Swimming Lesson Hell

Swimming Lesson Hell

It’s July, and the frantic pace of my teacher’s May has been replaced with a euphoria that only comes from alarm free days, more than ten minutes to eat lunch, and workout attire as the acceptable dress for the WHOLE day. I’m enjoying time with my husband and my three daughters. I’m reading more, sleeping more, and exercising more. I feel like Indiana Jones who survives insurmountable perils and chooses the real Holy Grail!

Then, my momentary bliss fades away and is replaced by panic as I realize today is also the first day of swimming lessons. My paradise comes crumbling down like a coffee cake sliding off the cooling rack and hitting the floor before you've even had one bite. The floor that the dog just puked on. Damn.

Before you start to think I don't value swimming lessons, let me be clear. I'm not opposed to lessons. Drowning scares the bejeezus out of me! My girls must learn water safety and be able to swim for survival. It's all the tangential pieces of lessons that I detest.

The temperature is annoying. If you're outside for lessons, be prepared for frigid temps, rain, or a Sahara-like sun scorching down on you for an hour. If you're inside for lessons, the sauna-like temps will make everything on you run: your make-up, your deodorant, the sweat in the middle of your back quickly followed by the sweat in between your butt cheeks. Good luck ignoring that feeling for 45 minutes.

Water + kids = instant chaos. Put a kid of any age by any amount of water and watch the chaos ensue. A pool full of water only multiplies the chaos by a thousand. I've watched kids refusing to let go of mom's leg turn into barbarians resembling the kids from Lord of the Flies in less than ten seconds. Listening disappears. Order flies out the door. Drowning probability rises. The teacher in me wants to begin spewing: Show me how to be a good listener: Voices off. Eyes on the teacher. Hands and feet quiet while the teacher is talking. But I don't. I bite my tongue because I don't think the other parents would appreciate my teacher takeover.

Twenty towels and ten pairs of goggles seems like the average at my house during swimming lessons. Can no one make an indestructible pair of goggles? I could have a pretty fabulous pair of shoes with the money I've spent this year alone on goggles. It's insane! My girls also feel compelled to have a dry towel for lessons as well as going to the pool at another time during the day to practice what they've learned in lessons. 2 towels x 3 girls x 5 days...Whatever. More laundry for me. Brilliant.

Locker rooms at the pool are DISGUSTING. Wet suits, wet towels, wet hair, and bare, wet feet. How is it that no one has invented a floor dryer that stays on so the floor never gets icky? Come on. There’s got to be someone out there who’s smart enough to do this. For the love, please do it! I can hardly bare to tread on the wet floor to help my youngest daughter change while avoiding all the long hairs plastered to the wetness.  Whose hair is that? What type of hair is that? Jesus! Just thinking about it makes my stomach queasy. I beg my daughter to just leave on the wet suit, so we can sprint out of this nightmare. She refuses. I throw out a quality bribe: frozen yogurt with four toppings, and she caves. Just get me out of this chlorine-smelling, fungus-harboring room of wet bodies!

Suffice it to say that I’m counting the days to the end of this self-inflicted hell. I will survive, my girls will learn to swim, and just maybe, I’ll have some time left to revisit the summer euphoria I had only begun to experience.