Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Miscellany

There are two kinds of moms that stand out for me at the pool. There is the Good Sport Mom, who plays happily in the water with her kids for hours on end. She looks genuinely delighted to be tossing sopping nerf balls and playing Marco Polo and participating in contests to see who can hold their breath under water the longest. She seems fun and sweet, like somebody you'd like to be friends with, except for the fact that she makes you feel so guilty for not frolicking with your own brood that you can barely bring yourself to look her in the eye ...

Then there is the Mean Mom. Mean moms fascinate me, because they deviate so sharply from the suburban pool ethos which stresses Smiles and Niceness at all times. Occasional stern looks and sharp commands are allowed, but they must be followed by jokes and hugs. But the Mean Moms, they don't play that game. They don't care if you think they're nice or not. They are happy to harangue and yell and threaten for extended periods of time. They seem unaware that everyone around them is wildly uncomfortable and slowly edging to the other side of the pool while they reprimand their children.

At our pool, we actually have a hybrid Good Sport-Mean Mom. She plays in the water with her kids, encouraging them and pushing them around in their little floaty devices ... and then something makes her mad and she is Serious Mean Mom. She's like the General Patton of the Mean Moms. She starts yelling and everybody cringes. Everybody, the kids, the adults, the lifeguards, waits to get into trouble.

Interestingly, she's actually quite pleasant to have a conversation with.

What am I, you wonder? I am the Sitting at the Side of the Pool Making a Slight Attempt Not to Appear Criminally Negligent Mom.


Today we had to get up and dressed and take the dog to the vet for an 8:45 appointment. Only two weeks into summer vacation and this seems like a violation to me. What was I thinking of, way back in mid-May, making an appointment for 8:45? These days 8:45 means a cup of coffee and blog surfing. Jack's in his room reading, half the time Will's not even awake. Madness to actually have to be somewhere!


Why is it so hilarious to see a dog walking around completely unaware that something is stuck to his rump?


Tonight is the beginning of Vacation Bible School, though at our church it's called Summer Faith Adventure, which has a slightly zingier ring to it. We'll see how Will does. Two friends of his will be there, including one of his very best friends, Matthew. But Will's such an odd kid, he may rebel and refuse to participate. He loves singing, he loves games, he loves coloring and storytelling and arts and crafts. What he doesn't love: Crossing the threshold from here to there, from life at home with the family to life elsewhere. Once he crosses over, he's fine. He's actually very social and quite often a leader. But it's hard to get him to take the necessary steps. He's a psychologically interesting kid. Which may be another way of saying that he's weird. But we're all weird here, so why should Will be any different?


There are three baskets of laundry on the floor of my bedroom waiting to be folded and put away. Where is the laundry fairy when you need her?


Tracy said...

I think you could start a whole new area of psychology...poolside psychology. Your observations are quite insightful....and very entertaining!!!

Victoria said...

Your Will does sound strangely like my own psychologically interesting Will!!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Tracy--As far as I'm concerned the pool is a great, watery theater where the extremes of human nature are played out every five minutes. Fun!

Victoria, Knowing that there may be another Will like my Will out there comforts me to no end. Perhaps we should start a support group for Mothers of Psychologically Interesting Wills!