We took Millie swimming again at the weekend.
She didn’t like it at all.
And this was despite going in the “baby pool” this time, which is warmer and shallower. If anything she was actually worse than last time.
We took her on Sunday morning, about 9.30, and she was in a great mood – babbling and gabbling all the way to the leisure centre – sat bolt upright in her pushchair, watching everything going on around her and telling us all about it, smilling and giggling… until we got to The Bridge in Sydenham, our very nice local swimming pool.
The place was full of other parents with their children. Nobody sane or without children gets up before lunchtime on a Sunday to go swimming – if you’re not a parent or not sane then there”s a whole ecosystem of people you barely, if ever, interact with!
Millie started looking unsure when we were still in the changing rooms; her bottom lip started wobbling when we were stood beside the pool; she moved up a gear to actual crying when we got into the water, and then moved up another gear to full-on wailing when we tried to convince her that she was perfectly safe in the pool.
She then moved up to another gear we didn’t even know she had, after about 10 fruitless minutes in the pool: doing all of the above with an absolutely furious grunting wail.
Every other child in the pool was fine, even some much younger than Millie.
Some other friendly mums and dads took pity on us, coming over to say “hello”, and to try to distract Millie from her watery tantrum, but to no avail. I managed to calm her for a minute by hugging her tightly and shushing gently into her ears, but it didn’t work for long.
Our thanks to a chap there with his very young daughter, who reassured us that sometimes his daughter really really didn’t like swimming either (this said as she repeatedly dived in off the side…)
Well, regardless, we’re going again next weekend. We think – actually, we know – that we don’t go swimming often enough for Millie to feel familiar and at ease with the experience. Hopefully if we go a few weeks on the trot Millie will learn not to be so upset and frightened.
Alternatively, maybe she takes after the Lovely Melanie and just doesn’t like being in water particularly (unless it has lots of bubbles in it, and at least three rubber ducks).
I was also possessed by the spirit of Handy Andy this weekend – that’s the only reason I can think of for the amount of DIY jobs I got done without bodging a single one of them. I cleaned and repaired door locks, replaced door handles, safely removed a door, cleaned out the garden, planted some strawberries, all without a single problem.
That said, I’ll probably get home tonight and find the front door hanging off its hinges, lock dangling, garden on fire and strawberries eaten by lions.
Do lions eat strawberries?
Finally, the Lovely Melanie was aghast to see I spent the best part of an hour learning to use Photoshop to make people hairy.
Those “hair-ified” so far include Millie, our friends’ little boy Jack, the Lovely Melane’s dad, and myself.
I’ll get into trouble if I post any examples here, but can’t resist it – sorry, Jack!
If you have Photoshop at home then I highly recommend the tutorial here.