Swim Club.

What we’ve got on the horizon here is a summer full of fun. (A HOT one — I swear I saw 98 here today, which, forgive me, but it’s still May, Philadelphia. Did you not get the memo?)

Anyway, this season, we joined “the pool.” Now, I don’t know if this is a regional thing or if it’s just a “mom” thing, but either way, it’s nothing I ever knew about before I lived here and had a kid. Where I’m from (Boston) there were no pools to join. Or, maybe there were and because we had a pool in our backyard and all our friends just came to our house to swim, we didn’t know about them. Either way, here in my town is a real live “swim club.” And it’s just as nostalgic and kitschy as it sounds.

The Who and I showed up there yesterday — to this little spot tucked way back in the woods of the pick-your-own orchards (apples, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, Christmas trees, peaches) and it’s like we were transported right to Kellerman’s (the only difference being the noticeable lack of Jews in my nabe.) There were jillions of kids, no doubt making memories that they will grow up to try to recreate with their own kids, cannonballing off the platforms, dunking their little brothers, licking popsicles on towels on the lawn. The sun pounded down, but it didn’t matter as we slathered more sunscreen on the kids and sent them back into the cold, early-season water.

Just as fun as it looks.

I totally didn’t know what to expect, but I was charmed by the outdated bathrooms and the photos of last season’s swim team posted on a bulletin board. I was enchanted by the all-gravel-and-dirt parking spots and the fact that despite perfect cell reception, almost no one was talking on a phone. I didn’t even see an ipod anywhere. People were reading magazines. Books, even. Staring off into space. Sharing bunches of grapes with their friends. It was like summer camp, only without all the mandatory kickball, poison ivy, and long, sweaty school bus rides. It was fun. Damn.

Now, is this something people are doing all over the place? I know there are community pools in the city, but are there really delightful little “swim clubs” dotting the suburbs across the country? Or, should I be looking for the Flux Capacitor?

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Who on the Road. (Again.)

We did a bit of traveling this past weekend. Just an appetizer, really, for the Great Big Trip next week (which won’t even happen if I don’t send my reunion payment in, but that’s a whole ‘nother post on a whole ‘nother blog.)

Last week, our friend Michelle asked us to come visit her in Virginia and since we were free, we packed an overnight bag (which in our case is really an overnight “soupcase” filled with a noise machine, a video monitor, a pack-n-play, some fire trucks, a bunch of books, and — oh, right — some clothes and a toothbrush) and hit the road. We planned an action-packed two days, complete with a visit to the National Zoo and a ride on the Metro, but thanks to two missed exits and a LOT of traffic (is this much construction really necessary? It’s like they’re rebuilding the entire route from Philly to DC, one lane at a time) we didn’t make it in time to get to the zoo. I think I was more disappointed than The Who, who, unlike me (at least so far in his short life) does not seem to get his entire spirit crushed by a last minute change in plans. (I hope that by changing things up now and then, he develops a sense of flexibility that I seem to have entirely missed the boat on.)

Luckily, Michelle’s boyfriend is a car enthusiast and has an enormous 8-car garage full of toys (a 1948 mint-green Chevy among them) that he allowed The Who to play with. Of course, his favorite was the replica 1950s pedal fire engine (with removable ladders!) and so we were all fine just to hang out for a while.

 

The rest of our short, but fun weekend included:

  • Coffee cake for breakfast (“Oh, Mama! There’s cake! Is it birthday cake? Can I have some please?”)
  • Brunch (complete with actual protein and everything) with good friends
  • Plucking out “Jingle Bells” on a shabby grand piano
  • Grilled carne asada on the patio while peeking in on the toddler with the video monitor
  • Downloading free apps on an iPhone that is not mine, but that I covet
  • Munchkins (long road trips always include munchkins)

Next week, we pack back up for a much more involved trip to Boston (our regular bi-monthly road trip.) I’m going to have to shake it up a little, I think. The laptop and a box of donuts are no longer enough to make hours in the car entertaining.

Ideas?

Video.

Pictures are one thing, but seeing a kid live in person is another. I know friends feel like they know The Who just by seeing his photos on Facebook and reading about his shenanigans here, but there is so much more to him than his pretty face (although, he does have *some* face, you have to admit.)

So, here’s some video. The security of it is limited to Friends of Friends on Facebook, so if you’re not my friend — or a friend of a friend — you won’t be able to see it. Sorry.

(PS: This is an experiment. I have never tried to embed a vide from Facebook before, so I have no idea how it will work.)

http://www.facebook.com/v/1837806145161

Please.

They say it’s time to start teaching manners. Or maybe it’s time to enforce them? I don’t know. I feel like we started teaching manners the day he was born just by being polite people. And when he’s in a good mood, he totally comes through. This morning, for example, well-rested after a 12-hour solid sleep, he came into the kitchen and said, sweetly, “Mama? Will you open the porch for me?” And when I did, he sung, “Ganks, Mama!” and happily slipped out into our 3-season room to scour for Little People to climb the ladders on his fire trucks.

But, it’s not always so Leave it to Beaver¬†around here, believe you me. Plenty of mornings, not quite so well-rested, he wakes up whining and continues, interspersing thankless demands in between. His pleasant and courteous porch-door request this morning could have just as easily been a whiny, “I waaaant the pooooorch ooooopen.”

I wish I could depend on his pleasant mornings, but I suppose you can’t depend on very much with a two-year-old. This seems to be a lesson I am re-learning every day.

Showers.

We were up at 6, The Who and I. Now, at 7:30, m* is awake and in the shower. Lately, as soon as The Who hears his mommy wake up, he goes upstairs to see her and I settle into what is usually 10 minutes of peace, but what could be up to 30 minutes, depending on how patient The Who is with m*’s morning routine.

This morning, it’s a good long time. He stayed upstairs during the whole shower and is now joining her for tooth-brushing and hand-washing. Soon he’ll follow her into the bedroom as she gets dressed and then insist on getting deodorant and hair gel, too. She’s handling it like a champ up there, for the most part — his zillions of questions, his demands for assistance, his constant chatter. She is not at her best in the morning (neither am I these days) and I know he is trying her patience. I think, I should go rescue her. I should retrieve him and give her her morning routine in peace. But I fight against this urge. 1) Because it’s not my job. She can tell him when she needs space. And 2) Because when was the last time I took a shower without little eyes peeping in through the curtain liner, asking me questions about the shampoo, the razor, the water, standing in my way in the cramped bathroom, demanding to flush the toilet while I try to towel-dry my hair?

A little part of me is hoping that he will exhaust his interest in the upstairs/bathroom routine on m* before I get up there for my shower. Unlikely, I know. But a girl can dream.