I Can’t Be Good at Everything

I have been doing kids' activities for over five years now. First, there was baby yoga. Not mommy and baby yoga, where you integrate your baby into the poses, or mommy yoga where everyone totes a sleeping baby in a bucket seat into the studio and lines them up along the wall while they work out. This was yoga for the baby. (Are you imagining about a dozen new moms, equal parts awed and shellshocked by their teeny tiny humans, totally DYING for adult interaction? If so, you nailed it.) I, obviously, wore my yoga pants anyway, in solidarity with the baby.

Then we did Music Together. We still do Music Together. I have been to so many sessions of Music Together that I have long since memorized every song in every collection. When our music teacher tries to hand me the new music and CD at the beginning of each new semester, I stare at her with dead eyes and say "Really? Do I have to take another copy?" This usually gets a few gasps or dirty looks out of the newbies in class. Soon enough, ladies, you'll feel my pain. My "JohnTheRabbitPlayingInTheKitchenSheSellsSeashells" for the millionth time on repeat pain.

We briefly did gymnastics. T was "that kid" in class – he didn't listen, he had to pee six times during the 45 minute class, he distracted the other kids. So the day another kid jumped directly on top of his head in the ball pit, I figured that was as close to a neck/spinal cord injury as we needed to get and left in the middle of class. Never to return again. I think I heard cheering from inside as we made our exit into the parking lot, but I can't be sure. 

And not to be outdone by T the gymnast, A became a tiny dancer this year. We got to class more weeks than not, not always on time but always appropriately attired – hair up and everything. After enduring several months of ballet with about a dozen other 2-4 year olds, we were "rewarded" with a ballet recital that was equal parts adorable and disturbing.  

Most recently, Ry and I were so convinced of our proficience at kids' activities that we I volunteered us to coach t-ball. While that could be, and likely will be, a post all its own, it is worth noting that everyone had "fun" and no one ended up in the ER. So there.

Anyway. The point is – I am not new at kids' activities. This is not my first time. Obviously, I can take on another activity – a two on one activity, even. Which is how I found myself with two children enrolled in kinderswim. How hard could it be? You show up, hand the kids off to the swim instructor and Instagram observe them for half an hour. Then you collect them, dry them, and go home. Right? RIGHT?!

WRONG. You have NO IDEA how wrong.

For some reason, I am physically unable to do the following seemingly simple things:

  • Arrive On Time. It is summer in Maine. What does that mean? Road construction. Where does it mean that? EVERYWHERE. A drive that should take 15 minutes can easily take 45. You know what happens in that magical 30 minute fluctuation? YOUR KIDS MISS SWIM CLASS. 
  • Dress Appropriately. It is "summer" in  Maine. What does that mean? That it is still, on most days, jeans and long sleeved shirt weather. Except inside the pool area, which is a balmy 140 degrees Celsius. Okay, not really, because I think that is biologically impossible but it's really freaking hot. It's like a sweat lodge. 
  • Dress and Undress Them Appropriately. Usually, we arrive with tiny humans already in swimsuits. Half the battle, right? Absolutely not. Trying to corral two children out of the pool area, into the shower (without them streaking across the locker room), into a dressing room, and into clothing and shoes is im-freaking-possible. You have NO IDEA. I know the parent to child ratio is only 1:2, but with all the changing into clothes while mostly still wet and trying not to flash all the other kids and parents and whathaveyou, it feels like 1:20. It's like I'm Michelle Duggar all of a sudden. And because of all the sweating (see above) my hair kind of looks like hers.
  • Keep My Cool. The sweating (me). The orders (me). The ignoring (them). The threatening (me). The crying (everyone). It is wicked, wicked stressful. By the time we make it to the parking lot (a full 15-20 minutes after the other students and parents), I fully expect a police officer or someone from DHS to be waiting to take the kids away from me. "No way you are the mother, ma'am. This is clearly your first day with these people. They don't even look like you."

But the worst part about it? In all those other activities, I may not be doing the best job but I am never doing the worst job. I always have it a little more together than someone. In swim class, I am the worst by a wiiiiiiddddeeee margin. And it is not. Getting. Easier.

Don't worry. I have a plan. And no, it doesn't involve drills where we practice showering and dressing and not flashing people in a timely fashion, gracefully and without perspiring. Next semester, I am going to sign them up for the late afternoon session. So when I get home, I can cool myself off with a nice cold adult beverage. I totally earn it.