As the children have started swimming lessons, we now are the proud card holders of a two-month membership at the local Rodd Mill River Resort Aquaplex and Squash Courts. We have the card for two months, and I plan on making the aquaplex our second home. The kids commented today, while we were home eating lunch together on an Easter Monday, that we can now go to the Rodd for free.
Well, not actually, kiddos- that’s why Mommy works a day job. To pay for swimming lessons for four. Which, by the way, cost close to three hundred and fifty dollars because we have to have the membership to get the swimming lessons at this particular resort. I am planning on moving my essentials over starting this Thursday while the second swimming lesson is underway. That will be the only point in time over the coming week in which my kids will all be in the watchful care of their new babysitter, er, I mean lifeguard, who will be closely attending to them while I unpack. I look at my membership fees as the equivalent of one month’s rent. Squatter’s rights to the second month.
We tell the kiddos that we are going to the pool after supper, and it seems a spell has been cast. It is as if a magician has waved a wand and obedience dust has been gently sprinkled over their perky, little noses. All day, we have nary an unkind word or moment of complaint. Love prevails. Temper tantrums cease. Okay, I am exaggerating about this last one: nobody in a household of six really has it that good. But it is better than normal around here for most of the day. My husband and I look at each other at various points throughout the morning and afternoon and give each other the raised eyebrow- an unspoken signal that allows you to say the unspeakable. We salute one another with a high-five when we accomplish the unthinkable: that is, we manage to get all four children working simultaneously at various jobs around the house on projects that might have only gotten off the ground when pigs fly.
Can this day really be happening? Or, am I watching an early episode of 19 Kids and Counting?
Since the day has been such a roaring good time, we are more than willing to take the family for a nice “top-off-the-weekend” swim before retiring to bed for the night. What could be better than a nice swim, a relaxing drive home and then a gentle tuck-in and cozy hug to finish the day?
Just about anything would be nicer, actually.
For starters, the pool is freezing. I mean, something has to be broken in the plumbing department tonight. And they call this a resort? However, I am a Canadian girl, so I make it work. I find the one warm spot in the shallow end, but let’s just say that two little girls have already been laughing about how they always pee in the pool. As if this was a secret.
We swim, we freeze. Double whammy. And, since the hot tub is also not working, I do my best to stay warm in the pool, treading water when necessary and doing various acrobatics to maintain body heat. Meanwhile, husband mentions he might take a little break in the sauna. I am now on duty with four little swimmers while he sweats it out in the warmest place in the resort: the sauna. After about a half an hour, I notice that my husband has not returned to the pool. I say to my sister-in-law, “He is going to lose five pounds if he doesn’t soon get out of there.” My youngest, having overheard this comment, abruptly turns and looks at me with genuine worry in her eyes.
“Do you mean he’s going to melt in there?”
After having rescued my melting Easter Bunny from the oven in which he has been slow roasting, we proceed to leave the cold pool area for the even colder shower and changing room. My three girls and I huddle in one shower stall and wait for five, solid minutes for the scalding hot water to gradually return to a steady stream of warm water. As I am the mother, I am the last to get out and dress myself. This night has not really gone exactly as planned, but at the very least, the kids are still in good humor. With my rose colored glasses retrieved and sitting on the brim of my nose, I can also try to see this whole experience as cup half full.
Wrong. The minute we step foot in the van, everything completely falls apart. The kids start fighting, and before we have made it into our driveway, the oldest has lost video games for two days. The youngest, not to be outdone, has also lost video games for one day, and she is still crying as we proceed into the house and edge our way toward the staircase leading to her bedroom.
Are you kidding me?
I am flabbergasted. And quite ready to revoke the kid’s memberships to the pool so I can instead buy myself a makeover package from the local beauty salon instead. Or a big bottle of Asprin, at the very least.
Spa life ain’t all she was cracked up to be.