Monday, December 7, 2009

Never let an eight-year-old pack his own swim bag

Yesterday, I had to drop Matthew off for his swimming lesson.

This is usually something Ali does while I do battle with the Sunday dinner. But yesterday she was helping out at A Touch of Saltspring craft fair, so the task fell to me. She would pick him up afterwards (the craft fair was at the rec. centre), all I had to do was see him safely to the pool side.

Let us gloss over the entertaining forty-minute game of Hunt The Goggles. That was a new one on me. But once I'd mastered that (they were hiding underneath a heap of shoes down by the guinea-pig cage) I thought I'd passed my initiation.

Chicken and potatoes safely in the oven, and vegetables all prepared, the game of Get Your Sweater, Coat, Shoes, and No You Can't Wear Those Shorts It's Minus One Outside was familiar territory. We were there, in the changing room, with a few minutes to spare.

"Dad! These swim shorts are too big!"

Yes, they were. Falling off him, in fact.

"Have you ever worn these before?"

"No. I just wanted to try them."


Go home for another pair? The lesson would be half over before I got back.

Send him in with these? No chance of them staying put.

Send him in without? Dangerously tempting.

In the end, I limped back to the car with one shoe flopping off my foot. After, that is, flapping to the poolside to brief his instructor on the experimental and slightly insecure role my shoelace was playing in his swimming attire.

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