Mini Minx and I had gotten out of the habit of going swimming every week, so I decided to formally reinstate it, with proper swimming lessons. We’d done the same ones 2 years before, with Midi. Mini bloody hated them, which was why after that block was over and Midi ‘graduated’, we’d let them lapse into just going the odd time ourselves. So… how did Mini get on?
Well, she enjoyed them. Can’t say the same for the hitch-hiker, though… I’d put a big old waterproof dressing over my now stitch-less back scar, in a bid to keep manky swimming water out. I’m getting used to a permanent low-grade tickle over that area as it heals. But I felt like there were beads of water running down from my neck. Then it felt like they were running sideways. Hmmm… Nope, gravity was still the same as normal. I brushed at my shoulders and back in case a wee insect was fluttering about. The tickling kept up, so I looked over as much of my shoulder as I could. I thought I caught a glimpse of a body. Oh God…please don’t be a wasp! I asked a fellow-mum if I had any insects crawling on me.
“Nope, nothing th-ARGH!” and she looked in horror at my shoulder at the front. Assuming everyone has a wasp-phobia like me, I thought the worst, and kind of levitated out the water while brushing madly at my skin.
“Plop”, went the big thing that had been hitching a ride on my shoulders – a big old house spider. It was one of the bigger ones that I’ve seen: maybe palm-sized. Me, I have a soft spot in my heart for cows (and a soft spot in my tummy for lambs, yum) and quite like spiders, so I scooped it up from where it was dancing frantically in the water and threw it over the side, where it sat lurking and miserable for the rest of the swimming lesson. It wasn’t dead, as it had disappeared by the very end.
The actual lesson was fine: Mini refused to put her face in the water and didn’t like being told what to play with and when. She wanted to rocket down the slide all lesson. I tried to trick her by dropping toys in the water (“Oops, silly clumsy Mummy! Please can you help me pick them up so my back doesn’t get wet?”) but that only worked twice before she scolded me and insisted, “Just leave it be, Mummy!”
Predictably, it wasn’t the swimming that was the traumatic bit – it was the showers before and after. I tried putting her goggles on for them and it helped a little, but not enough to get her properly rinsed. But the brilliant thing about only having one child to worry about: after lunch I gave her a leisurely bath, long massage with thick moisturiser, and slow blowdry. She is now a calm, drowsy, happy little thing again. Result!