I’ve been taking Pudding to an adapted aquatics class on Sundays. We can’t really afford the added expense of the weekly lesson, but she loves the water. We’re doing just one session until our community pool opens for the summer. They recently filled up this pool, so every time we go to the playground, she stares in at the tempting water and begs to go in. Every time I tell her she can’t yet, but we’ll go on Sunday. So she moves on to trying to extort a treat from me, but I’m no sucker. Or so I think.
As usual, we were in a rush to get our things together and get out on Sunday. Traffic was horrendous, so I was relieved to get to the pool on time. I helped her strip out of clothes, and into the top part of her swimsuit. Then I looked for her bottoms.
They weren’t in the bag.
I frantically pulled everything out of the bag. Nope. I’d forgotten them. I couldn’t believe it.
Now I had to tell her.
She listened. Her little bottom lip pulled south, and her eyes pooled with tears.
“I want to go swim.”
It was calm, but I knew it was just the beginning of a dive into hysterics.
I felt wretched.
“Pudding, Mummy, is so so sorry. I know how much you wanted to go swimming. This is all my fault. I forgot your swimsuit. We can go home, and then go out for ice cream (sorbet) as a special treat. I promise. Would you like that?”
“I want to go swim.”
I drew pitying looks from every mother in the changing room. Everyone has done something like this, I felt their empathy. But I also knew that with a kid like mine, the stakes were higher. She wasn’t going to get over it. This was the beginning of the end of the day for us.
And then, one of the volunteer “swim buddies” and angel in a black costume appeared, offering me the use of a borrowed costume. Pudding snatched it with an unprompted(!) thank you, and I breathlessly wished her as many blessings as I could muster. Pudding had already stepped into the costume before I had a chance to think about how icky a borrowed costume might be.
We dashed to the class only a couple of minutes late, and Pudding soon returned to where she belongs. I got my weekly treat of seeing floating happiness. As I went to thank Pudding’s swim buddy (a different volunteer), she cut me off, and thanked me, saying she had never met anyone who loved being in the water so much as my girl, and it was a pleasure to be with her.
After we got changed, I rinsed and returned the borrowed costume to the life-saving lady. Pudding thanked her. The lady asked if she’d had a good time swimming.
“Yes. And now we get ice cream. Mummy, let’s get ice cream! With Cubby. And Daddy.”
Well, Mummy did mess up, and a promise is a promise. Can’t help but wonder how those bottoms vanished from the bag though, when everything turned out just how she’d hoped.