Friday, July 28, 2006

Swimming Lessons

Raise your hand if you took swimming lessons at as child.

Was your instructor like mine? My teacher was about 80 years old, mean as a hornet and if we didn't do what she told us to do, she just shoved us under the water until we did it anyway. It sucked at the time, but now I realize that if she hadn't done that my parent's money would have been wasted and I would have sat on the side never having learned how to swim. Once I figured out she meant business I did what I was told and eventually even learned to like the old bitty.

Jacob had his first "real" swimming lesson yesterday. I say real because he did have some swim lessons at the Y when he was two that were basically Mommy and Jacob tooling around the pool while the teenage teacher flirted with the lifeguards. Yeah, I know there isn't much you can teach a two year old, I was just looking for something to kill time and hoping to get him liking water, but the whole plan backfired. Jacob has been afraid of water ever since that fateful class.

Fast forward three years. I think things may go better because, hey, he's five now! Don't five year olds love to swim? I catch wind that our neighborhood pool is giving lessons and sign him up. As I touched on previously, we have heard from the instructor all week long. First off she called to change the class time from 8:30 am to 6:15 pm. I wasn't happy about that as, gee, we might be eating at 6, but whatever. I can go with the flow. Then she called back two hours later to ask if 4:15 would be allright because 6 "just didn't work for her" and we would start the class on Wednesday instead of Tuesday because she was busy on Tuesday. Yeah, it's not like you haven't known about the class starting all summer long, but whatever. So Wednesday rolls around and while the kids and I are having a lovely time at the library the swim girl leaves a message wanting "whoever is in charge of Jacob" to call her back. So I do and she informs me that the class will be at 5:30 because 4 didn't work for her either...wonderful. I am being played like a puppet by a teenage girl. She calls back around 3 and tells me she is cancelling the class due to rain. I look out my window and see the sun shining through and tell her, just to be helpful, "It's not raining outside" and she says she couldn't get a hold of her supervisors (who I would love to chat with BTW) and had no way of knowing if they even opened the pool (it did kind of pour that morning) so she took it upon herself to just cancel. Now I paid $55 for six 45 minute lessons, T-W-Th, so far no class on T-W. She assures me that we will make up the two days on the next two Fridays, which puts a damper on my plan to head to the lake next Friday MORNING.

So, yesterday was finally the big day. Jacob actually seemed excited about them and the sun is shining so I know she can't use the rain to call and cancel on me again. We arrive just in time and I let the guy at the "desk" know that we are there for lessons. He tells me that Cynthia will be there in just a moment to go ahead and wait and WAIT we did. 5:30 passed as did 5:40 and 5:45. By this time Adam is going nuts wanting to get in that pool and Jacob is frying in the Texas heat so he asks to get in and I tell him yes, but stay by the steps and don't get off or go to the baby pool. I am getting ticked off at this point. I sit on a lounge chair and proceed to change Adam into a swim diaper so I can keep him entertained in the baby pool. Jacob's dad walked in just about that time all apologetic because he was late when he notices Jacob doing pretty much nothing sitting on those steps and he wonders if we weren't supposed to show up at 4 or maybe 6 or even 8:30 because, geez louise, what the heck is going on here? So I hand Adam off to him and he goes up to the "desk" to try to find out what the deal is and I wait there with Jacob for a bit but then hear Adam screaming so I turn around to go retrieve him from his dad and for whatever reason I turn around to check on Jacob again and I don't see him. So I slowly, seemed like slowly anyway, go around to the other side of the pool, still don't see him, but then I notice just the top of some hair bobbing about just beside the steps. Shit, there was Jacob, the unswimmer that he is completely underwater and struggling to pull himself up RIGHT BESIDE A LIFEGUARD! So, with my cement feet because it did seem like it took a lifetime to get to him (Pro talked about the same thing once, can totally relate) I jump in that damn pool, fully clothed IN A DRESS that is floating up to reveal my ugly underpants to everyone there. I pulled my kid out of that water. He was walking and talking, but his entire face was blue as were his toes and fingers. Of course, I am in a world of disbelief at that moment and my adrenaline is pumping and I am PISSED! I yell, "What wonderful f****** lifeguards yall are!" Yeah, I shouldn't have said the F word around all those kids, but my mind didn't have any censor at that point, I was still shaking and, honestly, about to vomit. As I looked up at the one lifeguard who was, say, three feet from my drowning kid I noticed he had his right leg draped over the lifeguard chair, his sunglasses on his head, and his bottle of water in his hand. Not once did he ever appear concerned or even attempt to try to help my kid. Of course, the sight of a grown woman jumping fully clothed into the pool turns heads, so people quickly figure out what is going on, nobody tried to help (my eyeballs probably turned yellow at that point so they understandably stayed away) and the lazy lifeguard keeps gesturing at me. He doesn't attempt to move from his relaxing position, but he wants me dripping wet with a blue kid to come to him because he can't leave his post because "he has to be able to see the entire pool." Am I living in the damn twillight zone or something???? Is lazy and rude the new lifestyle because if it is, I can get on that, but I didn't receive that memo. Anyway, finally lazy lifeguard yells down at me that the depth at that point of the pool is 3 feet, 6 inches, that my son could have stood there, he was just playing, he was watching him when I spit back at him, "3 feet, 6 inches equals 42 inches and my son is only 40 inches tall. NO, he could not stand there, NO he is afraid to put his face in the water, we struggle to wash his hair at night, he would NEVER have played like that. He was struggling and you didn't help him." At which point lazy lifeguard with his leg still draped over the chair arm, lifted his arms and shrugged at me. Yeah, you know I am calling the pool company this morning, but I doubt they do anything about it. For starters, I didn't have enough wits about me to get the kid's name and I have only dealt with teenagers at this place all this time, I doubt I get an adult, but I feel like I need to report him because, heaven forbid, a kid really gets hurt out there if it happens again.

