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Mommy's Littlest Pool Addict

I’ve spent a long time talking about
Maddie and her swimming issues, but the truth is that for all her
fear of the classes, she loves the pool. We probably end up there
six days a week, sometimes going twice a day (“I know we went
this morning, but Daddy needs to see my new trick so we have to go
after dinner Mommy!”). A perfect day for her would have the
morning spent wholly at the pool, a leisurely nap and book time, a
short video before dinner, then another hour or so at the pool
before bed.

But for as much as she enjoys swimming, there’s someone else
in our family who loves it even more – Cora.

I have never seen a baby –sorry,
toddler – communicate so clearly as Cora when she’s
trying to get to the pool. Every morning Cora will wake up about an
hour earlier than Maddie (don’t get me started) and head
straightaway to the bathroom where last night’s suits are
hanging over the towel bars. Determinedly Cora will pull down her
swimsuit and march into her room, trying to get a swim diaper out
of her closet. I learned long ago that it’s best not to put
Cora into a swim diaper until the last minute – they’re
not nearly as absorbent as regular ones – so I’ll scoop
her up and whisper in her ear that we’re going to eat
breakfast first, then get ready for the pool.

Once downstairs Cora can be distracted by breakfast for a few
minutes, but as soon as she’s out of her high chair
she’s zeroed back in on her mission. She’ll run to the
back door and bang on it, begging to be let out, and if I let her
head to the garage she’ll go straight to her wagon and try to
climb in, ready for the ride to the pool. “Cora, we
can’t go to the pool until Maddie’s awake!”
I’ll explain, pulling her back into the house.

This is not the smartest thing to tell her, since she will then run
to the foot of the stairs and start yelling up over the gate:
“Mah Mah! Agoo gaboo! Mah Mah! MAH MAH!!” In case you
hadn’t guessed, she calls Maddie Mah Mah, and will shout it
loudly to try to wake her up.

I’ll eventually get Cora to understand we’re not going
anywhere any time soon, and she’ll finally content herself
with going through our pool bag while I cut up the day’s
fruit. She’ll drag out and “refold” the beach
towels, put all the goggles on her head, and try to eat the
sunscreen to make sure it’s still good. By the time
she’s reached a fever-pitch of frustration, Maddie will
finally stir and make noise in the monitor, which sends Cora
scrambling for the stairs: Maddie’s awake! Yes! Let’s
get going! Let’s get going!

Walking to the pool, I hear Cora humming happily behind me in the
wagon. Once we’re there, I have to leave her strapped into
her seat until the very last minute, unpacking everything and
everyone else first, lest she charge headlong into the pool
unaccompanied. Then she’ll plant herself on the top steps,
and array of toys within arm’s reach outside the pool, and
settle in for as long as I’ll let her. Oh, occasionally
she’ll come up and sign that she wants to take a short snack
break, but by and large the girl is in the water every second
we’ll let her. One of our favorite things to do is to watch
Cora playing quietly while everyone else finishes their dinner,
then say, “Cora, do you want to go to the pool?”
We’ll see a Speedy Gonzales-like cloud of dust behind her as
she scrambles to the stairs to get into her swim suit.

I’m so grateful for the hot days (I know, I know, talk to me
in August) because it affords us the perfect excuse to be at the
pool all the time, and am already worrying about what we’ll
do when the weather turns colder. I’m hoping that by then
Cora will have tired of the pool.

Otherwise, we’ll be having “Pool party in Mommy’s
tub!” every day. Anyone know where I could get a good sun


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