Friday, July 14, 2006

Time to sit back and unwind

I took Noah to tot swim at the Rec Center pool on Wednesday afternoon. Since then he’s repeatedly asked to go swimming. He LOVED it so much. I’m wary of taking him to all-swim because it’ll be more crowded and more rowdy - and thus less enjoyable for both him and me. Months ago we bought him a small plastic pool that I have yet to put in the “yard” and fill it with water because outside our house is like mosquito heaven. They are so bad out there that we’ve spent zero time going out back. I’m thinking the mosquito problem is created by the abandoned building next door to our home – the one with the caved in roof and the probable inches of standing water contained within. And not too much I can do about that. I have bug spray and Off coils, but I'm wary of using them with Noah because of the possible toxins. Am I being nuts? Are there more natural ways to shoo those pesky biting bugs?

Oh – I almost forgot about the scene I caused at the pool. Without thinking I wore my glasses and after Noah and I were in the water for about ten minutes a lifeguard told me I had to take them off. He didn’t elaborate on the reasons but I’m guessing that the possibility of broken glass in the water is a safety hazard and since it’s a small pool and can get crowded and quite rowdy with teens and whatnot they have a lot of seemingly silly and very restrictive rules. I apologized for having worn them and said I wouldn’t let it happen again but that I would prefer not having to take them off because I need them to see. And since there were only like five parents and their infants in the pool, and I obviously wasn’t going to put my head under water with Noah in my arms, could they let me go this time. Eventually, after talking to four different people they did. But first the 16 yo lifeguard said to me “Well I can’t see without my glasses but I’m not allowed to wear them either.” Ahem. Yes… the lifeguard can’t see. Certainly reassuring. And another employee yelled at me from the other side of the gate “Well YOU PEOPLE made the rules.” To which a father in the pool angrily shouted “YOU PEOPLE? Who is this YOU PEOPLE?” And then she muttered something about the neighbors. Ah… so much excitement when you use free city services.

Yesterday Noah and I drove out to Reading to spend some time with Ms. Janette and Baby Jules. We drove over 3 hours to be there for 2 and a half. I can’t stand her living so far away. It kills me that we’re both home alone all day, every week day with our kids and could use the company but we barely see each other. And it isn’t just the distance, it’s the damn traffic. The Schuylkill is ALWAYS a mess and a drive that should take an hour is at least an hour and a half on a GOOD day. But we had a nice afternoon of chatting, baby wrangling and Chinese food. If only there were more of them.

Today we went to our typical Friday morning playgroup. There were more mothers and kids there than usual and it was particularly hot and chaotic. Kids not sharing, peeing on the ground, screaming and crying. I left needing a nap. Though I look forward to seeing other moms and having Noah interact with the other kids, the group is getting almost too stressful. Some of the parental styles are starting to clash – as some Mom’s are very hands on (um… me) and some are completely hands off while their children run amok. And the personalities of some of the kids are borderline aggressive. I’m stuck monitoring other people’s kids and trying to encourage Noah to have fun without pushing him, while making sure that other kids don’t take every toy out of his hands or clobber him for no reason. This week Noah clung to me even more than usual and actually asked me several times to go home. I hope it was just an off week for us both.

We have a few recreational possibilities for this weekend but our humid heat wave might squash them all. Exciting outdoor activities in breezeless scorching misery are not so fun. I wish for you a lovely lazy weekend full of popsicles, water fun and cool breezes.


Heather Evans said...

have you ever taken noah to valley forge? there's this great little creek behind one of the museum buildings (not the visitor's center, though...i don't think...i'm sure it's on the map on their website, but my computer won't display that image...) that's a great place for wading and picnicing. and the burbs has GOT to be about 15 degrees cooler than hot and sticky philly.

i loved the story of you hatcheting down the door a la the shining!

Missuz J said...

Sounds to me like that play group is more trouble than it's worth.

You are the sweetest mom.

OH--do you know about the Avon Skin So Soft? It's like the best insect repellent in the land. I'm fairly sure it's not toxic or anything. Plus it smells nice.

lonna said...

I wonder if Preschool (if you find you can afford it) will help Noah out. Dermot has never minded being in groups of kids and he has no problem defending himself (unfortunately), but he did seem to spend a lot of time by himself or with 1 or 2 kids at daycare. I think that is what he prefers, and I bet Noah is the same way.

We're totally with you on the hands-on parenting. I can't tell you how many children we wrangled at the wedding over the weekend because of parents who figure that others will take care of their kids. I think that people thought we were crazy because we were always chasing Dermot around. Sure, I would have loved to have socialized, but it's going to be a couple of years before we're really able to do that. That's part of the job of parenting.

amandak said...

I'm with Missuz J about the playgroup thing. I'd maybe go back and hope for a good experience, just so he won't have the bad experience as his last impression, then bid them a fond farewell.

I also really hate it when "You People" make silly rules and insist upon enforcing them without discrimination. I would have abandoned the pool right about then too, but that's just me. "Those People" and "Somebody Should" are almost as bad.

NME said...

I've been meaning to take Noah to Valley Forge but haven't made it yet. That's a great suggestion. Thanks.

And Skin-so-soft! Of course. Duh. Thanks.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

This may sound weierd but the best insect repellent I have found is BOUNCE (won't work in water - however) I just take a bounce sheet and wipe the kids down and they have very few bites if any (at their other grandmothers they come home eaten up - so they are not the kids that never get bit) I also will put one in the stroller or the baby carseat with the littlest guy and he has yet to be bitten on my time.

Maybe it was an off week for you both - hopefully it will be much better next playgroup - if not find another no reason for you both to leave more stressed than ever!