For the first time this summer, we had a free weekend. It hadn’t occurred to me until halfway through Friday. I was plowing through the third kid’s drawers, removing the too small clothing, sorting and folding. I had cleaned the closets and all the drawers. Where was I getting all this time? Why did it take until August to get to this? What do I typically do on Fridays?
Oh yeah, that’s right. I run to soccer tournaments.
Immediately the guilt hit me. Here we had one free weekend and I was cleaning, and making the kids clean as well. Quickly I tried to salvage the remainder of the day. I grasped at straws, realized that I would be in over my head at the river, chances were literally, so I went to the next best option. The pool. With lifeguards.
It wouldn’t have been an option a week earlier, but Cinco had eventually fallen in love with water the last weekend, so the whole concept of staying within arms’ reach of both Cinco and X-Man seemed plausible. Until I remembered it was X-Man.
Sure enough, X-Man charged into the pool. He started in the ankle deep water and didn’t stop until he was in over his head. He grudgingly turned around and headed back until he could breathe. Cinco sat down in the ankle deep water and refused to move. X-Man did the exact opposite of refusing to move. And Baby, Baba and Mac assumed that I had brought them to the pool so that they could have a wonderful time. They took off.
So I chased X-Man, tried to play with Cinco and fantasized about laying on a floaty while drinking a margarita. The lifeguards took pity on me and offered X-Man a little life jacket. It was a nice gesture and prudent. But also, a very bad thing. See, X-Man suddenly felt invincible and saw no need to worry if his feet could touch the bottom. He could just kick and be off. Swell.
So Cinco had to get comfortable on my hip while I chased X-Man. As well as one can when walking through water, holding a baby. And chasing a motivated three year old. Cleaning closets wasn’t such a hard life after all. Typical X-Man, he wasn’t satisfied fighting for survival in a pool that went up to four feet. Nope, he climbed out, and made a beeline for the larger lap pool. He was not impressed with my mom voice. I even used his middle name. Nope, nada. Well, he didn’t jump right in, which I saw him contemplate, but he sat down on the edge. Which is where the lifeguard caught up with him. She blocked his path with her floatation device. He looked up at her with his gargantuan brown eyes and said “Peeze?” She denied his request. He tried again. “Peeze, Dank you!” Nope. He looked dejected, probably because he could see me coming.
And that’s when I got to give my first time out at a pool. I was especially cruel. I made him sit on the stairs. Watching the fun. Wailing away. If we weren’t going to have a relaxing time, nobody was.
A subdued X-Man returned to the water, little duck in hand. He spent the rest of the afternoon chasing people with the duck. He has an odd noise, that’s supposed to sound like quacking…..I think. In general, it’s disturbing. But occasionally he’d bump into someone and yelp “GOOSE!!!!”
We survived. The father figure came home to me lying on the couch, refusing to move. I had never been so sore in my life. I also think I’d never been as tense. The father figure asked why, and I explained about my day’s choices. He heard five children and pool and interrupted “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?” I mumbled something about being a good mom…….he helpfully commented “Well that’s your problem right there.”
In case you were wondering, Cinco still hates baths, with an insane passion. Pools yes, baths no. Which makes absolutely no sense. And so, is fitting in our life.