I can’t wait until Friday comes along, though. I get to hang out with my son Alfie who has just turned 15 months old. He’s an absolute nugget. He’s built like a tank, eats like a teenager and has two speeds: on and off.
So, come Friday, we head down to the local pool for swimming lessons. I love it. I get to catch up with a small group of parents and their kids. We laugh, we might occasionally swear and we do the same hokey-pokey/jelly on a plate/this is the way we wash our face routine every week. Brilliant. It’s the only routine Alfie and I have.
Last week I was in a bit of a frazzled state. My son didn’t want a morning sleep, so I was busy trying to play, pack a swimming bag (and we all know I’m not the greatest with this [see my earlier Undies article]), monitor the hyper dog and find my togs.
I couldn’t find my swimming lesson togs – you know the ones, plain black, boring, racer-back style, non-statement, non-bikini. I was running late as per usual, and the only pair of swimmers I could find were resort-wear style – they were cheetah print with gold baubles down the front, low cut, halter neck and, god forbid, sexy. Not appropriate.
I rock up to the pool, get in the water up to my shoulders hoping the gold baubles could hide under the waves. The lights kept reflecting off them. Eep. Another parent rocks up, a dad, he’s cool and I’m hoping he doesn’t notice. He does. I apologise for wearing inappropriate ‘sexy’ swimwear and make a joke about how I thought I could pick up the Friday dads by doing so. He looks uncomfortable and finds a distraction.
The teacher rocks up. She’s great and we get along like sisters. She says: ‘Wow Ali, you’re heating up the pool today!’ I’m red cheeked.
Alfie gets fidgety and starts playing with the gold baubles. My halter comes undone and my boob is flashed. I get panicky and hand Alfie to the teacher trying to do up my inappropriate resort suit. I’m dying.
We do the lesson. All the kids want to play with the baubles during hokey-pokey. I’m mortified. Boob pops out again.
The lesson ends and I stand with Alfie in the shower feeling self-conscious in the cheetah print. He wants to walk everywhere so I walk him to the dreaded change room where the logistics always get tough. It’s bloody difficult trying to get a kid changed out of wet clothes into dry clothes while you are standing around in soaking cheetah lycra, freezing. I manage to get him changed and I give him a snack to distract him. I do that weird changing room change where you modestly try not to reveal anything.
I manage to get my underwear on and a t-shirt. Then I look around, Alfie has disappeared in the 20 seconds it took me to get my t-shirt over my fat head. I run out of the changing room and he is headed for the automatic doors. He gets through them and is running out onto the footpath. I run outside, wearing just a t-shirt and my undies and grab him and take him back inside. A truck beeps its horn.
Standing at the counter are the other parents looking at me, standing there holding my kid like a surfboard, pantless and cold.
I head back to the change room, put my pants on and grab the swimming bag. I go to leave and the teacher shouts to me over the top of the other parents: ‘Yo, cheetah. See you next week. Bring those togs again. And some pants. It all adds to the excitement around here.’