Thursday, 7 July 2011
Pink Kid pulls a Sickie
It’s school holidays and today (Friday) is the last day of the holiday swimming programme at the Swim School where the Pink Kid and Blue Kid attend. Pink Kid doesn’t feel well. On closer questioning, it seems she has a roaming headache (changes location each time you ask her). There is also the chance of throwing up (very effective opt-out symptom due to the mess-threat). She might be sick… I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. But just for the record, there’s serious doubt.
In her favour, she is a good participant. She’s made great progress this week with her swimming. She’s doing laps with a kickboard and is “nearly there” with freestyle. I’m impressed. So, I figure, she might be sick, and, well, ok, I can live with the existing effort to date… unlike that of the Blue Kid.
On the way to the Swim School, I give Blue Kid a lecture on the fine art of swimming…
“No spaghetti arms!” I say, “strong arm movements, punch out firmly… like in Tae Kwon Do!” Blue Kid nods absently…
Blue Kid, it should be noted generally, does not always “make effective use of class time”. (Does anyone else recognize this phrase from school reports?) Blue Kid can sometimes be relied upon to diligently perform a given exercise with the proviso that close monitoring by the authority figure is uninterrupted. Stop looking… he stops doing. In the current context, this means that when the swimming instructor looks away to help another kid, Blue Kid’s feet drop to the ground and he gazes about, occasionally splashing the children in the other pool lanes.
So Pink Kid’s sickie means that I have an uninterrupted 30 minutes of watching the Blue Kid craftily learn as little as possible. Spaghetti arms feature pervasively… until the instructor turns her attention to him. When he realizes she’s watching, I realize that he was really listening in the car – with unintended results! At each stroke, he SMACKS his arm into the water with a strong downward motion.
Ah, the best laid plans… Bad Mum strikes again.
I meant that he should strongly push his arm out straight and then slice into the water causing a forward projection of his whole body to assist in driving forward through the water. Instead, the Blue Kid achieved a hard downward slap, commendably Tae Kwon Do-like, resulting in a sinking momentum and a horrified swimming instructor.
Between laziness, craftiness and following bad advice, the Blue Kid hasn’t had a very successful lesson. So the inevitable question followed.
“Can I have a lollipop for being so good at swimming?”