Life at the seaside has been chuntering on quietly for a few days – we are well into week 3 of the school holidays and the frantic pace of weeks 1 and 2 has been replaced by a sense of relaxed enjoyment.
Until I c o c k e d it up today 😦
I checked the times on-line and then asked the children if they fancied going swimming this afternoon. A resounding yes. As a wee extra treat I took the 4 that were at home (dd2 is away for 48 hours with friends) out to lunch at a local cafe. All went well. Really well in fact – no arguments or silliness, which was lovely.
We returned home for a while then set off for the pool. There is a more local one but it’s housed in the same school that ds1 had such a nightmare time at and he’s not overly keen (putting it mildly) to be returning there any time soon, and the further pool is bigger and has more facilities.
B can pretty much swim by himself now, although he lacks confidence to swim on his back, so his big brother and I took turns coaxing him to practice, and keeping an eye on M, who can almost swim but needs someone there all the time. Twice during the hour the lifeguards open up the water chute and the little ones took turns to queue for the plummet down the slide. R and I took turns to look out for them and the other one of us got some “proper” swimming in. It was during my swim time that I had a realisation. I had left “The Jug” at home.
This is a photo of The Jug:-
Actually that’s not our one but it could be. It lives in the bathroom as M cannot bear water dripped onto her head i.e. like from a shower. So, if she needs her hair washed, or if we go to the swimming pool, we use the jug. At the pool I fill the jug from the shower and wash her that way. She can cope with the feeling of water pouring onto her head (not that she’s keen but she can cope) but according to R who used to be the same, the feeling of a shower, or indeed rain, felt like millions of needles attacking him all at once.
So you can tell my enthusiasm for the outing suddenly waned at this realisation. If M wasn’t annoyingly sensitive to chlorine and would have been able to tolerate the quick shopping trip and the 20 mile journey home without breaking out in a rash and clawing herself half crazy I would simply have dried her, but she really cannot wait that long after a swim. Even if we had skipped the shopping trip and just bought everyone a drink – they insist after a swim – it would still have been too long.
When the hour was up I told her that I had forgotten The Jug, and she was nice enough to say she hadn’t remembered either, which I thought was very sweet. Then it all went a bit wrong. I did tell her I would be as quick as I could, and I know she believed me before I stuck her under the water, and I did stand under there too shielding her from the full blast, but the second hot water hit her head she lost the plot. What can I say? She is only just 7 but wearing age 9-10 clothes, so she’s tall, and when in meltdown she has the strength of a full grown tiger with a grudge. Luckily I am built like a shed (not entirely true) and have the tenacity of a whole roomful of tenacious people, so I did just manage to hold onto her, but a child in full meltdown covered in shampoo makes an impressively slippery target to cling to. I felt absolutely awful. The second she was rinsed enough I bound her very tightly in 2 large towels and just held her. She did calm down, and enough for me to have a shower myself, but she was rather subdued for about half an hour. She couldn’t even make a choice between the drink she thought she wanted and an ice lolly which I figured might be a nice wee treat. I think by that time she needed a choice made for her.
So, lesson learnt. Whatever else I forget, do not ever forget The Jug.
Just as a footnote – M was sufficiently recovered tonight to ask to try all the different kinds of lettuce in the bag of salad I had grabbed as part of our tea. As I had assumed she wouldn’t be eating anything green, to say I was astonished is an understatement. Neither has she made any mention of the shower from hell since it was over, so I am hoping I am forgiven. Be a bit longer before I forgive myself!