Hanging out in the deep end

Like most stories, I realized this was an actual story when replaying the events of a day to Loverpants at 1:30 a.m. as we tried to muffle our laughter in an effort to not to wake up the kids. So last week I invited several mama friends to come to the downtown pool with us. Which means that I went solo to the downtown pool because my mama friends have their kids in Organized Programming, whereas mine are involved in Netflix. We do love the downtown pool but it is a lot of work to schlepp downtown with all the pool gear. Oy to the vey.

The upside of going solo is that if my kids are acting the fool, I'm an audience of one and the rest of the folks at the downtown pool are strangers.

The downside of going solo is if I need to change my tampon. Then I have an audience of two in a bathroom stall that smells like chlorine and fungus and the floor is wet with fluids of unimaginable combinations.

This story is not about tampons, however. Sorry for those we've already lost.


This story is about the deep end at the downtown pool. In the deep end are two very impressive inflatable structures that float on the water. The first structure is a truly impressive jungle gym. It reminds me a bit of the obstacle course from the Nickelodeon game show Double Dare that was popular in the late '80s. Remember the whipped cream pit at the end of the slide? What's that? You weren't even alive in the '80s? Kay. Bye.

Anyway, the jungle gym requires that swimmers be of a certain height. Baby Girl measured herself last week and she was shy of the mark by a good three inches. This week, however, she was determined that she had grown. We did back to the wall and it appears the growth spurt was less than astronomical because she still appeared to be 3 inches shy of the mark.

"But, Mama, maybe just check to see if Little Man is tall enough. Because Daddy said his head is bigger than mine."

After measuring Little Man, it appears that his remarkable noggin did not, in fact, clear him for the jungle gym eligibility after all.

The second structure on the water is a giant inflatable pyramid. One one side, stairs. On the other, a slide. Boss, right?

I asked the kids if they wanted to see their mama climb the pyramid and slide down the slide. They flipped for the idea. As we passed the lifeguard, who looked EXACTLY like Spicoli, leans off his chair and looks at me and says, "You know they can go on this one."

Which to me means, your kids can go scale this pyramid thing even though they can barely find their own mouths with a fork somedays.

So I said, Okay, thanks!

And then I had my kids stand next to Spicoli's chair while I waited in line for my rightful turn to scale the pyramid.

Just as I am about to get my turn to dive into the water, Spicoli dismounts his chair and a new lifeguard takes over. So now both lifeguards are looking at me and I dive in.

But somewhere between the moment my feet leave the edge of the pool and when my head comes up in the water for air, both lifeguards are yelling NOOOOWAAAAYYWHAAARRRYOUUUDOOOWAAIATWEEESAIIDWHAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

I still have no idea what they're saying so I tread water in the deep end and look puzzled, while my kids look on from the sides thinking, Wow. Is Mom kind of a loser right now, or?

Finally the new lifeguard says, "Ma'am, have you taken the swim test?"

Hmm. Swim test. I have to think for a moment. Let's see. Ohio driver's license test. Check. SAT. LSAT. GRE. Check, check, check. Exam to sell life insurance in Massachusetts. Exam to broker stocks in United States. Pregnancy Test. All those? Check check check.

But the swim test at the downtown pool? No! Hahah! Imagine? Somehow I missed that! Here I am in my twirties, fully capable of swimming the front crawl against heavy ocean waves and aren't I conceited to think that I didn't have to take a test for the deep end of a municipal pool.

At this point, the new lifeguard says, "Sorry, if you want to hang out in the deep end without a life jacket, you've got to go see the lifeguard standing by the kiddie pool and she'll get you all tested."

Hang out in the deep end? OH YEAH! That is my jam! I am totally wanting to hang out here in the deep end like an ant at a picnic. Oh, but thing is, see, I have these children with me, the ones standing next to you in life jackets? And all they wanted to do was see their mom slide down this water slide and cheer for joy.

But instead, I am swimming with my tail between my legs to go meet my kids.

Spicoli, ever the comforter, leans over and says, "Sorry, Ma'am, I thought you were just standing in line with your kid. Haha."

So I told him to go back to eating his pizza and learning about Cuba.

Not really.

But I was so huffy about not getting to slide down the pyramid that I didn't even take the swim test.

Proving to my children that some of us are just too cool for safety.

So cool, in fact, that we end up spending the rest of the day in the kiddie pool. So there! Take that!