May 04, 2006

Living with Mark Spitz

Three Mark Spitzes, in fact. Very small, unmustachioed ones.

The kids all* started Swim Club on Monday and while each nearly quit before the first practice was over -- Laura said it was too hard, too cold, and too incomprehensible, and Daniel and Davy, relegated to the "baby section" said it was too easy -- they've changed their minds, thanks to a bit of rejiggering, including a few chats the next day with their coaches and other parents about ability vs. age-and-size, some sneaky Mommy/reverse/sports psychology pep talks, and $9 worth of latex.

Here I was thinking that I would never, ever, ever get my kids to wear swim caps (oops, that was me, who if I can help it will never, ever wear one of those hateful things again, but the kids don't have to know that) -- recommended by parents and some of the other swimmers because of the overly-chlorinated water in the pool -- but they were so delighted by my new purchases yesterday (including new goggles because two out of the three current sets have snapped straps that have had to be tied) that they have been wearing caps and goggles with pyjamas, at breakfast this morning, and later at the kitchen table for math. You can make that lunchtime now too. And having conversations like this: "Daniel, you know the bigger kids in the last lane flip the caps up over their ears." "Yes, I think they do that so they can hear better." "Yep, I think so, too." "I can't wait to get back in the water." "Me, too." "I wish it was 4 o'clock already."

"What do I look like, Mom?" Davy keeps asking. While the first flippant answer ready to slip out is "A frog" or "Amelia Earhart," Sports Psychologist Mommy answers, "An Olympic swimmer", and a really adorable one at that, which was apparently the correct answer from all the self-satisfied smiles I'm seeing.

*And for the other parents at the pool who are marvelling over the fact that all three kids wanted to join Swim Club, let's just say that Sports Psychologist Mommy didn't really give them a choice beyond, "Gee, wouldn't Swim Club be fun this year now that you all swim so well?!" It's hard enough to deal with one extracurricular activity while living out of town and not having the chance to zip home to prepare dinner without running one kid to Swim Club, another to soccer, and the third, on a completely different night, to softball. Or enduring Swim Club for only one child, while the other two languish poolside on the other side of the Plexiglass for six hours a week. Thank you but no.

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