If you happened to stop by my house today in the early afternoon, you might have imagined that Sasha and I were headed off to a diving expedition in the Galapagos Islands, not his first swim class. I have no idea why I get so nervous about each new experience, nor why I don't anticipate this heightened anxiety ahead of time and actually prepare in advance instead of having a million questions hit me as I am walking out the door.
What happened today was typical. With just a few minutes before it was time to leave, I began to wonder what I actually needed for this class. Well bathing suits seem like an important component for a swim class and yes, I did have one for Sasha as well as swim diapers that fit so I was feeling pretty good until I realized that I also needed to make sure that I had a suit that actually still fit me. I am essentially the same weight that I was before Sasha, but let's just say that it all looks different somehow. The slate gray one-piece sounded great until I slipped it on and realized that I must have worn it while pregnant as it was just sagging around my butt. And the bruise, I'd forgotten all about, the enormous bruise on my hip. When I say enormous, I mean enormous. And there wasn't just the one. I have a myriad of bruises up and down my legs from the multiple falls this weekend.
And then I noticed my hair. Yikes. I'd completely lost track of that. Not to digress too far but this growing out stage is a reaction to my last attempt at loveliness when I wound up getting a Brazilian and had no idea what a Brazilian was. How is that possible? friends exclaimed. Even Aaron wondered how I didn't know what I was signing up for. You watched sex and the city. Yeah, well I didn't know. So I was letting it all come back. And wow was it back. Okay where was that two piece suit with the little skirt thing that I bought when I was newly pregnant. Yes, that. Oops now that was really stretched out. Wore that in LA when I was very pregnant. Okay back to the gray suit. This would have to do. I put it on, pulled pants over it. At the last minute, I grabbed a razor and dry shaved just the edges--a bit of a touch up-- as I also brushed my teeth and packed Sasha's bag.
Right so what else would we need? I began to worry: what do you do with the babies when you are getting dressed? Do you put them on the floor in the locker room and have them crawl across the wet floor? Instead of wearing him, should I lug out the stroller? I called the pool and asked to speak to the manager.
Hi there. I don't know if this a weird question but what do the moms do with the babies when they are getting undressed and dressed.
He said, I'm not sure exactly but there are a lot of kids here. Quite a few of the moms bring their moms. That seems to work well. Or they can sit on a bench and wait.
I'm sure it does. I'm coming with just the baby. And he won't sit still. So should I bring in a stroller or a car seat to contain him off the floor.
Okay. Great. Something to agonize over on the way.
As we drove our thirty minutes to the facility, something else initially occupied my thoughts--I was incredibly itchy. My pants were hanging around my thighs as I shaved. The hair must have fallen into them. Good move. I chastised myself: Why are you such a mess? Can't you manage to keep yourself up just a little bit? You have got to start working out and getting hair cuts--trimming everything would be great--and buy a new suit. At least do that.
My mind was so busy with this that it wasn't until five minutes to go on our GPS that I literally started to shake imagining all of the ways that something could go wrong. Would I slip and drop the baby? Would all of the other moms know each other and judge me? Or not know each other and judge me anyway? Would Sash throw up all over the place as usual? Would all of our clothes fall in a puddle on the floor and we'd have nothing to wear home? Would Sasha hate the water and scream the whole time while all of the other babies splashed and smiled?
When we arrived, I decided against the stroller, strapped on my new hip hammock, slipped Sasha in, and grabbed our enormous bag stuffed so full that I could not remember what I had even packed. My overnight packing in general is enough for a week. A week's trip enough for a month. If you see my two week Martha's Vineyard packing, you'd assume that I am moving there permanently. Okay so we made it in one piece into the locker room and the other moms were already there. The room was fairly small and there was no place for us to set up. Luckily we were both wearing our suits under our clothes. I was about to head to the pool area when I saw that we needed to shower first. I stripped us and shoved all of the additional clothes on top of the too full bag and tucked it just outside the shower. We luxuriated in the warm water, Sasha especially, and then lugged ourselves to the pool.
I waited for all of the other moms, who did happen to know each other, and did have their moms with them, and were also all incredibly young-- like maybe not yet even twenty-- and wearing sexy young girl suits. And let me just say that it is true that a young body just bounces right back after a baby. I watched the young moms with their babies and their moms laughing and talking while Sasha and I sat on a bench all to ourselves. So how soon could we just hit the water? The instructor issued permission to approach the pool but before we could enter, Sasha threw up all over my towel. All over my towel. But no one seemed to notice, except the teacher, who pretended not to.
And then it was time for water fun. And it was fun. Sasha was the youngest baby by over a year. All of the other kids walked to the pool and sat on the ledge, and followed instructions but Sasha quickly caught on to what we were doing. He seemed to really enjoy every minute of our time together. When I was just focused on the two of us, which I was throughout the class, I felt relaxed and full of collective mom joy. When it was time to get out of the water and the grandma's took the babies from their daughters and the other moms began to chat again, I felt frankly like a fish out of water.
Sasha and I made it back to our bench and I pulled out his towel and wrapped him up tight as he seemed quickly chilled. Within a few minutes, he threw up all over his towel. I folded the edges of his towel and my towel, trying to engulf the vomit and use what was left of the towels to dry him and keep him warm. Rather than attempting to get him together in the dressing area, I changed him and put him into his clothes next to the pool in an area which was actually dry and clean. One problem down. But what was I to do with him while I changed? I just needed to slip out of my suit, towel myself off with the two very wet and puked on towels and pull on my clothes. But the floor in the locker room would be soaked and he'd be crawling everywhere. And there was no way to do it while wearing him. I was about to just layer my clothes over my wet suit when the wonderful instructor made his way over to me.
Would you like me to hold him for a few minutes so that you can get dressed?
Sasha had been incredibly comfortable with him in the water and I was only going to be a few feet a way. But should I do this?
I just figured you could use another set of hands.
Sasha smiled at him. I handed him over, raced into the bathroom, stripped down, dressed and was
back to them within seconds. Sasha hadn't even noticed I was gone. Still I couldn't help but to pull him to me.
You make a good mother's helper. I really appreciate it.
He studied my face for a moment. You're the one who called, aren't you?
I nodded. Guilty.
See it all worked out, didn't it?
I laughed. He even sounded like a mother. I think I am in love.
This time it was me smiling all the way to the car and home. Survived and enjoyed another first without too much collateral damage.
Just a month pregnant:
Many months pregnant: