The nightmare that was going swimming alone with the boys

“Lets go swimming Mummy” my eldest said to me the other day. “We haven’t been swimming in ages” he added. We really haven’t I thought. Wonder why? Ok, I said. Let’s all go tomorrow with Owen and let daddy have some peace.

The first thing that should have put me off was the ‘packing of the bag’. Goggles could not be located, one armband was missing and the swim nappies had vanished into thin air. ‘Goggle gate’ caused an almighty meltdown from the eldest. Apparently they are the main thing you need when swimming in non existent depths! Minus goggles and swim nappies (armband located), away we went for a relaxing afternoon of swimming at the local leisure centre.

I remembered the second we started the changing process, why we haven’t been swimming in so long. Utter chaos. Eldest (4, coming 5) harped on and on about getting dressed first and middle one (2) kept opening the cubicle door exposing me to all and sundry. With half the room having observed both myself naked and, an escaped toddler charging round the room with only his top half on, we were finally ready to enter the pool.

The hell did not stop there. It merely got worse. The pool was writhing with bodies and swim floats of varying shapes and sizes. Full scale operation to even put a foot forward. Middle son (2) then suddenly spots the slide. Away he goes up and down it, becoming increasingly reckless with each go. After flinging himself down it a hundred times, he then decides that it would be great to pretend to go up it again but, this time, run at the speed of Forrest Gump over to the adult pool. I don’t think I have ever ran so fast in my life! I imagine it would be the same speed I would have ran if someone had called out “free wine in swim lane four”. Having given me a near heart attack, it appeared that this had solely been a test run. He then proceeded to do it a further four times, even with me positioning myself in front of the slide for maximum stoppage time. Eldest found this whole thing utterly hilarious of course and was very vocal in his encouragement of middle ones antics. An hour later and, exhausted, I proclaimed it was time to go (oh dear god, I now have to get us all dressed again).

Strip eldest and middle and place them in shower. Shit! No towels. Tell them to stay where they are whilst I hot foot it back to locker to retrieve said towels. Get to locker only to see that the two of them have now exited the shower and are proceeding to do the ‘winky dance’ all over the changing room. Grab towels and throw them back in shower. Dry and dress eldest then, tackle middle one. Go to dress self only to discover that eldest has emptied whole swim bag onto a huge puddle on the floor and all my clothes are drenched. Think how death must be better than all this.

Get to cafe and wonder why the hell these places don’t have a bar in them.

Note to self to re-read this the next time someone even mentions the word ‘swimming’ to me.

Baby perfectly expressing how I feel after that ordeal