At the same time as acknowledging the desire for my little one to grow up and be free to choose to be whoever she wants to be, there’s always a part of me that gets more than a little pleased when she starts exhibiting characteristics that I recognise as my own. It’s like an unspoken score chart i have.
When I became a mum, I had those dreams of things me and my daughter could spend time doing together as she grew up. As regular visitors will know, I like a swim. My OH doesn’t and the few times i’ve actually made it to organised ‘wild swims’ I’ve hoped that there would be a time when i could go with my own little companion. Not so much wishing my life away, just hoping that i would have a son or daughter that would enjoy the same things as me. My little girl is quickly approaching two and we abandoned swimming ‘lessons’ after a few weeks when she was 5 months as she just wasn’t enjoying them.
Suddenly over a year has flown by and I decided to brave the local children’s pool a month ago. She loved it! In fact she’s recently become completely obsessed with water and pouring games. I’m in a constant battle to rescue my garden from drowning.
This weekend, we had a family outing to Tooting Bec Lido. I’ve been experiencing a bit of a swimming drought of late and was very excited at the outing. OH was on toddler duty – they have a paddling pool, whilst I could indulge in a swim. Slightly enthusiastically, we were there not long after 9am, to discover that the paddling pool doesn’t open till 10am – why? It’s next to the main pool.
I swear I’m cursed when it comes to pools and opening times. As well as previous posts here and here, we turned up on a scorcher of a day in May, (which means pushing a pram 2 miles uphill) with a picnic packed, to discover the whole thing was closed to the public until the week after. We sat on the green outside the shut gates watching the members going in and out. There was quite a collection of the ordinary public and their children sat, disappointed, eating picnics outside the gates, so at least i wasn’t the only one!
Anyway, I digress. Little one knew she was going swimming, she’d been shouting the word and doing swimming actions all the way there. Once inside, she bolted for the big pool. It’s freezing. Completely devoid of any heat. Probably a bit like sitting in a freezer. I thought the easiest way to prevent 30 mins of distracting her from the edge was to let her dangle her feet in. She’d soon realise it was freezing and wait for the paddling pool. She settled down on the edge – complete with psychedelic UV suit, arm bands and a rubber ring – and dipped in her toes. I waited for the scream.
But none came. She loved it and five minutes later she’d made it fully into the pool and was splashing around. It was quite a moment for me, and I admit to enjoying the smiles of onlooking swimmers. I could suddenly see us in years to come ploughing through lakes and rivers, racing in the lido. Just us, the water and the sky!