Swimming in the big pool


I took the girls swimming this afternoon, and La Serpiente was being whiny and complaining that she had to carry her booster seat to the taxi. It got so bad that my wife told her she wasn’t getting any treats after swimming, so then I had to put up with twenty minutes of constant whining that it was unfair because she wanted treats. I took this as a good teachable moment. My daughter would learn how fairness is not hedonic maximisation. Or she would keep howling that she never, ever, ever got any treats for twenty minutes.

I was therefore dreading the swimming classes, because I assumed all this howling would not put La Serpiente into a fit state for anything. Plus, we arrived at Swish to find they were in the middle of painting the place, so we we’re being relocated to the other pool fifty yards away. This pool is much bigger, but there also no office attached to it where La Serpiente could sit and colour in pictures while waiting for her lesson. I predicted angst.

Happily, La Serpiente sat looking bored in the shade of an awning for half an hour, while Destroyer amazed me with her confidence at floating on her back in the water, and her ability to approach breaststroke. Neither of my kids is at all fazed by getting their head underwater.

When it came to La Serpiente’s turn, Destroyer and I sat and watched, and once again I was impressed. La Serpiente listened to her coach and didn’t muck about, swam confidently underwater for several metres, even managing to come up for air and then swim on, and had the stirrings of some passable freestyle. And no sounds of conpalint at all.

After this, I felt there could be a stay of execution on the treats front. Or rather,neither child got treats, but they did get post-swim snacks and that made them quite happy enough. We went home without either of them falling asleep and they didn’t even need to be placated with television tonight. I assumed bedtime would be a breeze – well, La Serpiente went down easily and then burst in to our room after midnight, while Destroyer just faffed and faffed and faffed. Oh, the joy of parenting.

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