Both pairs of swim suits - check
Two swim towels - check
At least two special swim diapers - check
Regular diapers - check
Wipes - check
Two plastic bags for dry and wet apparel - check
Arm floaties - check
Body wash for sensitive skin - check
Sippy cup with water - check
Packed lunch - check
Handgel - check
Wallet with 20p for locker rental - check
House keys - check
Mobile phone - check
Bus pass - check
Giant reusable shopping bag to carry everything - check
Pram to haul it all around in - check
And am I forgetting anything? Oh yes, the toddler.
Off we go to the unsheltered bus stop in the middle of the field, hoping it does not rain while we wait. Our bus pulls up after the 100th time I check my bus times app - check to make sure there is room for our buggy. Bingo! We are off the a local (someone's, not very local to us) leisure centre for toddler splash. Twenty (or so) minutes later we fumble our way awkwardly off the bus, sorry-sorry mustn't look incompetent or hold anyone up for a second longer than I have to. We walk up and around the long way to avoid the lifts (f*** you shifty-eyed maniacal closets) and we are in!
Almost. We queue up behind other exhausted parents/carers, pay our fee and buzz around the corner to park-up the stroller. No, leave it, this way, come on Peaches, let’s go. I maneuver this tiny creature while carrying all our crap and pretending her head is a giant joystick. This way, this way, through the security gates as they buzz us in. We made it!
Just about. A little side stepping action to grab some shower caps for my shoes and we enter the locker rooms area. I have learned my lesson and we bee-line for the family changing areas. Peaches sits on the bench removing everything from our giant shopping bag as I quickly wrestle this soft globular body into my swim costume. Now to disrupt her exploring to balance her on the hard rickety benches to wrangle Peaches into the swim nappy and her costume. Mum! Mmmum! She shouts, as my title has become synonymous with “no, mine and stop” in her mind. I repack the shopping bag, grab that mighty girl up and head to the… LOCKERS.
Nearly there! I pat our way through the puddled labyrinth of metal container trying to locate one large enough to accommodate our stuff. A large one is free, perfect! I shove our things in number 72, place my 20p in the slot, close the door and turn the bracelet key. DAMN, the strap is broken.. I shove it under my cleavage quickly as it is finally pool time! Just about.
With Peaches in my clutches we pad over to the shower wall for a complete rinse down (you would be surprised how many people skip this part). I peek out at the pool and see the instructor has started rounding everyone into a circle. Everything takes longer with kids, so we are typically late. We toddle briskly to the pool area and wade into the warm waters joining the other exhaustive children and their beleaguered parents.
Once the session is finished, we do everything all over again but in reverse while shivering and sopping wet. What fun!
I love swimming but Peaches has not taken to as quickly I thought she might. It is a process, with each session she gets a little more comfortable with another aspect of the activity.
So why do I go through all this trouble at all?
Because it is important and character building or something along those lines.
I don’t know.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.