fter the fiasco that was ‘art and craft week’ in our home, I decided it was time to look for other things to fill at least part of the short but seemingly interminable winter days. This is so that I don’t find myself committed in to a mental asylum by the time spring swings by. As a strict adherent to the neurotic-at-wits-end-mother mantra “If at first you don’t succeed find something else to do,” I quickly put aside any notions that my son was the love child of Picasso and Dali and decided to forego being the mother of a Turner Prize winner for something infinitely better.
An Olympic swimmer. Michael Phelps watch out. My son is going to swim class.
So after copious searching on the net and eavesdropping on forums discussing the best toddler swim classes (yes, they do exist!) I zeroed in on one and signed up. However, that was a couple of weeks ago and the smug euphoria has now worn off and been replaced by worry. Will my son be safe? What if he doesn’t like the water? What if the sight of so many new people scares him?
No. Those are not my fears at all. What I am really worried about is getting into a bathing suit after about eight years. The last time I wore one, I was honeymooning in Mauritius and approximately 10 pounds lighter. What if the other mothers in the pool are Melissa Odabash wearing poolside sirens? What if they have sleek, toned bodies that belie the three under three they’ve brought
What if there’s a mini tsunami when I jump in?
I decided that the first thing to do would be to try on my bathing suit. If I fit into it, then at least that was one hurdle overcome. As I jumped and bounced about, trying to get the damn thing over my hips, I realised why it had looked so good on a newly married me (Did I mention being 10 pounds lighter?) Back then, pre-baby, things were where they were meant to be. The discernible, seismic shift south that happens to certain body parts after one has had children was yet to take place. I looked like one of those cubist portraits, where certain facial features have been shifted around, or the subject’s breasts have been relocated to their face. Except in my case, mine had relocated to near the stomach. I briefly contemplated a lunchtime augmentation like the one Jeniffer Aniston was rumoured to have had. Not only would the procedure help me wear a swimsuit the way Speedo intended for it to be worn, but my newly inflated girls would surely double up as flotation devices in the deep end?
Then there was the small matter of hair. On one’s arms and legs. I resent nothing more than having to make an appointment to wax in November, when usually all such sessions are cancelled till spring and the first daffodils rear their heads. Stepping into the pool means I can no longer moonlight as the Yeti of northwest London.
Why can’t I just let my son be bored like I was as a child? Making life fun and interesting for one’s offspring is a pain in the ass. It’s bad enough to make me contemplate going back to the play doh.
(this week’s column)