Adventures in Parenting #20: Just Keep Swimming

Last weekend I packed up the family (minus the increasingly depressed beagle) and we headed out for a weekend away with some friends. First of all, it should be noted that packing when it's just the two of you and packing when you have a baby isn't even the same thing. There should be a different term for packing with a baby in tow or like one of those Spanish accent marks over the top of the word so you know it's THAT kind of packing. (By the way, four years of Spanish and I can't tell you what those little accent marks are called. Thanks, public school.) Next time we do this sort of thing, I'll probably just invest in a long haul tractor trailer, pack up everything that will fit, set the house on fire, and live wherever it was that we were going for the weekend. I'm an incredible packer, a gold medalist in the fictional Packing Olympics, but packing with a baby humbled me. I digress. Once we'd stuffed every single thing we own into Hermione's magical purse from Harry Potter, we headed out to Lake Granbury to stay at our friend's parent's lake house. Now, when I say "lake house", you might be thinking of a dingy cabin in the woods or a trailer of some sort or at most a reasonably normal house that smells like moth balls and old sunscreen positioned somewhere in the general vicinity of a lake. Oh no, my friends. This was a "lake house" in the sense that Michael Jordan is a basketball player. Two stories, four bedrooms, 27 bathrooms, absurd pool table, cable and Internet, a live-in butler, a crazy dock with two boat slips and another for jet skis, and a saltwater pool. (I only made up one and a half of those things.) So basically, a second home that is significantly better than my actual home. It was heaven. When we walked in we all laughed and ran around in slow motion (NERD ALERT!) like when Frodo was greeted by the other Hobbits after destroying the one ring.

It was the perfect destination for a perfect weekend getaway. We fished, watch movies, ate more than humans should ever be allowed to eat in a 48 hour period, talked into the wee hours of the morning, and swam. Er, rather I should say, everyone else swam while I sat on the edge of the pool. I hate swimming. HATE it. Now, I am CAPABLE of swimming if the situation calls for it. I just really, really don't like it. I guess I understand why most people do enjoy it but at the end of the day you're just kind of sitting there, being wet. (Don't even get me started on swimming in lakes where snakes and alligator gars can bite you or in the ocean where man was NEVER intended to go.) That said, I am of course open to the idea of my child swimming, even if someone else will have to take him swimming for the entirety of his childhood.

We took this occasion, in such a ridiculous setting, to introduce Cooper to the water and see what happened. Now, since I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how much this kid hates bath time, he seems to have come around on the idea. Maybe he was embarrassed by the post and realized he was being a big baby about the whole thing but regardless, he's accepted bathing as a part of life now. But I did wonder whether he would inherit the hatred for swimming gene from me.

First off, here's Cooper in his absolutely absurd swimming outfit:


I know what you're thinking and yes, he does look like a fat tourist. He's a fanny pack away from spending the weekend at Great Wolf Lodge with his extended family. I actually like this shot better because Lindsey seems to be going out of her way to highlight his belly:


We finally got our little tourist in the water and at first, he was much too distracted by his own hand to have any sort of reaction. But then it started to dawn on him and his whole body was immersed in water and like most new things, he wasn't sure how to feel about it. He got a look on his face that was right down the middle between "about to smile" and "about to freak the freak out." We put him in a floatie that was significantly more high-tech than any floatie I had as a child and I think his facial expression says, "I don't like this but I'm not exactly sure why I don't like it."


On the whole, the occasion went about as well as we could have expected. Cooper never really seemed to come around on the idea but he puttered around in his Cars floatie for the better part of 30 minutes without having a complete meltdown and afterward he slept like a rock so that was an incredible bonus for Lindsey and me. We can now mark another "first" off the list and hopefully he'll be more swimming pool-inclined than I've ever been so that he can fit in with the chlorinated masses. Just as long as he stays away from the ocean.

Seriously the ocean belongs to the sharks, Brian