Tuesday, April 28, 2009

swim lessons

now that i have two children, i'm signing ava up for swimming lessons. i figure keeping an eye on one child was hard enough last summer and if i have to multitask (not my greatest strength) i'll probably end up calling ryan from the inside of an ambluance while someone is rushed to the hospital because watching two children fling their arms around in the water is so dang confusing.

so i tell ava about her swim lessons, she gets really excited and starts talking about her swim lessons and all of the boys that are going to be there, too. i have no idea what she's talking about. i never mentioned a single boy. i'm trying not to read too much into that comment. we show up and she's so eager to get in to the pool, i have to physically restrain her which leads to her feeling cranky. lately ava has been rather cranky. ask my mother. everytime she sees me i'm following an irritated ava and shooting nasty looks at her little bobbing piggy-tales. she's saying things like, "don't do that, mom." and if you could hear the disdain in her voice you'd do one of two things: you'd give her a swift kick in the pants, which is what i'm dying to do, or you'd give me a hug. actually, there are three options. i know there are three options because my mom always chooses the third, which is laughter. when my daughter speaks to me as though she's one of the miniature self-absorbed divas on the mtv television show, sweet sixteen my mother laughs. good and hard. at least she has the decency to cover her mouth with her hand, but i can still see the corners of the her mouth. and they're pretty high. i mean, the woman is smiling so hard that she can't even hide her smile with one hand. she needs two hands. i can only hope she's not thinking, "vengence is mine!" although i wouldn't put it past her. there's a great possibility that i was a handful as a small child. a very cute handful, but a handful nonetheless (as opposed to now, where i have become a cute and LARGE handful).

so, we're at the pool and ava is sitting on the hot sidewalk because that's where i restrained her and that's where she's going to sit just to show me how mad she is. and i can't make her move. not that i care. well, i do. a little. i care because the other mothers are sending concerned looks my way. they are the same looks i get when they see i am not dunking ava in a vat of sunscreen before i let her go out to be a part of society. and even though i turn my nose up at enormous vats of sunscreen, those looks still make me feel like i should feel guilty which is almost like feeling guity, which i hate. anyway, i'm mostly fine with her sitting on the hot pavement. in fact, i'm certain a tiny part of me wants it to burn her bottom. that'll teach her not to listen to me!

finally, the current class climbs out and are wrapped up in enormous towels held out by eager mommies. the teachers hold clipboards, shout their names, the names of their students and extend an offer for all to jump in the pool. i take ava over to her teacher, named ryan just like my husband (ava loves this idea) and show her where she's supposed to get in.

she freaks out. this whole getting wet in the pool thing? this swim lesson thing? it is a terrible idea. so, when ryan-the-swim-teacher suggests everyone get in, i grab ava by the fists and dangle her over the water. then i stick her in. and ava reacts as though it's a pool of acid. but that's okay, she'll get over it.

the rest of the lesson was spent on the steps where ava did everything in her power to ignore ryan-the-swim-teacher and make sure i didn't move more than 18-inches away from the poolside.

half an hour later, the other children get out of the pool and run to eager mommies with towels. ava deigns to pour water on ryan-the-swim-teacher's head as he does everything in his power to win her over. then she gets out. i have to admit that i hold out a towel, but i'm not that eager. more just tired.

on the way home ava suddenly says happily, "i went to swim lessons today!"

"yeah?" I answer.

"yes! i love swim lessons!"

of course she does.


Annie Get Your Camera said...

"anyway, i'm mostly fine with her sitting on the hot pavement. in fact, i'm certain a tiny part of me wants it to burn her bottom. that'll teach her not to listen to me!"

Oh how I can relate! I currently have a 3 1/2 year old who's favorite thing to say is "I caaaaaan't!"

Good luck with those swim lessons!

Mandy said...

I just love your blog and your honesty. One of the good things about having a boy is that I have managed to postpone the inevitable "daughter just like you" moments. But she is dang cute and hilarious...and I am really enjoying reading about how she keeps you on your toes! :)

Aria Bethards said...

That's hilarious! Ava sure gives you a run for your money. But kids like that make life interesting. That's what I tell myself with my little 9-month-old drama queen. It's amazing how much personality can fit into such tiny little bodies.

Katie said...

oh honey! i could see this exact thing happen to me. it is painful to hear because it is that close to my child.

i miss all of your stories... well hearing them in PERSON. keep us posted on how it goes.

pillpotblankies said...

I just can't write in words how funny this is, only because I seem to feel like this is going to ultimately happen to me....come over and swim at our house and maybe Ava will once again fall in love with swimming:)