Another entry in the "I'll Never Run For Public Office Anyway" file
Time again for the overly earnest love letter to the Internet

Slip 'n slide

Molly had her first ever swim lesson this morning. Of the five kids she was probably the oldest, but also probably the least familiar with water. Whatever. I decided not to let this reflect on my parenting. Molly is the type of kid who starts screaming bloody murder and you run across the house and into the bathroom where you, irresponsible parent that you are, have let your 4- and 5-year-olds play in the tub and oh. Jackson got an eensy weensy drop of water on Molly's face. OH THE TRAUMA.

So I wasn't really expecting it to go super well to begin with, but I was honestly too stressed about GOING to swim lessons to think about the actual lesson. I feel very new at the Y, I don't know how things work, I'm not always sure where to park or when to arrive and I made Molly take a shower before she got in the pool like all the Firm Signage demanded even though it was clear none of the OTHER kids' mothers made them do this. My ultimate plan is to drop Jack at school, go to the Y, stick the kids in the play area while I run, then get them both out for Molly's lesson at 10. But Emma is the clingiest whiniest baby EVER right now and I WAS JUST STRESSED OUT, OKAY! So getting us all there, on time, in the appropriate clothing, in the right place, without having done anything embarrassing or stupid? I WAS ALREADY WINNING. 

Molly was game for everything though. I was so proud of her. I mean, this could be the kid who refused to get in the water without me. But she got right in with the others and ALMOST put her face in the water when all the other kids did. I mean, this was progress. Then the instructor had them stand on the side of the pool and jump in (with him right there of course) AND SHE DID IT. YOU GUYS MY KID JUMPED IN THE POOL. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. 

Aaaaand she IMMEDIATELY burst into panicky tears, fuh-reaking out all over the place, UGH. Water got up her nose! Ack! Ack! And I couldn't put Emma down to deal with her because then I had TWO screaming children. So I'm kind of hovering over the edge of the pool, hoping I don't drop Emma in, trying to calm Molly down, trying to act like it's No Big Thang in front of the other moms even though I seriously just wanted to hand one of them my baby and take myself out for a latte. The other moms were actually super nice and encouraging. I suppose Molly is not the only drama queen in our family. 

EVENTUALLY I coaxed her to at least stand NEAR the other kids in the water for the last 10 minutes of the lesson, but jeez. I may have to resort to bribery next time. Have Phillip take her on the weekends or something. I don't blame her, though. I don't know how to swim, nor do I have any interest because I AM AFRAID OF WATER. I just understand that it would be better if Molly were NOT like me in this particular instance. 

Jack will have his first lesson Thursday night with Phillip as his chaperone. I expect that to go much better. Jack is a smidge more daring, plus he likes to show off. Peer pressure!

As for the DECK SLIDE...

Okay people, the thing about slides is: 99% of the slides you see on or whatever are made for 5 foot decks. It might say "Ten Foot Slide" but that just means the slide is 10 feet long. It does not mean the slide is made for a 10 foot deck. SO. The majority of slides I've looked at online are made for 5 foot or 7 foot decks. I've got an 8. The difference in price between a 7 foot platform heigh slide and an 8 foot is, oh, $1500. I DON'T KNOW WHY. I can find a gajillion 7 foot slides for $500ish and the 8 footers start at, like, $2000. With tax and shipping. Is ridiculous. I KNOW. 

So my contractor was telling me that I can either purchase a slide that costs more than the stairs, or they can build the slide deck a foot down from the actual deck and pay $750 extra (7 foot slide plus tax and shipping) - it's just that the actual deck stairs project will cost more. 

Anyway, I did some googling and I found one single solitary option under-$1K for an 8 foot slide, a slide that comes in pieces and you can order as many extensions as you want. Enough extensions for an 8 foot deck comes to about $800. I also found a seven foot slide on Amazon for $500ish, which would work nice because we have an Amazon credit card and points to burn, making it even cheaper. I emailed those options. I haven't heard back, but I'm supposing one of those will work. My contractor's first thought for where to purchase a slide was Rainbow, which I already know is the priciest swingset out there. All those $100ish slides you see are for 5 foot decks. I know. 

Of course, we could do away with the slide altogether except NOPE! I am in it. I feel the same way I did about the fireplace. It's a lot of money for something that isn't necessarily going to increase the value of our house, but it will improve the USE of our house SO MUCH. Like, remodeling the kitchen would be super duper nice? And remodeling the bathroom would be even better? And make our house a lot nicer? But not to the extent that deck stairs (AND A SLIDE) will make my children more inclined to play outside in the backyard this summer which is infinitely more helpful for a SAHM's quality of life, yes? 

SLIDE! SLIDE! Stay tuned! 




Stick with the swim lessons. It's good for Molly!

And stick with the slide. Maybe a Kickstarter campaign?

Ellen W

Don't worry about having a kid crying/freaking out at swim lessons - I've been there several times. Last summer my 6 yr old son just about brought me to tears. This year we are doing private lessons for him as he needs to improve his swimming to keep up with the other boys in the neighborhood.

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