Swim Lesson Week

July 19, 2017

Hi, and welcome to swim lesson week at the Sharp house.


This week the Zoologist and the Ballerina are taking swimming lessons. Monday was the first lesson, and for some reason we decided that the whole family needed to go along for the experience.


In retrospect, I don’t know why this seemed like a good idea.


The decision to take four kids under the age of six out in public is, at least in my mind, a lot like the decision to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. At first the idea occurs to you. Then you spend some time thinking it over and repeating the phrase, “Yeah, this could work.” You start to formulate a plan for how to pull the whole thing off, and before you know it you have committed yourself to something in which the best-case scenario is survival. After the whole thing is over you reflect on the experience resolving never to do something like that again.


One of the main features of having a family with four small humans is all of the bags. Along with the insanity of all the kids running around like crazy, there is the depth of planning that is required to pull off something like swimming lessons at the end of the day. My lovely, talented, likes-to-plan wife dutifully set about packing a bag Sunday night. The bag had to include changes of clothes, swimsuits, goggles, snacks, towels, flip-flops, and I have no idea what else because the lovely Mrs. Sharp is the brains of this operation. I mainly provide discipline when someone gets out of line, muscles to carry everything, and chauffeuring skills.


On top of the bag with all of the swimming-related items there had to be other bags. A family with four kids leaves the house with approximately as many bags as the entire nation of Israel had when they made their way from Egypt to the Promised Land. This is why Moses only had two kids, there just wasn’t enough room in the dessert for any more bags. There is the bag for the six-week-old Jedi that must include diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths, and various other items. Then there is the bag for the Demolitions Expert who is also still in diapers. Occasionally, if the trip is a short one this bag can be combined with the previous bag. There is a purse. The swimming lessons come at the end of the day so there are at least two kid’s backpacks in the car as well. My wife and I are coming from work, so there are both of our computer bags. The list goes on and on. I am thinking of hiring my own bellhop just to get in and out of the car.



Despite all of this we headed out to swimming lessons with our quartet of crazies.


The schedule for swimming lessons has the Zoologist with a thirty-minute lesson followed by a thirty-minute lesson for the Ballerina. Bear in mind that our kids are creatures of habit, and don’t always respond to change well. The timing of everything meant that by the time the hour of lessons was done we sped home already past the first bedtime of the night. Six tired, sweaty people were in our cars, two of which were exhausted from swimming, one of which was exhausted from wanting to get in the pool when she wasn’t having a lesson, one of which was exhausted because he is six weeks old, and two of which were exhausted because for some reason a few years ago, parenthood seemed like a good idea at the time.


I hope they are enjoying swimming lessons. We will probably do this again in a decade or so.

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