Mummy, someone is splashing me

Laura Slinn

Another swimming lesson. Oh goodie, I can hardly contain my joy… whoops, there it goes, dribbling out of my arse. All joy now uncontained and lying in a puddle by my feet.

I am informed by the scrawny swim coach (who I still think should be out doing stoppies on his BMX rather than be actually employed at such a tender age) that it is assessment day. Seeing as we have only been to three lessons, I am not that interested, but he does inform me that E can get a certificate for attendance. If I pay £1.50. Brilliant. That, if ever there was, is the wooden spoon award. I am sure if I held up that particular certificate to the light the watermark would read ‘patronising guff’.


So we pretty much do our own thing whilst the other mothers try valiantly to get their offspring to execute an improbable 180 degree turn on their woggle without a helping hand. I watch one mother surreptitiously support the woggle from under the water, lips pursed with the effort of trying to look nonchalant as she tries to rotate her somewhat static daughter in the water. They swiftly move on to getting the kids to jump off the side, involving one mother tugging imploringly at her son’s ankles as he resolutely will not jump in.  I am suddenly enjoying this lesson much, much more.

And without the structure of actual exercises and instructions to make E incalcitrant and grumpy, we have a much better lesson. Ellis only asks once if he can get out and only threatens to cry twice and I divert any major tantrums with the threatened withdrawal of the post-swim biscuit, which works a treat thank god, as quite frankly, the only thing that is keeping me going at this precise moment in time is the thought of some frivolous, biscuit-based calorie consumption. So swimming is an absolute success, all things considered.

We are making our way across the pool, E happily installed on his float. He is kicking his legs ferociously, which is pretty much a first and I am stunned into silence. Then his face starts to crumple, and a frown appears. “Mummy, someone is splashing me,” he moans, twisting round to see the evil perpetrator. I hide a laugh.

“Yes, darling, it’s you,” Ah. My son the genius.


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