Friday, June 22, 2018

Swimming Update

On Monday, I took all the children out to our property. Did I mention we bought some property last year? I can't remember. Probably because I was 9 months pregnant when we closed on it. So last August we bought seven acres of land just about ten minutes away from our current house on which we will, one fine day, build a house, if ever we scrape up the money to do such a thing. This property is hereafter referred to as "the land" until we can agree upon a proper name. I feel like it should have a name in the manner of an English estate. Suggestions?

Back to Monday. We recently came into possession of a goodly number of bricks that needed to be transported to the land. Everyone wanted to help Daddy unload the bricks, but only one person can ride in Daddy's truck so I was engaged to bring the balance of children to help Daddy unload bricks. It was north of 90 degrees, the middle of the afternoon, and a good time was had by all. By the end of the day, however, it was apparent I had made acquaintance with a veritable colony of chiggers who had enjoyed feasting upon my tender skins.

Tuesday was a horror of itching and by Wednesday morning, my ability to resist the urge to scratch was waning fast. "We are going swimming," I announced suddenly at about 10 o'clock in the morning, thinking the water might could lessen the itch.

Unlike the well-planned and prepared outing I had hoped for at the end of the last swimming trip, this was a circus of cat herding. Desperate times and all. Nothing was together. The children's swimsuits were damp from sprinkler running the previous day. I carried forth anyway. We finally got out of the house at 11:30am. No, I didn't bring any food this time either.

I signed Ella (and Sam and Marian) into childcare, remembering Ella's ridiculous crawling socks, at 11:55am. The lady pointedly asked me if I knew when childcare closed. "Yes. 1pm," I responded. "No, 12:55pm," she answered. "Or before that if possible," another woman chimed in. Sure, lady. I internally rolled my eyes. Out the door, big girls to the gym, and to the locker room.

I got into the pool with my green floaty noodle at 12:05. Sweet, sweet relief. I was right. The water *did* take the itch away. I swam back and forth. I was, by far, the slowest person in the lanes. Still, my newly purchased earplugs allowed me to put my head in the water without dying. I even once swam half the length of the pool and back without my floaty noodle! I will get stronger. I will. I enjoyed 30 minutes of itch free bliss.

Out of the pool and back to childcare by 12:45. Ella is crawling around without her socks. The woman hands me her socks and tells me these socks are insufficient because Ella keeps pulling them off and that I need to bring better socks next time. I blink. Does there exist a baby who does not pull off her socks? Has the person who created these rules ever met a baby? No matter. We carry on. I'll see if I can find the baby slippers.

I gather all the children and make ready for the pool. Sunscreen application is less hectic because it is cloudy so I am less concerned with total coverage on the big kids, and I bought a lotion for baby which is easier to apply. I blow up the baby floater ring I bought for Ella. This is my solution for two non-swimmers. Ella can sit in the ring, but I can let go of her in the moment if I need both hands for some reason. All kids into the pool. I walk with Ella in her float ring on one arm and Marian in the other arm. I also made sure that a big kid is assigned to Marian if ever I needed to turn my attention away from her. No attempted drownings this time.

Ella, once again, falls asleep. Is this stress? This is so weird to me for her to sleep every time she is in a pool. Her pool exposure has made bathtime a little less excruciating, though. She still cries, but not as long or as loud.

At ten minutes to 2, the whistle blows and it is time for everyone to exit the pool. I guess there is a ten minute break at the top of every hour? We are learning. This is our cue to leave. Still, in total a solid two hours of chigger itch relief. Everyone out of the pool and dried off and hurry, hurry, hurry because I have a hair appointment at 3. Time management is not my strong point. We still haven't eaten lunch.

I pull into the driveway at 2:40. It's pouring down rain. I run into the house, hastily nurse a baby, jump into the shower to soap off, get dressed, grab the baby in the car seat and run back out the door at 2:55. All the rest of the kids stay home with Dave to eat lunch. I roll into the salon at 3:15 for my 3pm appointment. My hairdresser looks at me and says, "I was starting to get worried. You are never late." She obviously doesn't know me very well.

I am going to do this summer swimming thing if I bust wide open.

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