Sunday, June 26, 2011


You know that feeling, when you've been squinting in the sun, lying on the beach, too hot to breathe, swimming until your lungs give out, salt drying on your eyelashes, climbing up the cliff, walking miles back to the car, and trying to stay awake while you drive home? That. Except we haven't even been to the beach today.

Following the mother of all tantrums yesterday afternoon (I swear, they only get higher in intensity as the days pass...), we bundled into the car (in the rain and mist and coldness) and went to Pizza Hut, where J-cub delightfully constructed his own happy face pizza (unprompted) using carrots and cherry tomatoes and croutons.

And as he didn't really eat anything other than carrots and breadsticks and croutons, we thought it best not to have ice cream factories, so we went to Morrison's and loaded up on Ben and Jerry's. And they had a Peppa Pig ride on thing in the entrance. So far, J-cub has existed not knowing what these strange things in supermarkets are. But he needed cheering up, and so did we, so out popped our pound, and in popped our boy. He's been talking about it ever since.

We managed to thoroughly exhaust him enough that he went to bed pretty much as soon as we came home, and we settled in for an awesome-sauce evening of watching Parks and Recreation (soon to supplant The [American] Office as my favourite ever TV show). And somehow, despite it being Sunday, we were up and dressed and out before 9am this morning, on our way to a Safari Swim at our leisure centre. It was sunny but pretty fresh and chilly - hence our bundled-upness:

I'm not entirely sure why it constituted a safari swim - it was supposed to be for little people who were too small to go on the slides, with calmer waters and jungle animals. None of which seemed to be in evidence. Still, they charged us a fairly shocking £6 each to get in, so we thought we'd better make the most of it, and stayed in til we all turned blue. Which turned to be two hours after we first went in!

We started swimming with J-cub when he was 12 weeks old, we did Water Babies which was, on the whole, great ... but also beset with problem after problem. Swimming pools were too cold/deep/busy. Staff left. Classes were too small so we got bumped up into a toddler group while J-cub couldn't crawl, let alone walk (leaving us bobbing around, totally unable to join in the activities as he just didn't have the skills or understanding). He went through a big wobbly phase, which they say always happens, but having a child clinging onto you so tightly that you're left with deep fingernail marks, and who screams bloody murder when you even suggest that they should hold onto the side or do one of the million exercises they've been doing weekly for a year, just felt horrible and wrong and I left each class in tears. So we quit. We've been swimming precisely once since then ... more clinging, and more screaming.

But swimming should be fun, and we don't want to just give in when we know that he'll eventually get over it and start enjoying himself. So we stayed, and splashed, and cuddled, and gradually he calmed down. At the start of our two hours, he was screaming and refusing to approach the water's edge. At the end, he was riding on my back, holding on to the straps of my costume while I bobbed around the lazy river. And he went down a slide, which involved going through a curtain of water, and splashing into a shallow pool at the bottom. Yay!

We'll try and keep going I think, although maybe not at that time of the weekend with those prices.

Afterwards, we emerged to find the sun had put his hat on, and it was freakishly hot. We went to check out the marina (see the building in front of Jamie's face? Imagine that hadn't been built, and instead you could see a rather grimy ex-launderette in the basement of a fancy marina-flat-complex ... that's where we first lived together. Awwww.) - how similar are my boys?

And just to emphasise how perfect* the day has been ...

*By perfect, I mean too stinking hot to breathe. It's quite nice indoors though. We've also managed to weed and clean half the patio. It took 2 hours. That'll teach me to have a baby and ignore the gardening for nearly 3 years.

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