Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My neighborhood is small with a myriad of ranch homes on lots the size of postage stamps. It also hosts a vast conglomeration of empty nesters so, needless to say, we don't have a pool. Something that I feel is important to introduce Rya too in her early years to establish a comfort level with the water that will carry her through many future summers of funky tan lines, clogged ears and chlorine smelling hair. So, we did the next best thing - blew up a tiny inflatable one in the front yard, filled it with hose water, left it to 'bake' a bit, and piled in a heap of bath toys. Turns out she loves the water, even chilly water, but you would not be able to tell it from the incredibly serious look on her face she sported the WHOLE time. For real, the kid was splashing up a storm and it looked like she was the main speaker at a weekend-long insurance seminar.

I took serious consideration in her swimming attire. She has the cutest little pink and white striped swim suit but when I tried to do a 'dry run' fitting she went nuts - must hug those curves a little snugly (because apparently my child is HUGE...more on this later). This caused me some pause, I mean, you cant just plop the kid in an inflatable pool in the front lawn in a swim diaper (as my husband suggested), I mean this is not Gymboree Jerry Springer Edition here folks. So I found a diaper cover that I paired with a matching hat and voila - chic swim attire that will have Rya focusing on the activity not the outfit - and, more importantly, will not make us look like the kind of people who consider fully upholstered sofas appropriate outdoor patio furniture. Mike was a bit weirded out that her tiny boobies were not covered - even though I kept saying, "But she is a BABY!", must be a dad thing.

This blog is about motherhood, obviously, but more importantly - the side of being a parent that I think most people don't tell you. You see a family out in the yard in the kiddie pool and pass by with a smile but what it takes to put that scene together and play it out is so much more. The outfit and temperature considerations. The elaborate chirography of applying SPF 1,342 on your tiny, wiggling child's body (including between the rolls on her forearms, yea you read it right, my kid has rolls in places that have never before seen cellulite) - only to have that effort be mocked by puffy red eye allergies later. Or the simple effort of removing your protective hand from behind her back for just a second to displace a swimming suicidal bug with the dreaded result - her falling back into the water - head under and everything. Oh god. That sucked so bad. Mike came around the corner to me holding a screaming child with a (tellingly) soaked head and floppy dripping "chic" sun hat asking me what happened and, "Did her whole head go under?". I lied and said, "No, only up to her ears." Isn't that awful?! I just could not stand the fact I let this crappy thing happen on MY watch. He is no dummy - I am sure he knew what happened but he let it go and sat in one place, silently, vibrating with the inner thoughts of, "NONONO!" when I put her back in the pool, while she was still fussing and talked to her about the importance of 'getting back on the horse' with this forced smile on my face and high pitched lilt to my voice. She was a trooper and we made it through but, dude, this parenting thing can be scary sometimes. Its hard not to feel like a failure when you mess up but I would guess that all parents feel this way at some time or another. And I share so others know that they are not alone in the systematic ruining - oh, did I say ruining, I meant 'raising' - of the new generation.


Jeremiah4man said...

I sympathize! My wife was on watch, when our son, while mounted upon one of those giant balls with a handle, did a header down the front staircase. One broken nose later, and suddenly I was the responsible parent. I think she cried more than he did! Kids are tough and rubbery, they'll bounce!

Dana said...

We all do things like that. Just wait until you read my next couple of blogs...my poor baby has to be a survivor around my dufus moments. :) Cute post by the way... I love the bathing suit. :) We can't wait to see you when we get back home.

Nicole A. said...

You wouldn't be a wonderful mom without a few mishaps along the way..right? Love you doll. You are doing a fabulous job. Keep writing all of this down..one day, I'll need it. love ya

Anonymous said...

Love the bathing suit. And Rya dahling... next time you fall, quickly stand up and take a bow. Thank everyone for their offer of help and blow them a kiss, you'll feel better and so will they.

Sue Byron said...

Love the swim outfit, and love the hat! Love the story!

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