Saturday, 10 August 2013

Annoying The Lifeguards At Swimming

So we go off for our usual Saturday-morning-with-the-kids-swim. I get dragged along because the moth box contained fewer moths than usual and didn't take as long to go through as I'd thought. 
I have a Very Annoying Verruca which has been hanging round for ages and doubtless came from the pool in the first place, but they don't suggest wearing socks any more so I went in bare feet. I did, however, wear my Nice Warm Swimming Vest, which M finds hilarious. He says things like "mind you don't get sunburnt wearing that" and "they do heat pools these days Grandma" and even (because it is fluorescent pink and he thinks he is funny) "blink and we'll miss you."

I ignore him.

M and the boys are currently engaged on a long-standing crusade to get told off by the lifeguards as much as possible, such scolding being worn as a badge of honour (strange things, chaps). We'd barely been through the foot washy thing and got to the side of the pool before M dives in, and is promptly the focus of much furious whistle-blowing as a result. He surfaces and looks at the lifeguard, who is waving his arms and shaking his head, frantically gesticulating in a cross way towards the sign hanging on the wall directly behind the place where M dived in.

"No Diving" it says.

M grins sheepishly and shrugs at the lifeguard, who is unfortunately still watching a second later when M turns to the  boys (who are hanging on the wall at the deep end watching the scene play out with big grins plastered on their faces) and gives them a giant and very obvious thumbs up and mouths the words "I got told off before you did!" in a delighted and too-distinctive way. 

The lifeguard narrows his eyes but refrains from further scolding.

I try to distance myself from all this Bad Behaviour by swimming very sensibly and neatly up and down the pool (or rather from side to side because it's full of families screaming and splashing who make Sensible Swimming difficult). Then I get the giggles because when I glance up at a second lifeguard she appears to be so fascinated by the contents of her nails that she spends at least three minutes studying and picking at them and so misses M and the boys who are attempting to drown one another noisily in front of her.

The lifeguard who has already told M off unfortunately sees them and bustles over, shaking his head at M and pointing to yet another sign which says: "No Shouting, No Running, No Ducking."

They smile apologetically (except I know they are Secretly Thrilled at being Told Off Again) and move off to see what trouble they can get into on the other side of the pool. 

Once there, L climbs onto M's shoulders whilst M is underwater, M then straightens up fast and catapults L high up in the air where he hangs suspended for a second before flailing about like an ungainly fish and plopping back into the pool, creating a huge splash. The accompanying tidal wave mists up my goggles and gets my hair wet. I Am Not Very Pleased At This and swim off to the other side of the pool where I glance at the first lifeguard, who has turned purple, but the girl-with-the-nails gets there first. 
She smiles at M in a dimply, flirtatious sort of way that makes me grumpy (this melty-woman mode has got something to do with the fact he is often compared to Daniel Craig I suspect), and points coquettishly at Yet Another Sign which reads "No Acrobatics." 

I decide it's time to Make It Obvious He Is My Husband and swim over to the boys where I snuggle up to M and give him a kiss (a peck on the cheek type).

She frowns and points at another sign which says "NO PETTING" in big letters. 

It would have been much easier and cheaper, and would result in a lot less time having to be spent on reading signs and more time being spent on swimming if they'd just made One Big Sign that read: "NO HAVING FUN OF ANY TYPE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER."

I feel like sticking my tongue out at her and then I suddenly realise this is why the boys do it! Getting Into Trouble is huge fun!

I catch the eye of a rather handsome man who has been watching us. He is swimming with his rather adorable blond curly headed baby boy and we grin at each other. My boys have gone back to ducking one another under the water and the lifeguards, who have clearly decided we are a Lost Cause, have gone back to respectively berating other swimmers and studying their nails. 

"You'll have that to look forward to in a few years" I say to the handsome man, indicating my trio who are now engaged in filling their cheeks with water and spitting it in each other's faces.

He grins back. "I know," he says "I'm rather looking forward to it."


  1. We do the Sunday morning swimming session and have to put up with an officious whistle blowing lifeguard!

    1. All the best people get whistle blown at Em :-)

  2. Lovely story! I am all for Sensible Swimming Up and Down as I do not enjoy having my head jumped on by children both big and small. But I think this is because I have been a teacher too long and have had more than my fair share of puerile behaviour. It does not fit with my training for middle age grouchdom.

    I am intrigued by the idea of a Pink Swimming Vest, especially if they are Grannified. Being a Granny, and spreading rapidly in the middle, it is an item of clothing I would be most interested in. Pray tell, where can one acquire such an item? Is it made of knitting? Will it sag downwards and expose matronly bazooms?

    1. It is an item of Lycra, and as such does a marvellous job of sucking in matronly tummies and pushing up matronly bazooms (especially if you buy a size too small), so you can't lose really :-)

  3. Hilarious post CT :) Haven't been to the swimming baths for years but seem to remember when children were younger and we used to go regularly there was a horrendously long list of "Don'ts" and similar officious lifeguards armed with whistles.

    1. Swimming in a river is much to be preferred, even if the absence of lifeguards is balanced by the presence of fishes, stones and weeds!

  4. Hubby goes swimming at the local baths and has never mentioned whistle blowing life guards, but maybe that's because he goes at the no children times 6.45am weekdays! I will ask him. Anyway CT, a great post for a Sunday afternoon read, it did make me laugh especially when I got to the comment from Denise on your pink swimming vest!

    1. It's probably the absence of children that keeps whistle-blowing away from him. Glad it gave you a giggle- it really was quite funny to watch them!


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them. CT.