Mama OWL Blog: Human Soup

Human Soup

Monday, 7 April 2014

It's the Easter holidays, and in a bid to actually make it out of my pyjamas at a respectable time of day (unfortunately that came too late for the Tesco delivery man, no amount of mind bleach can help him now) I told the children this morning that there was a FUN SWIM. There was no going back - they knew about it, therefore I was obligated to take them or I would never hear the end of it.

A FUN SWIM! A FUN SWIM! Oh what fun that will be! Frolics and pool toys and beach balls and FUN!

Or... Not.

I can only assume that the term "fun swim" is meant ironically, or as a joke, because that is absolutely the last word I would use to describe it.
The queue to get in to the session is nothing short of a scrum, like there isn't enough water to go around (to be fair there nearly isn't), and after you've navigated the slippery floor into the too-small changing cubicles without being knocked out by someone flinging the locker door open into your face or doing yourself a mischief trying to get changed in an area the size of a matchbox, you then leave the changing room and are left standing, mouth agape, at the sheer volume of people that are in the pool.


L & H threw themselves in to the main pool with wild abandon, while E and I dodged flying beach balls and tried to block out the screams (I think it was the sound of kids enjoying themselves, though it could just as easily have been parental despair) as we made our way round to the small pool, where E had actually just spent half an hour having her weekly swimming lesson.

We got in, and then immediately got back out because E needed a wee. Then we got back in after I'd taken her to the loo, and E proceeded to happily frog around the pool in her little way, chasing a ball around and dodging parents with young children who were inexplicably using the fun swim as an opportunity to teach little Jimmy to swim.

I ask these people - WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

The pool is rammed not only with children, but usually at least two adults per child as well as numerous watering cans, massive floaties & swim rings (practically banana boats), beach balls, bouncy balls, rubber ducks and just about every other pool toy you could think of. Teach your kid to swim in the public swim, not the fun swim. At one point I was having to practically drown myself trying to keep E out of the landing area of a child who (a) appeared to be rather too old to even be in the small pool, and (b) was doing running dive-bombs into the pool off the edge. I can't imagine little Jimmy would be able to learn much about swimming besides how to keep his head above water with all that going on, at this point it's purely survival - it was like the bloody Hunger Games in there, we barely made it out alive.

I managed half an hour of being splashed, kicked, elbowed & hit in the side of the face with stray beach balls before I stopped E pouring water over my head with the watering can for the 37463849th time and getting the hell out of dodge. We enjoyed a communal shower with several people I know vaguely from the children's centre and other such places which wasn't at all awkward and luckily managed to bag the family changing room at the far end to change in. Unfortunately this brings other issues, such as E telling me loudly that I have big b00bies and asking why I don't have any pants on when I am in the middle of getting dried & dressed. Ignoring the sniggers coming from the other side of the cubicle, I encourage her to start packing her bag while she waits for me to get ready. I also have to stop her unlocking the door on numerous occasions.

I then walked round to the spectating area & gestured for the boys to get out just before the end of the session, waited for them to change and join me in reception before walking home in the rain with 3 tired children who whinged all the way back. A "fun swim" it was indeed. Can't wait to do it again.

*rips up swimming timetable*


  1. Ohh my....That sounds like utter madness....Not fun at all!

  2. Love it. Thankfully we avoid the public swim sessions (or go to the small pool instead where there's only ever 10 people max in it). At least our pool is new and large, with nice changing rooms, but it's the the noise, hundreds of excitable children let loose without parents, and having no awareness of anyone else in the pool. Madness (but kids do love it!).

  3. Add a loud, and repeating, mix cd and you have our local pool. Ignorance of opening times helps x

  4. Oh my goodness, that sounds like absolute torture! I'm not a big fan of swimming at the best of times, but that sounds horrific!


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