Wednesday, May 6, 2009

big kicks and big ice cream scoops!

the swim lessons march on. and ava really came to do two things: 1) trust ryan-the-swim-teacher and let him do things like hold her by her torso horizontally on the top of the water to encourage her to "kick big kicks" and "use her ice cream scoops". ava spent most of her time clinging to ryan-the-swim-teacher's hands to make sure he didn't let go, keep her neck at the most awkward angle manageable to ensure that none of that water gets on her face and not kick her legs. because she is concentrating so hard on ryan-the-swim-teacher not surprising her with an inpromtu drowning, she can hardly hear him prompt her to kick. however, i consider all of this an improvement because the girl child was not crying.

yet on monday, she cried. sort of hysterically. and when ryan-the-swim-teacher attempted to take her out "swimming" she sort of scaled him and wrapped her little body around his head, only stopping there because there was nowhere to go. ryan-the-swim-teacher could not see, nor smell, nor talk nor hear. he tried reasoning with her and mumbled something incoherent. ava just shook her head and sobbed, "NO! NO! NO!" this happened repeatedly. i tried reasoning with her but honestly, i'm not much help. i can barely get her to keep her clothes on. plus i kept laughing. finally, ava unwrapped herself and ryan-the-swim-teacher set her on the steps to "chill out" (ava's words, not his) and teach the other students.

this involved a young boy named dane who was allowed to swim by himself. ryan-the-swim-teacher stood three feet away from the wall, reminded dane to use "big kicks" and "big ice cream scoops", then pushed him off. dane drowned. without a single kick or ice cream scoop, the kid flailed himself to the bottom of the pool, kicked himself off from the bottom and managed to grab the side of the pool. it was awful. holding my breath and the sides of my chair, i watched his little wet head pop up as he yelled, "MOM! DID YOU SEE ME? I SWIMMED!!!"

to which dane's mother replied, "wahoo! great job, dane! thumbs up!" (she's cheesy, but sweet).

what else happened? oh yeah! a terribly irritating mother who over-mothers watched her little girl have a private swimming lesson with angie, the pool manager, a woman i have come to really respect (not for this instance, but others). angie was teaching this little girl (maybe 18 months?) to put her face in the water by having her grab rings from the bottom step of the pool. after watching my daughter freak out and suction herself to the head of her swim teacher because he tried to help her touch the surface of the water, you can only imagine my amazement as this little girl did exactly as she was asked. very impressive. so despite the fact that the over-mother-er was cheering in a baby voice (a particular pet peeve i share with ryan) and was continually interupting angie to repeat to the child what angie had just said, only in a baby voice, i was interested. angie and child moved on to kicks (and i suspect, to get away from the over-mother-er), but she stood by the side of the pool, cheering and gooing. ryan-the-swim-teacher came along to scoop up the rings left on the step to try and get his class to stick their faces in the water (can you guess if ava did it? can you?) and over-mother-er tried to stop him.

"i don't think that's a good idea." she said. ryan-the-swim-teacher deals with parents all day, so he did what experience has taught him to do: he ignored her. she persisted, "my daughter's not going to be happy when she comes back and those rings are gone." she said, louder this time. ryan continued to ignore her and dropped the rings on the steps, telling his class (ava, dane and another little boy named eli) that they were going to grab the rings. offering ava his hand, he tried to encourage her. ava grabbed at them with her toes, and when that failed, retreated to the top step to calm her quivering chin. over-mother-er tried again, "my daughter was getting those rings from the bottom step."

ryan finally acknowledges her by looking over to the otherside of the pool, where angie and child are practicing kicks on a kickboard. then he turns to over-mother-er, "the toys are for everyone." is all he says. then he offers dane his hand. dane doesn't need it. he sort of flops on to the water and scrambles for the rings. over-mother-er then moves her mouth into an angry thin line, stamps her pedicured foot and goes over to the basket of "everyone's" toys, digs through for some rings, finds the remaining four and goes back to her seat, holding them on her lap.

that's right, ladies and gentleman: someone didn't learn to share. how am i supposed to have children when there are all of these crazy parents running around, making sure that their child gets the best and who cares what's left over for everyone else?


i love this whole mothering gig, but sometimes i feel nothing but dismay for many of my peers. and disdain.

so, here we are on wednesday. time for another swim lesson! let's hope the over-mother-er doesn't show up, that ava will at least go out into the water today and that dane doesn't drown.

whoever said motherhood was boring obviously never put her kids in swimming lessons.


cara lou said...


racheyroy said...

Oh the joys of swim lessons! Not that I have a child in them seeing as I do not have a child yet. But I have taught many children swim lessons.
First, we love and appreciate parents like you
Second, we really wish we had a special room for those special mothers that seperated us from them during their child's lessons.

Amber Marie said...

the "over-mother-er"...perfect.

Thank you for adding a new word to my vocabulary.

redstarmama said...

Swim lessons are always a trial of parental stamina, I find. This will be our third summer, and really, I begin to wonder if it's worth it.

Maybe the over-mother-er should have bought her little mermaid her very own set of diamond encrusted swim rings.

JesseJames said...

Oh man that story made me laugh because I know just how those swim teachers are feeling seeing how I'm still teaching swim lessons. Hang in there Ava will get it.As for the over mother er that is just too funny.