Sooo.....Cynthia finally showed up right about the time I am fishing Jacob out of the pool. Of course, he isn't going in any water and NOOOOO, he will not take lessons, I mean, can you blame him? BUT, we finally coaxed him into the water with the promise of two bucks if he followed directions (yeah, I bribed my kid, I said I didn't have enough wits about me). The instructor was extremely meek, there was no structure to her lesson, and most of time she would put one of those diving rods on the steps and tell the kid's to fetch them. They all did WITH THEIR FEET. She did attempt to get some to float, but she wasn't forceful enough to get her point across so most of the kids just tittered around in the water while she stood around staring into space. I am paying for that. I am an idiot. I am really hoping that yesterday was just a "get used to the water" kind of day but, when you only have 6 days (if we're lucky) I think you need to get to the point.

I am thinking maybe I should take up teaching swimming lessons. My old bitty teacher would be so proud.


thethinker said...

Wow. That's an experience that you sure don't forget.

I used to love my swimming lessons, but I guess that's because I didn't have an instructor like that.

Best of luck with the swimming (and the blogging).

OneHungMan said...

I always hated swimming lessons as a kid. The first lesson I ever went to was fine until they told us to put our heads under the water...No thanks, and I started screaming like a little girl.

The whole generation of kids is worthless as far as I'm concerned. The world revolves around them.

Little do they know it revolves around OneHung.

Shane said...

Oh my gosh! Poor Jacob!! I wouldn't blame him if he didn't want to get anywhere near water for a long time.

Tracey said...

Holy cow! I would be ROYALLY pissed. I probably would be going to the management (without my kids in tow) about everything you just talked about. The lateness, the rudeness, the lack of concern as you jumped into the pool. He may have THOUGHT Jacob was just playing around, but should have immediately gotten off of his butt to check him out as you jumped in!
I have found that NO lifeguards are able to watch the kids. They are only able to make sure no one is stuck at the bottom of the pool or falls in or something. But the regular ole drowning in front of them, nope. Because they don't focus the same as a mom does.

FYI, my lifeguard teacher as a child was a HOTTIE. And, strangely enough, Evan's teacher this year was GORGEOUS. I mean, I actually had to call my sister the next day to ask if it was wrong of me to be so attracted to a guy that is 5-10 years younger than me. Whew!

Glad he's ok. Hope he gets in the water again!

firstborn said...

OMG andria!!!! i was horrified, dismayed & disgusted after reading what you & your jacob had been through! UN*frickin*believable!!!!

you definitely should COMPLAIN to the management BIG-TIME! that simply was inexcusable what the staff did (or didn't do as the case may be).

i had a traumatic pool incident when i was 9 when one of my older male cousins swooped me up & threw me in the deep end for, oh, sh-ts & giggles...i remember hitting the bottom & FREAKING out...i nearly drowned if it hadn't been for the same jackass cousin who swam down to get me...

i've been petrified since & once in grad school, i tried to overcome my fear of swimming & like onehung wrote, i could not do the face underwater thing...& i did scream like a girl!

glad too that jacob is okay & i hope he, unlike me, can jump in the water again.

kelly jeanie said...

Terrifying for both of you! Unreal. I can't believe that lifeguard. Good for you, Mama Bear.

sweet memories said...

I think I would have freaked out so badly they would have had to call the cops....that shit is unacceptable, I am sorry you had to go through this, you completely did what your motherly instict told you to do, thank god you relied on that and not that lifeguard...I dont know if I would have should be sitting in that lifeguard chair, not him!

Lynsey said...

Whoa....that is deep, no pun intended. I think I would've grabbed that lifeguard right out of his chair and given him a good kick in the you know what. You have to be careful these days with what they call "lifeguards" as I'm sure you know now. I've had a couple experiences with kids that I've taken to pools. They don't even look at the kids, they're too busy checking eachother out. Good thing you were there. Give him an extra kiss and a big squeeze today.