At six I went outside. I loaded Matthew into the car. I
By the time I pulled into the parking lot of the facility, it was 6:24. The Rock Star's lesson begins at 6:25. The closest parking space was at the very back of the lot, which is practically in Nevada. I threw the diaper bag over my shoulder, threw the car seat over my arm, scooped Garrett into my other arm and started running. It must have been quite a sight. I'm certain my children were bobbing in all sorts of bizarre directions and Garrett's limbs were flopping haphazardly as we bounded toward the door. I hastily threw my second born at the child care worker who asked for his name. As precious seconds ticked by she finally said, "Is this his first time?" Affirmative. "I need you to fill out this paperwork..." Oh for the love of Mary and Joseph! "Just go ahead and do it while your other son is in his lesson." Uh, it's a parent and child class. "Oh, you can just do it when you get back then." Praise God! I threw The Rock Star over my shoulder and practically flew out the door toward the indoor swimming lesson pool. That's when all the underworld broke loose and Satan's minions taunted my son with what might be happening to his brother...
"WHERE IS MY BROTHER? I WANT MY MATTHEW! DON'T LEAVE HIM WITH THOSE PEOPLE!" And he spat the words as though they were not only known pedophiles, they were also axe murderers and people who talk loudly at the theatre. "I WANT HIM BACK! GO GET HIM! DON'T LEAVE HIM!" If we hadn't been in a colossal hurry, I would I have burst into tears on the spot just thinking about the scene he's going to make if we have to give his brother back. I frantically used a calm voice (which is nearly impossible and completely ineffective) to explain that he was at the babysitter and we'd get him just as soon as Garrett's lesson was over.
You'd think that the lesson would have gone badly but, miraculously, it didn't. He was a total champ. He did everything his teacher asked and he's starting to regain some of the water confidence he had for the first 25 months of his life. When the lesson was over, we walked quickly through the facility and retrieved Matthew from the axe murderers. I had just started filling out the paperwork when nature called The Rock Star.
G: I have to go pot-pot.
Me: You need to hold it for just a minute.
G: (a few seconds later) I need to go pot-pot.
Me: You need to try to hold it. If you can't, just go in your swim diaper this time.
G: (begins to dance with a look of pain on his face) I need to go really bad!
I finished the paperwork, paid the lady, and quickly walked--with what felt like a brood of children though it's only two--to the front desk where we have to scan in to use the rest of the center, including bathrooms. There was a giant family (it's Utah) in front of me. "Garrett, please hold it. We have to wait." Thankfully one family member saw the look on his face and ushered me in front of them. I considered draping myself over her and singing something about her being a Jolly Good Fellowette but settled for an appreciative smile and simple thank you. We scanned in and hightailed it to the bathroom. And we made it!
Then we put Matthew in his bathing suit and headed for the outdoor pool area. By this time we'd been inside for about 45 minutes and if you know anything about this valley you're aware of the fact that storms can blow in in approximately nine seconds flat. When I threw open the door, people were pouring toward me. The skies were black. The wind, although fairly warm, was thrashing about with no regard to the promise I'd made my son. "Hey, buddy, should we come back when it's a little warmer?" If looks could kill my sons would be motherless. So we pressed on. Yes, I am the parent but there wasn't lightening yet. I was once a hardcore swimmer and I know that a little black rain cloud never hurt anyone and I try to be a mother of my word.
Depositing my stuff on a nearby chair, we clomped into the water. Though it would have been warm if I'd kept moving, it was not particularly comfortable as I stood immobile with an infant in my left arm and a Rock Star hanging off my right. When the wind hit my wet body I wanted to cry a little. Just a few tears. Just enough to let my toddler know the weight of the sacrifice I was making to keep my promise. Matthew was perfectly content, mind you, watching other kids and bobbing in the lukewarm water. After ten minutes I asked Garrett if we could go home. He splashed a few feet from me and said no. Of course not. We'd just gotten there. After fifteen minutes I asked again. Noooo. But I could hear the hesitancy in his voice as he spoke through chattering teeth. After twenty minutes I suggested that we come back on a day when the sun was out. Now he was thrilled to oblige.
Our towels were wet. The wind was blowing. We hightailed it inside and I jumped into a warm shower. "I don't want to take a shower here! I want one at home!" Fine, Rock Star, don't take one here. Within moments he was happily sharing a shower with me. When I got out and dried Matthew and myself off, Garrett kept asking for me to turn on the shower just one more time. Yeah. He'd seen the light. When we were all dried off and Matthew was strapped into his car seat, I decided to get my keys out so that I didn't have to fidget around for them at the car, in the wind, with a wet towel wrapped around me. Trouble was, they weren't in the diaper bag. My card to get in to the pool is attached to them so I knew they were...somewhere. I just didn't have a clue where.
As I thought about lugging the car seat and my cold toddler all around the building in search of keys, I nearly lost it. I could call Troy but he wouldn't answer in the middle of his meeting. I considered texting him, "911! Freezing. Lost keys. Come immediately." But, eventually I'd need to find them. So I prayed, "God. Please help me find my keys." Almost instantly an idea popped into my head. Maybe Matthew is sitting on them. I reached under his bum and there were the glorious keys. God. Is. Good.
I threw the car seat into the crook of my elbow. I clutched the slippery 30 pounder in a vice grip on my opposite hip and I walked as quickly as humanly possible, in flip flops with a towel around the waist, straight to the car. As I loaded the boys into the backseat the sky filled with lightening and thunder exploded just over our heads. It was a ridiculous comedy of missing car seats, axe murderers, wind storms, potty breaks and wet towels but it was over. Within an hour both boys were in their beds, dead to the world, and I was listening to the lonesome sound of rain slapping the windows and thunder shaking through the valley. It would have been nice to have shared the storm with my husband but, alas, he was at a board meeting.