With the remaining days of our summer vacation slipping away faster than the grains of sand in an overturned hourglass, I am in scramble mode trying to cram in as much fun as possible before it's back to the real world. Shortcake and Punkin been asking for a day of swimming at "swim lessons" - their name for what we used to call the "big pool" in Dwight - for almost a month, so with today's favorable weather and clear social calendar that's just what we did.
Neither Shortcake nor Punkin are proficient swimmers, and I was cursing myself the entire way to Dwight when I realized shortly after leaving the house that I had left all arms bands/life jackets behind. I did have one lone noodle stashed in the trunk of my car, and I was hoping with all my might that it would be enough support to help the one parent-two clinging children scenario. I was pleasantly surprised to notice almost immediately that both of our girls have improved in their aquatic skills. The fact that both can touch in the three foot section of the pool helps dramatically, as does their willingness to be slightly more adventurous in the water. For the first time I was actually able to enjoy a couple of short stints of watching my girls swim (using that term loosely, of course) while soaking up rays from my comfy pool chair on the no-more-than-four steps-away-from-life-saving-position pool deck. With the sunshine warming my skin and the sights and sounds of my girls enjoying the last days of their summer vacation, I found myself thinking, "This just might be my favorite moment of the entire summer. I am going to miss this so much".
The girls asked me to get in the water with them so we could swim from one side of the pool to the other. Being in the wonderful, June Cleaver-esque mothering mood that I was, I gladly fulfilled their request and hopped into the pool. We cruised together through the shallow sections, one daughter kicking along with the help of her noodle while the other alternated between being held by me and being challenged to swim short distances on her own while I offered words of encouragement. Twenty minutes or so later, just shortly after returning to the 3 foot section, things got ugly.
Punkin is a known open mouth swimmer, gulping only God knows how much water as she flails about in the water. Coupled with a rather productive cough (courtesy of her older sister and mother who have also suffered through a similar ailment in recent weeks), I feared all day that we were dealing with a ticking time bomb.
As we reached the side of the pool, I looked at my baby and realized she had a rather panicked look on her face. I asked her if she was okay; she responded with a solid cough, wide eyes, and a strangled utterance of, "I can't talk. I can't talk!". I lifted her immediately to the concrete and told her to swallow hard which she did. She started turning away from me, giving me a hand signal of, "Back away! Abort! No me gusta!". I asked her if she was going to puke. Her body answered for her with a noticeable lurch forward. I got Shortcake's attention, told her to get out of the pool RIGHT NOW, launched myself out of the water, grabbed Punkin, and made a beeline for the garbage can in the concession stand.
Only seconds too late.
A giant puddle of regurgitated hot dogs* splattered mere inches from the intended target. I held my poor little girl over the disgusting can for the barf after shocks as I simultaneously saw Shortcake sprint as fast as she could toward the farthest corner of the concession area as I silently said a very quick prayer asking for her to keep her weak stomach in check. It was over as fast as it started with Punkin looking down at her lunch and announcing, "Well, they-uh is my hot dog and cawots" and me walking over to the window to admit to all the off duty lifeguards, "My daughter just puked".
*ingested well over an hour before we began swimming for those of you who were wondering
Private message to Tru Stories: Something tells me your once previous sad face for missing my text inviting you and your children to join us today is now a very prominent happy face for narrowly missing this entire episode in person. I will expect you to give Coco a very heartfelt hug of thanks for both hiding your phone and napping today.
As the lifeguards began the disinfection process, the three of us embarked on our walk of shame to gather our towels and other assorted swimming paraphernalia, me not able to get the hell out of there fast enough while being very aware of every adult patron's stare boring a whole in the back of my head. I realized that we've now quite effectively eliminated any chance of being allowed to swim in two pools in the Dwight area thanks to Punkin's proficiency for pool puking, and I'm left wondering if AuntieM's open offer for the use of their pool is null and void. Despite the embarrassment and horror of the experience, there was one singular moment that almost, nearly, just about made the entire ordeal totally worth it:
"Mom, you wuh like my hewo out they-uh!"
So now I'm left wondering: do they hand out capes for occasions such as this? If so, I'll take mine in purple with lots of rhinestones.