Sunday, April 19, 2009

all mouth and no trousers

One of the 'keep our grandson amused' schemes that my parents cooked up in advance of our trip was a visit to the swimming pool, for which cunning plan I packed the spud's swimsuit along with a healthy dose of scepticism.

Previous attempts to take our son swimming have met with varying levels of disaster. With the exception of the sea last summer out of which we could not drag him, each glimpse of water has been accompanied by screaming, struggling and various other levels of resistance. It didn't matter how temptingly his father paddled about in the local pool or how many other youngsters were there who were all enjoying it, the spud refused to take to the water.

So, it was not surprising today when we planted him in his carseat and told him that we were off to the pool that he immediately began repeating 'No swimming! No Swimming! No Swimming!' like an endless row of signs at the edge of a deep, dark, dangerous pit; clearly filled with sharks and possibly even the threat of cabbage.

Once inside, he caught sight of the pool and became rapidly hysterical. Mum and I had to carry him into the changing room with his little face all crumpled up with tears and his litany becoming increasingly louder and unintelligible.

As I took off his clothes and tried to get his dancing little legs into his swimsuit I started to feel like the Demon of all Mothers (not to mention the Mother of all Demons); I tried cajoling him with 'Remember the sea? You loved swimming in the sea. You'll like it I promise' as his sobs became ever wilder and my promises less promising.

As we shut the locker and turned the key he started pointing at it and shouting 'My trousers! My trousers!' and trying to skinny out of his swimsuit until in the end I had carry him to the pool while he battered me with all four limbs and his tonsils at the same time.

We finally made it into a really great little family pool with two levels of lovely warm shallow water full of little floating games for children. As I lowered him, still screaming, into the ankle-deep waters of the top pool while amused families looked on, it was like shutting off a circuit. 'Oh!' he exclaimed. 'Oh! Oh! This way Mummy!' and suddenly he was All About The Pool. He waded, he splashed, he poured water from little pots, he jumped up and down, and then as if he had been switched for a completely other child, he pointed to a float and when I brought it over, grabbed on with both hands and with me supporting him, started kicking his feet like he'd been swimming every day of his benighted little life. In this way he swam three laps of the kiddy pool and had to be pried off the float before I lost the use of my arms.

After nearly an hour of larking about and trying to sweet-talk me into letting him swim in the grown-up pool I dragged him away while predictably he begged for 'More swimming! More swimming!'. He collapsed into a deep sleep in the car and on waking looked at his grandmother and said 'swimming again please?'.

It's good this consistency thing. Makes life nice and interesting.


Helen + ilana = Hi said...

Don't know what you are on about..... Spud sounds totally consistent to me!

Word Verification
Insans...........oh c'mon yer kidding me........... no really it's


which is what you are after your kid puts on a performance like this one!!!

Rock on Mama you did great.

PS Hi Anonymous bet you could look at Sparx and say t'was ever thus!

Kat said...

Oh, spud. You're a crazy person, too! We've been dealing with just that same type of schizophrenia around here. "Mom, Milk! Please milk!" "Nononononooooooooo, I don't WANT milk, NO milk! I want JUICE!" "Hey, where's my milk? Milk, mommy! Now!"

It keeps us on our toes. You can say that for it.

Anonymous said...

Furthur proof that there is little difference between a toddler and a tiny, mentally deranged prison escapee. So glad he warmed up to the swimming and had fun!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Our children are twins. Could not get my eldest near water (except the sea, obviously) for love nor money. Told everyone. He screamed blue murder and clung to us like a gibbon. Finally got enticed to try again after many tearful screaming moments. Many friends there, all who knew the story. What does he do? Jump in. Like he has had lessons every week of his life. One part of me so proud. One part was screaming "you little sod!". He obviously needed the build up and the crowd to ensure full Mummy humiliation.

Anonymous said...

Good on 'yer, Spud! You keep mummy on her toes :)

Sparx said...

Helen - consistent for a toddler, yes! And the anonymouses are laughing their butts off at me...

Kat - lord, sounds about the same as here... how do we cope?!

Fishsticks - you're so right!

Brit in Bosnia - very funny! I think as Mum's we're doomed to this sort of thing...

More Than - don't encourage him!!!

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

He and Jonathan are so much alike. Jonathan used to be like that with baths and now I can't get him out of the bath. It's crazy. I just love the way you detailed it, though, because that really, really sounded like Jonathan when I took him into a pool like that last summer.

Love it!

Aren't they just adorable!? (And frustrating at times, but mainly adorable!)

Michelle said...

I know all about this consistency thing! What a great story!