Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | September 19, 2010

doing it for Birdie

I am aware that I’m a little crazy. Maybe a lot crazy. Despite having done a lot of adventurous things and having traveled a lot of places, I get really stressed out about the unknown and new experiences. For example, I stressed out for WEEKS about Birdie’s first plane trip. On one hand, the stressing usually results in me being really really prepared, but it also it exhausting, stupid, and sometimes limits attempts at new experiences.

I don’t want to be the mom who holds her kid back from new experiences because of her own hangups and issues. I feel a little bitter about some shit that I never got to do as a kid because either A. my parents didn’t think to give me the opportunity, B. we couldn’t afford it, or C. my mom was intimidated and didn’t want to deal with it. My mom was the kind of mom who wouldn’t go anywhere (ANY.WHERE.) without her makeup on. If she got home and washed off her makeup, there was no going anywhere the rest of the day. Not to the store to get glue for a school project, not to the park, and not for a walk to the ice cream shop. I swore I did not want to be that kind of mom, who put her own insecurities and needs before her kids.

Here is another weird one. My mom did not ever want to have talks about anything big or important at night. “It’s too late to talk about something like this”, she would say. “Ask me tomorrow.” Then if you would ask her in the morning, it would be “I can’t talk about this before I have my coffee.” Now that I’m older, I kind of understand it because she has always had insomnia, and talking about something stressful or important before bed probably kept her awake thinking about it. But to me, as a 9 year old kid, it felt like being completely shut out. I didn’t realize for a long time that it wasn’t normal for parents to act like that.

Anyhow, enough about my crazy family. The point is, I want to be aware of my weirdnesses and not let them limit Birdie and her experiences, so I signed her up for swimming lessons. The last thing I particularly wanted to do was get my postpartum ass into a bathing suit and have to walk around in front of people at the gym. I worried about where to go, what to bring, how would I dry us both off and change, and on and on. It would have been far easier to just put it off and think oh I’ll do it when she is a little older.

But, I did it. I called up, signed up and paid for the session, and showed up on Wednesday, and it was fine. I figured out where to go. I wore my bathing suit under my clothes and just threw them in the locker. I changed her into her swim diaper, plastic pants, and ridiculously adorable bathing suit. We walked around and found the pool. The water was lovely and warm. There was only one other baby in the class, a boy, a little older than Birdie, and they both had a great time splashing and screeching.

The instructor lady was nice, but a little scary, and we had to sing some stupid songs (I HATE singing in front of people, but again, I did it for Birdie. But what the hell does “The wheels on the bus” song have to do with swimming?), and SHE DUNKED MY BABY UNDER THE WATER within the first five minutes of the class. I was thinking that would happen maybe in the third or fourth class maybe, but no she did it right away. I kept a huge smile on my face and said yay and praised the shit out of her, but my mama heart was pounding and a physical pain went through my body the moment the instructor dunked her under the water. She came up shocked and completely confused but didn’t cry and we quickly moved on and she was smiling and splashing in a minute or two.

After class, I grabbed our bag of clothes and I managed somehow to rinse us both off in the shower, prop her up carefully while I dried off and threw on some easy to put on clothes, and got her changed out of swim stuff and into dry warm clothes. She had an absolutely great time and was so tired out. She fell asleep on the way home and took a 2 hour nap once we got home. I am so glad that I did it.

The next thing on my list is getting her comfortable with staying at the gym daycare so I can go exercise and try to lose weight. You hear people say “9 months on, 9 months off”, but here we are frighteningly close to 9 months old and I am struggling with losing the baby weight. But that is another story.



  1. I’m so proud of you!!

    I could not have gotten my ass into a bathing suit πŸ™‚ I stayed inside wayyy to much when my daughter was a baby. I was terrified of the unknowns or being unprepared with her.

  2. I was looking at the kids touching everything at the zoo today and thinking GERMS and then telling myself I would make Peter neurotic. On the other hand I found out today that my husband used to pick up other peoples gum off the street and chew it and spit out the dirt. I’m going to shoot for something in the middle.

    The idea of my fatass in a bathing suit is scary. YOU ARE BRAVE.

  3. It’s amazing what we’ll do for these babies. I never sang in public before (unless as part of a large choir), am very shy etc, but know I can sing for my daughter and will breaj out of my shell a bit just for her.

  4. awesome!! i really want to put louise in swimming lessons. we brought her to my dad’s pool a few times this summer, we dunked her a few times too, if you blow in their faces just before you dunk them they hold their breath.

  5. You will so enjoy those swimming sessions with her. It was one of the best things Peanut and I did together and she is a water baby for sure. Met a great friend there and her name was Violet. Peanut and her spend lots of time together now and it’s great. Treasure it and take pictures and just enjoy. It’s wonderful. Good luck

  6. I also hate the singing – I sing to Baby J all day long but we are at home and she is blissfully unaware of how tone deaf I am. There are songs we’re suppose to sing in her yoga class. I usually pretend to forget the words. Bad mama.

    I can’t wait for swimming lessons! We’re going to start next spring. Hopefully by that time I’ll be okay with a bathing suit in a public pool. πŸ™‚

    For the next lesson, bring a camera so we can see Baby Bird in her suit!

  7. nice job. i’m so stressed going anywhere with the kids alone. i really don’t want to be that way, i’m trying hard to get over it. i used to be a lifeguard, so i really stress out around water, too. πŸ™‚

    oh…and btw: i’m still just above my prepregnancy weight and my kids are turning 1 on monday! yikes.

  8. I think you’ve got the right idea, but I personally won’t be dawning a swim suit with my FUPA until Michael is old enough to express an interest on his own (and thereby impart guilt on me for not doing it).

    9 on, 9 off… yeah right. My weight hasn’t budged since about a month after M was born.

  9. You’re so brave! I’m so glad you went! I’d really like to do baby swimming classes, too. You rock!

  10. My weight is LOWER than before I got pregnant but everything fell down so I actually look worse than I did before.

  11. Awww πŸ™‚ Glad you went to the class.

    Positive thoughts on weight loss- I am terrible about it. It’s just so hard to lose… and so very easy to gain. Blah.

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