“I’m bored. Bored. B-o-r-e-d, bored.”
The refrain starts within the first 30 minutes of each swim meet, and continues till the final relay, typically not swum until some four hours later. No, it’s not my kids complaining non-stop, but my type-A, can’t-sit-still husband.
We’re in the final weeks of a long season. And the meets do seem to take forever—especially because our kids have, um, limited ability training and are still only “legal” in two strokes, and thus only able to participate in a few “heats” each meet. So, in a four or five-hour meet, our daughter might swim three laps total—one freestyle, one backstroke, and one freestyle in a relay—and our son will typically just swim one freestyle and one backstroke. That leaves a whole lotta empty time.
Me? I can hang and do nothing anywhere. I can stare into space with the best of ‘em. Let my mind just wander for half an hour here, an hour there, till one of my kids gets called for a swim. Or I’ll read a book.
My kids? My son just reads. And reads. And reads. (He read the whole Harry Potter series at a few weeks’ worth of swim meets last summer). Occasionally he’ll socialize with other swimmers, perhaps play a game of cards. But we never hear from him unless he’s hungry. My daughter is her father’s child. Boredom reigns supreme. Though at least she reads for some of her time. I should remind her to pack her DSi.
So my husband and my daughter complain each meet. And I want to grab her earplugs (from a recent bout of swimmer’s ear) and plug up my ears and block out the whine. And ban them both from the meets next year. Because I love these events, for the most part.
The thing about swimming is that if a child isn’t a great athlete, he can still feel pretty darned good about himself. My son might not beat any others in the race, but he beats his own previous times–most of the time. Except last night, with his freestyle, which was a second slower than usual. We blamed it on the big slice of pizza he consumed right before hitting the water. And those “best times” are always cause for celebration. Like his backstroke last night. Which he swam an hour and a half after eating the pizza.
Yeah, practices were a pain this past May and early June. Cold, rainy, miserable. The kids vowed they’d never swim on the team again. And I was right there with them. But now that they’re in the waning weeks of the season, they’ve declared their intentions to join again next year. My husband groans, and mumbles his extreme displeasure at the thought.
I think I’ll get him a DSi.