Sunday, July 6, 2008

Thar she blows!

This afternoon, I took the kiddo to the pool for the first time this summer. With our membership to the YMCA, we get access to the pools at the Y camps in the area, something we began taking advantage of the summer before last. There is a camp about 10 minutes from our house, and not only is the pool heated (ahhhh - nice for wimpy mommies) but they have a new splash pad play area for the kids (with an adjacent, shaded seating area). Not a bad deal at all, as we can use the facilities in the afternoons once the day camp is through and also most of the day over the weekends. Last year, the kiddo and I hit the pool a few times a week, as swimming is a wonderful sensory activity and really chills the kiddo out and gets her system regulated.

Of course, the down side to all this pool fun is the unavoidable Mommy in a bathing suit in public issue.

As much as I long for bathing suits to go back to the really old-school style like this:

it isn't like
ly that this is going to happen any time soon. This means showing off my jiggly, dimply, pasty whiteness in public, something of which I'm not particularly fond. (Imagine the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in a raspberry and fuchsia paisley tank and you'll get an unfortunately accurate picture.) I've eyed the "suck you in and slim you down" suits that supposedly make you look ten pounds thinner as soon as you stuff yourself into one, but frankly, they wouldn't help me unless they went at least to my knees. I think my thighs would look even scarier to the general public if they were wobbling about underneath a tightly-sucked-in midsection. I've pondered getting one of the swimsuits with a skirt, but I haven't found a tank with a skirt that didn't positively scream "old lady" and I will. not. wear a tankini - I tried on about a thousand of them last summer on my sister's advice ("seriously, Heath, they're soooo forgiving and make any body type look great since you can mix and match!"). It wasn't good. I prefer the safety of the full-coverage, one piece suit, thankyouverymuch. Now, part of the problem is that I'm cheap - I won't spend $100 some-odd bucks on a bathing suit, not even for the sake of vanity. I'm all about the Land's End overstocks dept for my swimwear needs. So, no miracle suits for this mommy...

Now, the second part of the problem comes when the kiddo wants to go in the pool. As long as she's playing in the splash pad area, I can stay safely covered up and dry on the sidelines. But, she's not old enough yet that she's allowed in the pool sans grown-up, and I don't think I'd feel comfortable with her in there without myself or Hubby even if she were. So, when she wants to go in, Mommy must go in as well. And this, unfortunately, requires revealing all my Moby-ness to the world.

My strategy is this: Find a chair that is realllllly close to the edge of the pool, l
eaving my shorts/t-shirt or cover-up on until the last possible second. Once everything is set - the kiddo's bubble is secured on her back, shoes are shed, towels are laid out on the chair, etc. - then remove the covering and hightail it into the pool. As the other pool guests look on in stunned silence - "What was that large, white, jiggly mass that just flashed in front of my eyes?" - I get into the water at least as high as my cleavage. I'm totally comfortable with being visible from the boobs up - I like to think that the sun's reflection off the surface of the water minimizes my chins - and I pretend like crazy that the water isn't crystal clear, but rather black as ink and therefore no one can see the baby belugas protruding from my suit underwater. Denial is my best friend in this situation, always.

Now that I'm safely obscured in the pool, I am easily enough distracted by monitoring the kiddo, who comes up with new ways to give Mommy a minor coronary each year. Last year it was the "watch me jump in all by myself!" phase, and this year we've moved on to the even scarier "watch me 'swim' underwater!" phase. I use swim in quotes there because she's not really swimming, per se - first of all, she has the bubble on so depth is hard to achieve, and then there's the fact that in her mind, "underwater" is anytime her face is wet, so at the most she is maybe an inch below the surface but generally it is just her face in the water. (I'm even more paranoid than usual this summer with all the news stories about delayed drowning, so I was yanking her face out of the water constantly this afternoon.)

So, once I'm submerged, I'm pretty well occupied until the dreaded moment arrives when the kiddo either needs to do a potty run, wants to go back to the splash pad, or I have to pull the plug as her lips are turning purple. (Side note: I have never felt more like my mother than when I am ordering the kiddo out of the water "because your lips are turning blue, is why, right now!" as I must've heard my own mom say that to me at least a thousand times as a kid. I guess it is karma that she gives me as hard a time about it - "But Mooooommmmm, I'm not c-c-c-c-cold!!" through chattering lips - as I gave my mom back in the day.) Now not only do I have to bare the belugas again, but I'm cold and dripping wet and I don't believe that goosebumps are particularly slimming... Once I'm safely ensconced in my towel or cover-up once more, I finally can breathe again. (And hey, holding my breath is rather slimming anyhow, is it not?)

I've been trying to lose/tone up some of my Stay-Puftness in anticipation of our Florida vacation at the end of the summer, but I must admit I've been slacking a bit on the workouts of late. (For a while there, I was working out five - count 'em, FIVE - times a week at least!) I think today's pool visit has refirmed my resolve to firm the jiggling as much as I can between now and the end of August. I've still got eight weeks, I ought to be able to do something between now and then... In the meantime, if you happen to visit the pool at the Y camp one sunny afternoon, don't be scared when Moby Mommy blows past you on the way into the deeper water!


Kimberly said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I haven't ever been over to yours until now, but I think I'll be back! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Remind me again (in email) which Y's have splash pads?

Scary Mommy said...

This is too funny. I'm the same way-- slinking in, with my set up as close to the edge as possible. I HATE swimming pools- they are so stressful!!