12:45. I arrived with the girls at 12:30 to find the pool sides already packed with other teams, coaches, and their tents. None of our coaches were there, much less a tent. And have I mentioned that this is Florida? In September? And the head index is somewhere around 140 degrees in direct sunlight?
Well, I hurriedly called Fiddledaddy and asked him to head back home to retrieve our bedraggled canopy. One other mom brought a tent for her family and graciously let us use it to house some of our team kids. But with a team of about 75 kids, we were nothing more than sardines huddled under a small amount of fabric. Therefore, I spent a good deal of the next FIVE HOURS out in the sun, with my trusty clipboard, herding children to and fro to the starting blocks.
People. I’ve never ever even seen a swim meet, much less tried to help keep one running smoothly.
At the end of the day everyone did well, and no one died. Which was surprising, because between the heat and the hot flashes, I was pretty sure I was going to spontaneously combust in full view of everyone. I’m not a fan of heat. I just want to be clear about that.
On the bright side, however, I’m down 4 dress sizes from ALL THE SWEATING.
Three more meets to go over the next two months. I’m thinking we’ll be switching to a calmer sport next time around. Like wrestling. I’m pretty sure the meets are air conditioned.