Little Swimmers

So today was Maxi Minx’s asessment in this block of swimming lessons.  She’s been doing really well, swimming a whole length of the learner pool with a recognisable back-crawl.  Sometimes.  When she doesn’t get distracted halfway.  Or twisted goggles.  Or remembers a new joke she’s bursting to tell everyone. <proud mummy nonetheless> Today she completely forgot how to ‘windmill’ her arms, but still managed to get a B.  I didn’t mean to sound surprised when her grade was announced, it was just the way my voice squeaked when I said, “Really?  Wow!”  I gave her a huge hug, even though I’ve always focussed more on: was it fun? Did you enjoy it? Did you like jumping in the deep end? Did you make the biggest splash?

There are 3 other kids (boys) in the class, and Maxi’s been having hassle from 2 of them.  No one else is being pushed around.  It’s nothing major: just pushing, shoving, splashing.  I’ve heard her shout “Stop it!” at one of them, and I’m happy that she’s standing up for herself.  The boys all look about a year older than her.  The teacher doesn’t stop them.  While Maxi’s holding her own, I don’t want to step in either.  Though the week before last I was hormonal enough to have leapt over the cafe barrier and hauled the kid out the water with my angry laser eyesight alone, had he touched her.

Anyway, today I got a good look at the mother of the ringleader of the shoving.  Well, I heard and smelled her first.  Confucius say “Heavy perfume bad move anyway, doubly so when mixed with eau-de-bleach and chlorine-water.  Dimbo!”  Bleached yellow hair ‘artfully’ pulled back (looked like it took her hours to achieve that ‘whimsical, tousled’ look), a ton of slap, clothes like she walked out of Glamour magazine.  I’m a real snob when it comes to personal grooming, aren’t I?!  Anyway, I could forgive her that lot, but I think I audibly growled when her son refused to shower pre-swim like the rest of the kids, and she said airily, “Oh never mind, darling, you’re so clean anyway”.  Right, so that oil slick in his hair is from fresh, non-washout gel?  The whole swimming lesson she didn’t look at him once, or her daughter.  She was too busy using massive, extravagant gestures to make sure everyone could see her working on her laptop.  Probably spent the 30 minutes playing games, because she only ever touched the mouse-pad and the enter key.

After swimming, Maxi asked why I’d not talked to Shoving Boy’s mother.  “Well”, I uncharitably sneered, “I don’t think she really cares about him or what he gets up to.  I don’t think she’d give him into trouble.  Never mind,” I added as an afterthought, “If he shoves you again, I’ll go up to him like this…,” bent down to her, nose-to-nose, “Hold his clothes just under his chin,” dropped my voice to a low, quiet growl, “And tell him: If you shove my daughter one more time, I’ll tear your little head off and smack you with it”.  Maxi’s eye’s welled up, her chin wobbled, her bottom lip pouted and she started to cry.  Aw crap, I guess I overdid it.  She can be quite sensitive.  I meant to make her laugh.

“What’s wrong, princess?  Why are you crying?” I asked over a big hug.

“But, but, he’s my best friend!” Maxi wailed.

Aw, deep double crap.

“In that case, I’d go up to him like this,” bent over nose-to-nose, “And say (breezily): Hello, I’m P’s mummy; would you like a sweetie?”  That seemed to brighten her up a bit.

I can’t keep track of my eldest daughter’s social life, I really can’t.

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