Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Poor Me

At swim class today, I told Miss Taylor that I had reminded Indy not to let go of the wall if Miss Taylor wasn't holding her. I said this because I wanted to remind Miss Taylor that Indy is prone to letting go of the wall when Miss Taylor isn't holding her.

While Ayla did the best damn backfloat that has ever been done in the history of any Starfish level swimmer at Eisenhower Park, and heck, for all we know, at any swimming pool across the entire country, Indy hung onto the wall.

Then Indy climbed out. She told Miss Taylor, "I have to go see my mom! Oh. Mom's gone." (Mom wasn't gone, but was sitting outside the fence as the instructors requested) And she climbed back in.

While another child was doing a backfloat that was sadly far inferior to Ayla's-- hopefully he will not feel too bad about when he wakes up from nap and realizes that his good backfloat was all a dream and in reality, Ayla had him trumped for sure--Indy climbed out again. Then she did a stance that is meant to communicate alpha-ness to the swim park wildlife. She bends forward at the waist and pulls both her arms back in the air. She looks as if she's about to jump, but she's not. What she really looks like is an NFL coach screaming at a ref who has just made a bad call and lost them the game. Then she shakes her head back and forth as she talks. She wasn't screaming at any child, just sort of hulking over and jabbering at all of them, but it was most definitely meant to show dominance.

I am beginning to see that Indiana might be a problem.

Then it was Indy's turn to backfloat. Indy doesn't perform on request. She would like you to know that she is not your little cymbal-armed monkey with a coin box, thank you very much. After a moment of hanging on to Miss Taylor's shoulders, Indy came to her own conclusion. She would do a backfloat, but only because she wanted to, not because Miss Taylor asked her to. You got that, Miss Taylor?

At this point Ayla, from amidst a crowd of kids, began chanting "In-dy! In-dy! In-dy!" and mom shed a tear and stored this memory away to use the next time Ayla screams that Indy can't play with her anymore and Indy screams back "Poo poo YOU, AI-YA!!".

Indy backfloated for about five seconds before shooting her butt down and her chin up into the V-position. "Why'd you stop?", bemoaned Miss Taylor. "You were doing so well!"

Poor Miss Taylor. She has not mothered Indy for the last three years, else she would know the answer to that question. Indy does as Indy wants. If you think this is due to a lack of discipline, I invite you to come and witness Mr. Vesuvius and I trying to discipline Indy. It's like trying to stop a volcano from errupting. The volcano will errupt, no matter how many times you put it in time out or take away it's toys and treats or put it to bed early or tell it "NO NO NAUGHTY VOLCANO!!". It sees what you're trying to do and all, but it doesn't really care, it has hot lava to spew, thank you.

I do not have dominion over Indy anymore than I have dominion over the real Vesuvius.

After swim class, we went to the park. Yesterday Ayla and Indy found a third little girl to play with. For awhile they ran around in the grass and it was amazing to watch. Ayla and Indy shifted in precise alignment with each other without warning or words. They were like a flock of birds. They held their arms outspread and swooped and dived in perfect union. Like they had rehearsed this already, like some olympic choreographer had taught them ahead of time. But of course, they hadn't. They just moved together, intuitively, as one.

Today things did not go so well. Ayla wanted to play with a pair of older girls. One of them was that type. You know the type. I knew it the minute she condescended to ask Ayla how old she was. "I'm nine," she announced, as if she were announcing that her saliva was made of gold and she was going to single-handedly end world poverty. The two older girls spent a few minutes leading eachother from swing to slide, holding hands and ignoring Ayla.

Ayla, disappointed, wandered over to me.

"Mom," she said. "I can't play with them because they're stuck together."

She really did say that.

For a moment she looked so sad that I opened my big, recession-aching mouth and told her we'd go to McDonalds.

Which will probably be a better lunch then they had today, as I once again proved myself a total failure as a mother, ran out of jelly, and fed them peanut butter and Hersey syrup sandwiches.

But they were good.

(P.S. We found a bike for Ayla! Also, I did in fact take pictures this morning, but now I have lost the cord to upload them to my computer so you'll have to wait. Sorry.)

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