“Excessive nakedness” in the change rooms at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre raises concern for some but for me, it’s just keeping my kids corralled enough to prevent “excessive nakedness” in the lobby. (File photo)

Swimming and the flight risk protocol: A parent’s guide to post pool procedure

I’m getting old. Rather, my body feels old.

If you ask the anonymous tipster that left a message on my machine the other day, I “sound young; like somebody who could use a break”. So thank you for that. (My extension is 237, call me after hours to hear my outgoing message and decide for yourself. While you’re at it, leave me a column idea.)

The caller also told me I had “the most pleasing name phonetically” in our phone tree. I tend to agree but that really has no relevance to anything whatsoever.

See! I’m getting old, just rambling away…

Not that I mean any offense to “old people” whatever that means anymore. When I was little I thought 40 was old. Now that I’m in that ballpark, I wonder if anything I ever believed as a child was accurate?

OK where was I? Right. I feel old. You’d think I would be thrilled to sit down on the floor for an hour or two and play with my kids, right? Sitting is good. All except when I do it now my hips hurt, my knees hurt, my back hurts, my neck hurts, and Lord help me if I need to stand up in a hurry.

I will admit that a lot of it has to do with my being a gym rat. I’m hard on my body. So this week I opted to get in the pool for one of my workouts just to mix it up and give my body a break from that pesky gravity.

I later told my husband that getting in the pool was actually really efficient for me because it came with a shower right after with no need to occupy the children or have an audience. Well, you know, aside from all those change room people but they tend to mind their own business anyway. It really says something when I’d rather shower in the busy locker room at the gym than at home with my two kids in the house doesn’t it?

SEE RELATED: Complaint about “excessive nudity” in change rooms

So, I was in the change room before my swim on Tuesday afternoon when I had to laugh. A mother of two, (and she’ll likely read this so sorry if I get your kids’ ages wrong!) I believe to be 16-months and almost three years old, had just gotten out of the water.

(Kudos to her for taking two toddlers swimming. That’s a workout in itself.)

Anyway, the soaking wet mom had just put both kids on the bench, bundled in their respective towels, and they were having the same conversation I have — that every parent must have — with their kids at the pool. It went something like this:

“Sit still please. No. Don’t sit on that, that’s our dry stuff and you’ll get it all wet! Please. I only have two hands. Can you just be patient? Sit down. SIT down. SIT DOWN PLEASE. OK. Did you want those Timbits or not?” And so on…

All through chattering teeth as she stands towel-less tending to her kids before herself.

But not this mom.

“I always get dressed first,” she said.

It blew my mind. I’m an efficiency fiend and thought I’d found the most productive way to get it done. I was wrong.

“It prevents them from being able to leave before I’m dressed,” she explained.

I’m calling it “the flight risk protocol”.

The kids cozied up beside each other, chatting and wiggling away while their mother dried off and dressed. The conversation was the same but the process was different. And nobody took off leaving mom in the lurch.

Thanks for the tip, fellow mommy. Moving forward, I may just implement the flight risk protocol, too.

Swimming. Timbits, Flight risks. Mom life.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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