Monday, June 25, 2012

Slip and Slide

 "The Daddy bus is better than your bus!"

I was worried about this morning. My daughter was due to start her first swimming thing of the Summer at a local outdoor pool. It's twice a week for a month and would normally be a great way to get outside in the mornings before the hot sun and crippling humidity kicks in. Except when I went running early in the morning it was 52 degrees and raining. By the time the kids got up it wasn't much warmer, but the rain had held off a tad. The sky was so dark and ominous it actually looked like it was about to snow (good Lord that would be fantastic). Annoyingly too it's been so warm lately that I'd put away almost all my sons clothes that aren't t-shirts and shorts. So now if it's cooler or wet he only has the one long sleeved shirt out. My daughter said she understood that it might not happen today. Didn't matter though - she'd still be upset about it. No amount of prefacing or reality would prevent her from feeling like she'd been not allowed to do something that might be fun.

In an effort to promote the idea to everyone that it would be a good thing to poo before we all left I tried to set an example. At which point my son wandered in to do his latest weird thing. He came into the bathroom with this.

Now - I should explain that these past few days my daughter has played a harmless but annoying game where she controls me like a robot. She then pretty much makes me do a lot of things like dancing, exercise and hitting myself for comedy value. I normally wouldn't be so willing to do that every time she wanted to do it, but I've found that when she's being violent/unreasonable that pretending she is a robot seems to work as well.

Anyway - my son has taken this idea and made it more awful. So now when he knows I'm in the bathroom he rushes in with a controller - seemingly trying to control the movement (now that's good writing...) of what I was doing. After I delicately told him to naff off he ducked down and tried to slide the aerial of the controller between me and the seat. Pesky little bugger. I got him to clear off before that was achieved in any way. Neither of my kids felt motivated in any way to chip in either. What a let down. 

By the time we got to the pool it was just above 60 degrees and the sky was doing that rapidly-moving cloud thing where the sun comes out very fleetingly as they rolled past. There was one other family there. I told my daughter we'd wait for ten minutes and see if a bus showed up with other people. Five minutes later one did and 30 kids got out. The lifeguard at the pool then animatedly pointed out that we aren't supposed to be there for another thirty minutes. Even the people taking care of the kids agreed that they knew that, but that the town insisted on the pick-up times so this is just when we'll all show up for a month. So with that the whole pile of us went nuts on the nearby playground for half an hour.

It's a nice playground too - if not a teensy bit big for my son for him to just get on with it with the bigger kids rampaging around like they do. So he had me follow him around a lot. My daughter met up with four kids from her Pre-K class - all of whom were ridiculously excited to see on another - and ran around like a demented weevil. I had my camera so I took a few pictures and a video or two for that idea I had about posting them linked to Google Maps so people looking for a playground can see exactly what's there. Then I realized that it probably seemed a bit weird for an adult - the only male as well - to be stood on a playground taking video of everything but his own kids. So I toned it down a bit and figured I'd just get anything I fancied getting in two days when we come back. In the meantime though here's me and my son on the main raised platform part with my son.

Now - call me a cynic if you want, but I think a slide stops being as exciting once a child defecates on it. I know - maybe I'm just being fussy. Seriously though one of the kids belting about - one fo the older ones as well who was about 8 or 9 - sheepishly admitted to his mother that he;d crapped himself. Not only that but he'd had a go at scraping it off his own arse and wiping it off on things around him. Notably that big twirly slide you can see at the end of the video above. He'd apparently jarred loose a shart on the way down and checked himself at the bottom - realized the chaos that had occurred and then bravely tried to tackle the situation himself. His mother had been notified by a sibling. Which was good because it happened right after I took that video and I overheard him revealing it to his sister. And with me being an adult I would be obligated to go tell the mother that her eldest child has not only curled on out, but that he's now tagging everything with it like the cat from Red Dwarf marking his territory. The mother came over - decided not employ tact by keeping it quiet and sorting it out covertly - and loudly commanded her kids to go up the slide looking for similar smeared wedges of monkey fudge and to yell down if they found any. Evidently it was just the lip of the slide at the bottom where every kid puts their hands to stand up, and the pole next to it that the boy/frosting pipe had sullied. So she scraped it off with her shoe and then proclaimed it was all fine for the kids to get on with. No - it isn't. There's now invisible shit on the slide. Thankfully neither of my kids went down before the town cryer announcement was made that a beige banana had been mashed into things.

Then the lifeguard called them all in to swim. My daughter said she was fine getting her clothes off (bathing suit underneath) and lining up with the other 5 year old kids with her towel and goggles. I had to ask because they lock the gate and can't promise to let you in during the swim. So me and the boy wandered off to goof around while she had fun. He was particularly interested in checking out the stuff about 50 feet from the main playground designed for little kids. Stuffl ike this -:

We periodically wandered past the fence around the pool to wave hello. Then after about half an hour I came back and she wasn't in the pool. Probably in the bathroom. Another six or seven minutes past and I asked the lifeguard to let us in to check. On the way through the changing room she picked up my daughter who had gone to the bathroom and was now stuck halfway in her wet bathing suit. She was cold and upset. She said she was done swimming when I got there but cried harder when I told her that was fine and we could just go get her dressed. Then I figured out the second problem - she'd left her clothes on the changing room floor and they were now wet. Which wouldn't bother her one iota if we were home. We play in the rain. She climbs in and out of the pool fully dressed. She jumps in the sprinkler/hose water without a care at all. But this combined with the stuck bathing suit made her feel like she didn't like swim class.

But I'm a hero. I brought spare clothes. Just in case hers got wet. I didn't bring socks though and that upset her a little - but not enough to not go back and jump around on the playground some more to warm up. We tried this weird thing out. My dismount is pretty feeble.

She told me she doesn't want to swimming in case she gets stuck in her suit again. I don;t want her to quit two swimming programs. Thankfully she's an avid and very good swimmer so it's not fear of water at all. She throws herself in the lake bout back of the in-laws without a care in the world. So I told her we can go get her a two piece suit so it's just like going to the bathroom normally then. She liked that - especially the idea that her and her mother could go late after work maybe tonight or tomorrowand make an occasion out of it. I also told her I know a secret way to not get clothes wet (not putting them in puddles, basically). So we should go back in a few days and get it right. Then after one more run around on the main playground I told her it was time to head home. At which point she bellowed at an exceptionally loud volume, "The Daddy bus is better than yours!!!" and we left.

You could see how mystified the other Moms were after that claim when we slowly moseyed away in a blue Dodge Minivan.

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