I had decided to take the children swimming. Jamie was working and I didn’t feel like tracking down any other adults to come with me.
“No worries,” I said to myself, “I can deal with two measly kids at the pool.” Two kids to one adult; those odds weren’t too bad.
We started out on a pretty positive note and managed to get our swimsuits on without incident, which in itself was surely a small miracle. The kids dutifully walked through the prep showers when asked and we even managed to score a radical floating mat in the shape of a butterfly before hopping in the water.
Once we were in, I noticed that Lars had begun to stare at something. I followed his gaze to find a lady with a considerably voluptuous chest playing volleyball. And, due to an unfortunate serious of events, one of her hefty breasts had managed to wrangle its way free from her suit and was hanging out for all to see.
Here was my dilemma. I don’t want my children to be afraid of the body; I don’t want them to recoil in fear when it comes to the sight of nakedness (however awkward the situation may be). So in an attempt at normalcy I acted cool and continued nonchalantly playing the shark game where I chase the kids around making what I feel to be some pretty spot-on shark noises.
I continued glancing over at the woman fleetingly, though and she had still not noted her boob-out-of-suit situation. The whole damn pool seemed to be letting this poor woman carry on participating in a very “bouncy” game of volleyball with her gargantuan boob flopping footloose and fancy-free. It appeared that everybody was holding their breath waiting for someone to speak up. Or perhaps we were all just waiting for the other one to gyrate loose.
As I waded towards her — because somebody needed to stop the madness — I thought about what I should say, “Um excuse me ma’am your breast is out (proceed pointing uneasily towards upper torso area), just thought I’d let you know.”
Was that seriously the best I could come up with?
Thankfully I didn’t have to say anything since she became aware of her slip-o-the-nip seconds before I reached her.
I glided right on past and pretend to be retrieving a floating ball for the kids. Smooth, I know.
Now that the momentary mammary was now just a memory, we could get down to some serious swimming business. But like kids tend to do, they were beginning to take things a little too far.
They had turned on me. Sophie was doggy paddling in her lifejacket like a bat out of hell towards the deep end.
“I just love to float there Mama!” she was screaming as she tried to make her escape.
Lars was terrified to go anywhere near that area of the pool and was vying for me to continue playing the shark game with him.
Meanwhile, I had secured Sophie by towing her around by the little handle that is attached to the head rest of the life preserver.
Their ear-piercing screams sounded like banshees as they splashed chlorine-infested water into my eyeballs.
At one point, Sophie jumped directly on my head and nearly drowned me. Lars began crying because he thought his sister had fatally sunk his mother and knowing Lars, he was probably fretting about the years of therapy that would ensue because of the incident. I wrestled my way up to the surface and found myself face to face with an old acquaintance. She was as surprised as me, except I was sputtering for air and had a trickle of snot dripping from my nose. I instantly discovered that the pool is probably the worst place to meet an old friend. You are wearing next to nothing, your hair is almost certainly a hot mess and if you are there with children, you are probably running after them — your legs jiggling persistently in the most unappealing of ways.
We made a bit of small talk while Sophie tried dunking me again and Lars poured a bucket of suspiciously warm water over my head.
The old friend was the one who ended up making a weak excuse to leave and for that I was thankful.
When I decided it was time to leave as well, I bribed the children into the van with enticements of chocolate and candy.
Now, they chow down while I sit at my computer and recount the experience. Maybe it wasn’t all that bad, but next time I may try a little harder to get my adult-to-kid ratio up.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.