Why the boys starting swimming lessons has me breaking out in a cold sweat …

Beautiful brunette woman on the beach alone relaxing in a hat. S

I have a confession. I have not been swimming in 2.5 years. Not because I don’t like it. Ok, maybe I don’t like it a little bit. I’m a Pisces which means I am supposed to love the water. All the star signs descriptors out there say Pisces are water lovers but perhaps I was just born overdue and missed my true star sign calling because a water lover I am not! And I can’t swim. Much.

When I was 19 I went off on a big adventure to the big US of A to work on a summer camp over in New York State. Little did I know that we would be put through rigorous testing of our swimming skills. I am an asthmatic so holding my breath in cold water has never been and never will be my strong point. So I failed. Well, first I was tested and failed so offered the opportunity to test again. And failed again. I got through all the swimming parts but the treading water part killed me. I was the only one who failed the swim test. Yep, and it wasn’t JUST the camp counsellors who were tested either. The very same test was given to all the campers too and even the 6 year olds all passed. Embarrassing much? Anyway, not much has changed. I am still not a strong swimmer and I am nervous with the boys around water, I imagine that they will fall in and drown but that is just me passing on my own water insecurities to them and I really don’t want them to know or it might subconsciously rub off on them too. So we are doing swimming lessons starting next Saturday. And I am terrified.

The reason I am terrified? Because I will have to wear togs. AKA swimmers for you non Kiwi folk. AKA those really tight lycra things that show every bump and lump on your body. THAT my friends is why I have not been swimming in over 2 and a half years. It makes me break out in a cold sweat just thinking about having to put on a swimsuit and be seen in public. Even though all of the other mums in the pool with their little bundles of energy probably feel the same. I have never been able to lose the baby bump even post 2 years past baby. Can I even still blame the baby 2 years down the line? Probably, kinda, not really. It just stays like a stubborn stain that will not wash out. And the problem with that is that if I wear anything even close to resembling a tight top I seriously look pregnant. I am dreading these swimming lessons but I can’t deny my children the opportunity to learn to swim and to turn into me, so I am swallowing my pride and going to have to get over it.

Please tell me other people feel this way about swimsuits too?! Or water in general? And what do you do to get around it? Because with two little boys who love the water, I need to find my way around it somehow. And quickly!

Two Year Olds 


Usually I like to take some time to think up a catchy blog title but anyone with children usually understand what a simple exasperated ‘Two Year Olds’ probably intones and it is usually followed by commiserating looks and murmurs and recollections of the terrible twos.

Finley was 2 in December and having a full blown tantrum has started to become an epic event. All at once funny, embarrassing and infuriating. Cohen wasn’t really a tantrum thrower, he was far more relaxed and had a limited vocabulary at this age, so in hindsight I see how spoilt I was the first time around.

Finley is making up for that in bucket loads.

So, yesterday I decided to stop at the beach on the way to pick up Cohen from kindergarten. Some lovely sea air and a walk was a nice easy way to tire out my youngest child who had already refused his nap. Our local beach is two minutes down the road from us and there are three car parking areas – a middle car park by the surf club and a car park at either end of the beach by the boatsheds on each side. Since it was on my way I decided to stop in the middle car park and give him the run around towards our boatshed at the other end. The whole time he made a beeline for that boatshed and our tractor (as pictured above) because honestly, what little boy doesn’t want to play on a tractor all day? After some convincing and going up and down a set of stairs 3 4 times we went back to the car and drove to collect Cohen. This is where it started to get interesting.

‘Do you want to go to the beach boys or go home?’

Chorus from the backseat ‘BEACH!’

Ok then, they both agree. Brilliant. Challenge #1: Getting them to agree to said destination/activity complete.

Since Finn had spent the entire time at the beach wanting to go to the boatshed I decided to just go straight there and park on the beach right outside. Makes sense right? Of course it does! Why walk 15 minutes to the boatshed when you can park right in front of it? So I pull up.

Tears. Instant. ‘No want this beach! Other beach! No want this one!’

‘Finley, this is the same beach. You wanted to go to the boatshed’

‘No want it!! No! Other park mummy! No want this one! No want this beach!’

‘Finley, don’t be silly. We are at the beach. You love the beach! Look, the tractor!’

I drag him out of the carseat kicking and screaming (seriously, kicking and screaming). What two year old doesn’t like the beach?!

Plonk. Face down in the sand. Muffled sobs and ‘No want this beach!’ omit from child. Get out second child who is happy as larry to be at the beach and wants to get running to play on the rocks further down. I decide to take the ‘leave them and hope they follow’ approach. Get about 10 metres down the beach. Child has not followed and is wailing louder. Turn and go back.

Now, this is the time to note that there were other people in these boatsheds watching with great amusement. They know my husband so I am pretty sure this will get around and become a great joke. One of the guys actually came down and offered me some chocolate bars for the boys, trying to help (bless him) and commented that F was a feisty one. Yep. So I was very conscious of the fact that we were actually the main show brightening up their quiet afternoon.

After 10 minutes of this I decided, right, that’s it! He wanted to go home and so while going home is usually the punishment, at this point it was giving in. Two can play this game. So I hefted him up under my arm like a football and carried him down the beach. By this point, people were making no attempt to hide their entertainment and were openly standing at the doors of their boatsheds watching the show with big grins on their faces. I kid you not. So I carry him down the beach still crying and say ‘I know Finn! Why don’t you jump in this puddle! You love puddles!’ and put him down.

PLONK. Face down in puddle. ‘No want puddle! No want it!!’

