Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
I've never swum with both kids on my own. The swimming is the easy bit. The changing room is the real challenge. Dovercourt rec used to have a pack and play to put your youngster in while you get changed and organised. I discovered this week 9 out of 10 when I was taking Felicity for swimming lessons. It changed my life. Today it was no longer there. Toby is one or those one-year-olds who... walks. They are either one and crawling towards their chosen method of self-harm or they are one and walking twice as fast toward the same. Toby made attempts at the door, the pool and the toilets as the mountain of clothing and towels grew unchecked on the bench in front of us. After 15 minutes of wrestling, re-enacting almost all the scenes from Munch's "Thomas' Snowsuit", we were ready. Lockers were jammed with our worldly possessions and remarkably two children and one adult were all appropriately dressed for swimming. Always wise to wee before swimming and there it was, the pack a play, a nice new pack and play, hiding under the counter next to the toilets. Well we know for next time.
The pool has all the makings of a great day out complete with quaintly named "Adam's Apple" cafe for post swim sustenance. Challenges lay ahead however. This is not a high crime area but I prudently not only locked my bike to the bike rack but took the extra precaution of locking the chariot to the bike's back wheel. Probably sensible since the chariot is worth more than the bike. Unfortunately I neglected to bring the right key for that second lock. I also left my wallet at home so that I didn't have to leave it in a locker. So the bus was out and the bike was out, leaving walking as our only option. On my own it is probably a 20 minute walk and although Felicity did an incredible job it did take us 35 minutes, all the while Toby was asleep in my arms. My biceps, such as they are, now feel like they have been partially detached from whatever keeps them stuck to my bones.
Right now, peace has descended upon us. Toby is miraculously having a second nap and Felicity is playing outside. I get to sit in the sunroom from where I can hear Toby and see Felicity. I hope to keep this blog up. I will be doing a lot of things on my own with the kids in the coming months and its easy to get bogged down in the grind, overlook the fleeting nature of these years of their lives and miss the humour, joy and adventure of the days.
Update: I cut the lock off with a hacksaw. It was a busy time at the rec centre but only one person asked me, "Did you lose your key?"! It was dark, raining and I was wearing a hoody. I was torn between the obvious which was that this would be a stupid way to try to steal a bike and the double bluff which was... well you can work that out quicker than I can think how to type it.