Swimming with kids.
How I imagine it.
Get the bus to the pool, special treat so everyone behaves perfectly, walk to the pool, change, get in the pool, have lots of fun, dry off, dress, go home happy.
Can’t find the armbands, where on earth can they be? Find three eventually, wonder if it would be possible to manage with three…..realise that is a silly idea and resume search. Find the other armband in the dog bed.
Bus leaves in 9 minutes.
Feeling the stress. Gather costumes and towels, wondering all the while why I didn’t do this earlier because when I took advantage of the mythical hypnotic powers of a certain cartoon pig, I instead sat down and browsed buzzfeed with a cup of tea! Can’t find a bag, how this is possible?! I have no idea, we must have 50 bags of varying types scattered round the house, presumably they are all in a cupboard together somewhere.
(My children are collectors and hoarders, we recently found all my son’s precious teddys and both bedtime cloths at the back of a bathroom cupboard after three whole weeks of searching, I wouldn’t mind but they seem to forget almost instantly where they put things and look as surprised as us when they reappear!)
Kids and dog all excited and as usual, need to all be as close as possible, preferably touching me while I attempt to run round the house gathering things up.
Bus in 7 mins.
Instruct kids to put shoes on. Cue debate about appropriate footwear, I deem sparkly beaded party shoes unsuitable, am floored by the argument that going swimming is as exciting as a party and so should be allowed. No time to argue.
Leave. Lock door.
Realise my phone is not in my bag, debate leaving it but in the 30 seconds I am thinking about it my mind has conjured up such a terrifying scenario involving a bus accident, a severed leg and the need I would have for that phone that I run back in.
Despite firm instruction to the contrary, dog goes out, kids follow me back in.
Bus in 4 mins.
March everyone, (minus the dog!), to the bus stop, doing a very fair imitation of a Sargeant Major preparing soldiers for a drill in front of the Queen.
Have to chivvy and encourage every 20 seconds until we reach the bus stop.
Bus is late. Thank goodness!
Bus arrives and arguments commence over……who gives the driver the money, where we sit and who presses the bell. There is then a short walk to the pool, 25 slow minutes later, after inspecting every ant, piece of fluff, stick, bird poo and old chewing gum, we make it to the pool, squeeze into a tiny cubicle where there is lots of elbowing and questioning over the need to remove clothes, (big girl), and the need to wear swim shorts at all, (small boy).
By this point, the nervous tic in my clenched jaw has returned, and I’m wondering why on earth I bothered. The pool closes soon and we’ve not even thought about dinner.
Some more elbowing, moaning and then finally, the raging war over who puts the locker token in tips me over the edge and I make
an emergency a call to Mr Bear for reinforcements because I really don’t want him to miss out on our lovely family swim trip. 😉
On reflection, I’m just so glad I went back for my phone, the reality of the trip was just so much worse then anything my fevered imagination had conjured up before I left!! And if you think going in the car is any less stressful…..read this!