So now I have a soaking wet sand covered child screaming instead of just a screaming child. Great. He then gets up and stalks back to the car where he then lies flat on the sand like a plank, face down in silent protest.

At this point with echoes of laughter (not mine) I decide that it is time to go home. Fighting with a stubborn two year old for 30 minutes in front of an audience is not my cup of tea and in the end his ability to remain stubborn bet out my ability to fight him. And I was by then in desperate need of a coffee. A strong one.

And all because I parked in the wrong place.

Two year olds!

What irrational moments has your child had lately or what is one that stands out as memorable?

Linking up with EssentiallyJess and doing IBOT for the first time. Thanks for popping by!

Words to Ponder – Food For Thought Friday

gerund or present participle: pondering
  1. think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.
    “I pondered the question of what clothes to wear for the occasion”
    synonyms: think about, give thought to, consider, review, reflect on, mull over,contemplate, study, meditate on, muse on, deliberate about, cogitate on,dwell on, brood on/over, ruminate about/on, chew over, puzzle over,speculate about, weigh up, turn over in one’s mind;

I love words.

I love inspirational words, I love words of wisdom, I love words of truth, I love coffee (just thought I would throw that in there), I love words that make you think, that make you ponder your life. So Friday will be my thought for the week. Something for my readers to ponder. I might as well make good use of all that Pinterest time! Some days I will write a post to go with my pondering of the day, and others I will just let it speak for itself.

Mondays will be my coffee quote day. Cos ya know, I love coffee and I love talking about it, reading about it, looking at it, smelling it and best of all, drinking it.

So back to the topic at hand:

Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many

I admit I am a sucker for self pity as I get older and this is something I need to remind myself of as my hair starts to turn grey, my knees start to creak, my skin isn’t what it used to be and lets not talk about how our body changes shape with age. I need to remember that many (far, far too many) people are not fortunate to grow old, to experience all of life’s seasons. For many their time is up far too soon and I need to learn to appreciate that I am here, that I am given the luxury of ageing whether that be with a few stray grey hairs (who am I kidding, I am riddled with them!), whether that means waking up on a cold morning with aching knees (I am actually 33, just so you know cos I realise this post makes me sound much much older), whether I become a hunchback for several minutes after bathing the kids because my back can’t hack the leaning over and takes awhile to straighten back up or whether I have a few lines and wrinkles. I am sure my mum would have embraced her lines and wrinkles should she have been given the opportunity to live beyond such a young age of 43 (with some massive doses of expensive anti-wrinkle cream though I am sure, her vanity is something she will be forever remembered for in good humour!).

So remember that we are fortunate to age, to embrace the season of our lives (with a bit of hair dye thrown in for good measure!) and appreciate that you are one of the lucky ones.

Starting Again!

Getting back into blogging is a daunting prospect. First of all, there is the fact that I had a clear topic before and an evolving story, a challenge, a journey. And I wasn’t so tired. My life is one crazy day after another these days. My brain is slightly fried and dare I say it, a bit boyed out! Not that boyed is a word, but it should be! I live with them, I work with them. I grew up with females so males are not really something I was accustomed to being around on a daily basis. Not counting all the boys at school of which I stalked a lot! Don’t tell my husband.

On second thought, he already knows.

I grew up with my mum, my Nana, my aunty, a few female boarders here and there and my poor grandad. Then my mum got married and I gained a step sister and a step dad. Three females against one! For some reason when I moved out of home I thought moving in with all guys would be awesome! Why? I don’t know! Silly young girl. We had ants on the bench daily from the guys not pulling their weight in the cleaning department, but really, how many 20 year old males do you know that clean?! They also set up a grandstand in the lounge for the sports they lived to watch and there may have been a few, um, untraditional things being cooked on the stove top *cough cough*. I had nothing to do with that though! Naive young woman I was. No one cooked (other than the subtly hinted at other grassy item) and I quite literally lived on two minute noodles. I kid you not! I was given a box (I’m talking one of those big boxes that the supermarket are supplied with) for my 20th birthday of chicken two minute noodles and I lived on those for months. The upside was that I was a skinny wee thing who still thought she was fat (and I would so adore to go back in time and slap her around the face and tell her to start flaunting it and stop hiding her figure under baggy clothes!). The downside was that it wasn’t exactly nutritious and more than a bit boring!

Little did I know that moving in with all guys in a flat at the age of 19 would be the trend for the rest of my life! For 12 years I have worked with all guys (4 to be precise plus technicians who are also male), then I continued to flat with all guys for 4 years (why?!) and then I had a son. And another one. And a cat and dog that are both (you guessed it!) male. I am quite literally surrounded by BOYS. And people wonder why I am addicted to coffee! I am the girliest of all girly girls. I got notes written for me to get me out of PE thanks to a mum who knew precisely how I felt and who, ironically, grew up on a farm! I did enjoy the great outdoors where sport was not involved and then I am really not sure what happened … I grew up into a girly girl girl girl. Outdoors was for sunbathing! Not exploring. And now I have two sons who want me to let them play in the mud which usually involves me having to get in the mud to remove them from the mud while they are covered in mud which ends up with me covered in mud. And then I inevitably need a third coffee of the day by 10am. Scratch that, make it a wine!

So perhaps this blog will be about learning to be a mum to boys. To embracing a boys world. On top of this I am a working mum. A wife. A coffee lover. A motherless daughter.A woman who has overcome infertility, experienced the ups and downs of not being able to conceive, who has endured IVF and experienced miracles.

Welcome to the next chapter!