My three year old began swim lessons – finally! She has always been nutso about the water and requests baths daily… oftentimes multiple times per day. I feel she is working towards her goal of becoming a raisin.

We’ve moved so much and had so much unsure of, that it has always been difficult to plan out a series of classes for either kid. .. aside from the sanity necessity that is elementary school for my son. God bless public education!

In trying to find local swim lessons, I was being routed all over kingdom come and finally settled on the good ol’ YMCA. There is one a scant nine miles away from us and I figured it was the easiest solution with summer coming up. This local one has an indoor pool. Woop woop!

I did my tour thing, I fell in love with the play center – Gym Beam (HOW the hell do you post a link back to your own entry?!) and signed us up. She missed her first lesson because of croup – again. grrrr. So this week was her first lesson. We were JAZZED to get there and begin!

If only we could find the pool access…. we dropped my son off at the play center. He was, of course, resistant to go in. He was very unsure, very wary and very unhappy about it.

I will just take a second to point out my three year old required one kiss and one hug… and then one more round, and she was a-ok to skip off and play.

I pushed him through the door, a very helpful Y employee helped him navigate into the play center and then we were off. At this point we are nearly on time, so i’m hustling down the hall. We walk the front area and there are signs pointing every direction EXCEPT the pool.

We go through the bathroom… which leads to the changing area and lockers… which leads to a wall.


We exit the bathroom, walk to the PACKED and busy lobby.

No signs.

We head back to the bathroom.. the lockers, the changing area, the sinks, and then ask an employee who happens to be there. She directs us further into the bowels of the locker room ( he he) and we pass a naked woman with Downs Syndrome to the next wall which finally leads us to the pool.


I was afraid my naked-aware and boob-obsessed daughter would embarrass everyone by pointing out the woman showering, but fortunately she was just as eager to find the damned pool as I was.

We step out onto the pool deck and get lost in a sea of bodies, parents, dripping wet swimmers, lifeguards, and instructors placed every few feet in the pool. No markings or signs indicating who was which class, or where you throw your kid in.

We finally found our instructor who was already getting underway with the other little swimmer.

My daughter is suddenly water-shy. .. naturally. The instructor helps her in, to which my daughter wants immediately OUT. Like, NOW.

She gets out.

She looks at me, i tell her to get back in for her lesson, she turns around and gets back in.

And then she wants back out.

“I need to give my mom a hug and a kiss.”

I urge her to stay in and pay attention. Cheeks beginning to heat up from the uncooperative child who is late and already missed one lesson. I pointed out to the instructor that she doesn’t have the basics and this is her first attempt.

Apparently my subtle hint to firmly lay the ground rules for swim lessons went over this woman’s head. (i use the term ‘woman’ loosely. She had on her high school swimsuit. I doubt she was 18 yet)

My daughter then announces she has to go potty.


Out of the pool, past the still-showering naked lady, (redundant?) into the stall, pee, flush, walk back through the showers and out onto the pool deck.

Then I notice a sign saying “No shoes on pool deck”


Take off mine. And socks. Nowhere to sit and watch the lesson. No towels anywhere around.

My daughter gets back in and we are finally ready to go. She is holding onto the wall for dear life… literally. I’m trying not to have a panic attack that the instructor never told her specifically to stay there and not let go.

Apparently it’s a natural instinct not to want to drown. Thankfully.

My daughter is looking nervous until it’s her turn to “swim” with the instructor. The other kid is crawling along the wall like a spider monkey, occasionally dipping his face in and drinking the water. I’m mentally screaming at my daughter not to even think about moving a paw off the wall. There is no life jacket on her. No floatee. No nothing. Skin, goggles, and a bathing suit.

She points out her now-chipped fingernail polish to the instructor. “Very nice. Wanna see mine?” .. a very reasonable teenager response, i think. When the instructor holds her, she informs her, “I don’t wanna drown’d.”

“You aren’t going to drown.”

She LOVED swimming being walked through the water! She got back to the wall and announced proudly, “I did not drown’d !!”

Adorable. She stayed put until it was her turn again, to which I nervously and bare-footed walked as fast-slow as I could to the other side of the pool to get a towel. It was a terrifying minute long exercise in forcing myself to trust that between the lifeguard sitting six feet away and the instructor, she wouldn’t slip under the water and drown.

She did great and when it was time to go, I looked for her dress I had taken off of her to find it exactly nowhere. It was not behind me on the hook. It was not in the bathroom. It was nowhere. She was dripping wet and crying because she didn’t want to leave her lesson and creating a scene. I wrapped her towel around her and did what I could. We asked the still-busy front desk if anything was turned in. I got a “No, but it takes a few days. Try again later.”

I was livid. Embarrassed from her screaming at the end of the lesson, embarrassed that I looked like an unprepared boob walking around with a dripping wet 3 year old in glitter flats back to pick up my son who is now throwing a hissy fit that he has to LEAVE the playground.

We pile into the car now stressed out and possibly shouting. My daughter is crying because she is understandably uncomfortable and cold. My son is mad he couldn’t stay and play longer. I begin the drive home, reach in my purse to hand my daughter the ipad and what do I find?

The dress.


Next time we will get a locker. Next time we will all wear flip flops. Next time I will not be the gym BOOB!




swim lesson

4 thoughts on “Mermaids

  1. Oh my. I am sorry you had to go through all that. Let me just say I have been through all of it too, including the dress in the purse. Before I go I want to mention that I get my son out of the pool by agreeing to dry him under the hand dryer, he thinks it is great fun. Good luck at the next lesson. 🙂


  2. Since you asked, how to post a link back to your own entry:

    Open the post link in a new window. Make sure it’s the direct link, like, copy the link, write the words your going to use as a link, highlight them, use the link button on WordPress (it looks like a paper clip) and a window should pop up. Paste the link there. Hit ok! It should show up in red.

    Does that make sense? I’m awful at explaining things.


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