Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nuclear Meltdown

The Rock Star started swimming lessons last night. When he was teeny he adored the pool. It made my heart swell up big and warm in my chest and pitter patter with pride. Sometime over the course of the past year, he's become fearful, like his scaredy cat father used to be when he was young so many kids his age. I signed him up for a parent and child class with high hopes that he would get over his trepidation in time to take a 3 year old class in August. It's not that he won't get in, it's just that he clings to me like a baby monkey.

The class began as a total disaster. First he wanted a noodle and, well, the noodles weren't for his class they were for a different one. Then he wanted the bucket of toys for his class. He would not pay attention for love or money or the fear of punishment. He wanted the bucket of toys filled with tons of tiny duckies. I asked his teacher if he could hold one so that we might accomplish something other than, "Mommy, I want a ducky." She said we were just about to get ducks anyway and that would be perfectly fine. She fished out a particularly cute little duck with a baseball hat. Slowly but surely, Garrett started becoming a little more brave and a little less terrified.

Step One: Smiling and happy, he loves the water as long as someone is holding him in a vice grip. Can you see his legs wrapped around my torso? It was like this one wedding dress I tried on. It was nice and all but I really didn't want to pass out during my own nuptials. Swimming with Garrett is kind of like that. Every minute or so I have to pry him off of me just to suck in two lungs full of air.
Step Two: Garrett gets a little brave and tries to blow the duck away with his bubbles. Here he's only clawing me with one hand instead of two and only one leg is wrapped around my own leg 782 times so that he is absolutely sure I won't be able to let go of him.
Step Three: Brave boy lets go of his mama with both legs and one arm! I'm holding him up with my left arm and he's gripping it tightly with his hand but the fact that three limbs are removed from my body is nothing short of miraculous.
Step Four: Well. We have no pictures of step four. When his lesson was over and it was time to put away the ducky, Garrett freaked out. And by freaked out I mean, of course, that he threw a colossal tantrum right there in the indoor pool enclosure. By freaked out I mean that he was clawing me and kicking me and shrieking about "I want my little ducky!". By freaked out I mean that he didn't turn into a tornado or a hurricane or tsunami. Oh no. This kid was only moments short of being an all out nuclear holocaust all by himself.

Now, in fairness to Garrett, I do believe that he formed some sort of odd attachment to the duck. I used it to get him to float on his back. I used it to get him to fall off the wall into my arms. I used it to get him to blow bubbles and paddle. I did not use it to get him to kick. If there's one thing The Rock Star really, truly likes to do in the pool it's kick. But that duck had gotten him over some hurdles yesterday. And then, just like that, Ducky was gone. I tried explaining that he lived at the pool with his brothers and sisters and mommy and daddy. I tried telling him he could see it again on Wednesday. Nothing worked. He screamed total and complete bloody murder for that darn duck. Odd attachment or not, no son of mine is going to behave like that in public and get away with it. Especially when his behavior made it look like we'd never told the child no in all his 33 months of life.

I have never been more humiliated by my child ever in his entire life. Ever.

The entire crowd of parents, children, lifeguards, and swimming instructors were staring at us as the scene unfolded. Garrett has never behaved that badly in public. Never. Thank goodness his father was there. Troy took him straight out and I followed with the baby. By the time I got out to the car, Garrett was still screaming. It was completely horrendous.

When we got home he was punished. He was also informed that he will be apologizing to his swimming teacher on Wednesday. I only wish I could get him a megaphone so that he could apologize to each and every parent, child, teacher and lifeguard. I wish he could take it all back so that my cheeks had never experienced such a scarlet shade of red. But, well, he can't. So I've moved on.

I know that tomorrow we're taking our own duck to swimming lessons. I do not intend to put poor little Baseball Ducky through that again. Or anyone else for that matter.

I'll leave you with a short little clip of Garrett and the Duck...before the atom bomb was dropped.


  1. Did you call your mother and apologize for all public tantrums you put her through? J

  2. Lori....
    Dear sweet lovable Lori, who writes a wonderful blog and has become my friend and never criticizes me for freaking out about, well, everything in my own blog but instead kindly offers advice and inspires me in oh, so many ways....

    I'm sorry that Garrett freaked out so completely on you the other day because that really stinks....

    and please do not hate me for saying this...

    but you really, really, really need to take that ridiculous scrunchy out of your hair as it is no longer the 1990s. I'm sorry but a fun, awesome, hip Mom, such as yourself, should never be seen wearing such a thing. Even in Utah.

    Please allow me to send you a healthy supply of nice reasonable, plain brown elastic hairbands. Really, I'd love to... anything I can do to abolish the scrunchy from the heads of women everywhere. :)

  3. Jen,

    Thank you for being my personal Internet stylist. I very much appreciate it. I'd like to apologize to the rest of the world for wearing such a hideous hair accessory. Apparently, and I really hate to admit this, you maybe can take the California out of the girl.

  4. As if the story wasn't already amusing (to me, of course), the comments are hysterically funny. I have to admit I noticed the scrunchy, but decided to pretend it was a "Utah thing". ;)

    If it is any consolation, The Ambassador pitched hissies far and wide when he first started swimming lessons. I signed him and Hubby up for them so I could get a quiet morning to myself every week, and instead, ended up having to go to the first few classes and get in the water. Do I even have to say how unhappy that made me? 2.5 years later, I have a guppy for a son. He is amazing, and he's in an advanced class with five-year-olds. I promise G will be just fine! It just might take a few classes. Hugs.

  5. Fit pitching: Ah I remember it well. I'm just sorry no one caught this one on video. I think we should have a contest to crown the Champion Fit Thrower of the Year.
    We could have city contests, then states, then Fit Thrower USA, and World Champion Fit Thrower.

    The grand prize could be a week's stay at the UN.

  6. In defense of Utah, did Lori own the scrunchie before she moved to Utah, and did, indeed bring it with her? J

  7. Oh no. You poor thing. I can only imagine what Aiden will do in a few short years. Yikes.

  8. Oh, massive tantrums in public. I don't remember doing such when I was younger, mainly because I am bloody scared of my mother.
    That is why I don't want to have kids. I'm afraid that I'm going to hit them so hard if ever they pull a tantrum like that. I know that's mean, and I won't enjoy doing that either, but I can't stand tantrums!