We are not a family that does extracurricular activities. It is just not who we are. We will do special outings as a family, my favourite being our summer week long event of family fun activities I do on the blog each summer but otherwise we don’t really pack our lives full of scheduled things. If I am being honest even getting my family out for my week of summer fun blog event is like pulling teeth even for myself but in the end, it creates tons of memories and we always end up enjoying ourselves.
One of those activities was the a trip to Calypso just outside of Ottawa, Ontario. It was a great day but had some stressors and scary moments. Not only did we lose Little Brother but we also learned Big Brother was terrified of the water and couldn’t float let alone swim. I guess it never occurred to me that we were not born to swim and it is something we all learn and it is something we all NEED to know as swimming is something that can save your life. It was that day that I decided swimming lessons were going to become a part of our life.
Cue the Nolie rants and my 5 reasons why I hate swimming lessons….
Reason #1 – Signing Up For Swimming Lessons
I have no idea what it is like in your city but here in Ottawa, it is like you are a hockey player and it is the last minutes of the Stanley Cup. Though instead of losing out on the Stanley Cup you may just lose out on having your kid in swimming lessons. Before main registration day at your local rec centre comes the online registration day.
Every parent is sitting at the computer with the codes of the swimming lessons they want and the backup ones they will accept waiting for the stroke of midnight when registration opens. Then with baited breath you hit the enter button praying you get in and are not stuck in an internet traffic jam. quickly enter your information and codes and wait for the next screen
You’re In! You quickly enter your information and codes and wait for the next screen saying added to cart instead of telling you “Sorry that class is full”. You then repeat this process for each of your kids if you have more than one. If you are good and you get lucky you get all your kids in swimming lessons at the same time and at the same pool. For me, this is a biggie as if it doesn’t work out we ain’t doing lessons. So far I have been lucky to have it work out each time though I am on the fortunate side to be within quick driving distance to 3 different pools.
Reason #2 – The Change Rooms
Due to Big Brother being over the age of 6 he is not allowed in the female change room. Our very first swim class I gave him strict instructions and sent him off into the men’s change room while I went to the females change room with Little Brother. I quickly got Little Brother ready and rushed to stand outside the men’s change room waiting and listening for Big Brother in case he needed me.
Everything went great except for two things.
1) Why oh why must the shower part be directly in front of the door to the pool and we have to walk through it. This is not nice for us parents in our street gear trying to stay dry.
2) The change rooms were CRAZY. People and kids everywhere. I swear it felt worse than Disney World on Halloween and that gave me nightmares.
Which leads me to Reason #3 on why I hate swimming lessons.
Reason #3 – The Family Change Room
After our first episode of using gender-specific change rooms, I decided the family change room was a better option for us. Well, I don’t think the city realizes how many families utilize this option. Thankfully we are all in there for the same reason so everyone is much more kind, patient and helpful than those in the gender-specific change rooms.
However at the pool closest to our house that we use most often for swimming classes, it seems the family change room was an afterthought. There are TWO stalls to change in, the bathroom and then the shower area which has ONE shower. There is also no room in the main area to change so we stand in line waiting for the one shower then we stand in line waiting for one of the 2 change rooms or the washroom. Yes families use the washroom as a change room since our options are limited. Of course this causes a whole other problem if your child is anything like mine and usually has to pee the moment a family has gone into the washroom to use it as a change room.
Reason #4 – Parent Day
This was the first set of lessons where I even knew about Parent Day. It wasn’t mentioned to us but it was up on a white board in the pool area announcing that next week would be Parent Day and all parents were asked to bring a bathing suit to participate in swimming lessons.
Panic set in as I realized Tobei would be working evenings that day and I would be alone to bring the kids to their swimming lessons. How was I to be in 2 classes at once? I called their god-father to see if he could come but he was also working. I called Grandma but due to her fibromyalgia she would not be able to do it. I admitted defeat and showing up at the pool on Parent Day praying I was not the only parent who has to sit out. Well it ends up not a single parent particiapted. It was just another day of swimming lessons and I spent an entire week stressing out for nothing.
Reason #5 – PITA
PITA in case you don’t know stands for pain in the ass. Well swimming lessons are a PITA. We either have to take lessons as soon as the boys get out of school which means a mad dash to get them out of school and to the pool on time OR we take our lessons right at dinner time. This time around we chose the dinner time option. Thankfully it worked out for us as they have a snack after school do their homework and then we grab dinner on our way home from the pool. For all my reasons
For all my reasons listed in this post I figured it was best summed up by just saying that I find swimming lessons to be a giant PITA. However I learned from a rather fortunate first hand experience that they are a necessity so I will suck it up and we will continue to take our swimming lessons like a good little family until my kids are little fish in the pool.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with extracurricular activities? Share yours below in the comment section. Would love to hear I am not alone.