For example, last weekend, the kids had their "time trials." What that means is that they went to a neighborhood pool and were timed in order to establish a beginning of the season 'baseline' for each of the strokes that they'd be competing. In our case, it is "only" freestyle and backstroke. They swam for a total of 50 meters ... 25 free and 25 back. All told, this event took less than ninety seconds. Alas, we spent no less than three hours preparing. Charlie - one of the official timers - had to run out the night before and buy his official timekeeping outfit (navy shorts and a white shirt). I had to run out and buy the kids their swim team paraphernalia (matching bathing suits and caps). The kids were so thrilled to be on the team, that they all slept in their new bathing suits. Which saved us precious time in the morning, because on the day of the big event, they had to be at the pool by 6:45 AM. My plan was to remain at home with Henry and get caught up on a few things ... like sleep.
But by 7:30 the phone was ringing off the hook and a desperate Charlie was on the other end.
"I NEED YOU HERE! GOOD LORD, I NEED YOU HERE, RIGHT NOW. I have a VERY important job to do, my eyes are supposed to be glued to the kids that are swimming and the triplets are running all over the place. I just handed them $20.00 to get something to eat at the snack bar and they're now scarfing down Starburst and french fries. Can you please get here ... like RIGHT NOW?"
Wait a minute.... you mean you want for me to leave this peaceful sanctuary and enter the crazy zone?
Yesterday, the children had their first official swim meet. I was caught in a meeting at work and was late arriving at the pool. When I parked, I could hear someone playing The Star Spangled Banner on the violin and I bolted across the street and down a sidewalk wearing my satin lined slacks and heels. I ran in to the pool area just as they were wrapping up our national anthem and caught sight of my husband wearing his official timing attire. Our eyes locked for a quick second and he waved his arms and pointed his fingers in several directions which is our universal sign for, "They're all over the place! You're it!"
Scurrying about in my heels (for which I should not be scurrying because I have no coordination when my heels are elevated), I rounded up our children and herded them in to respective heats. As I'm focused on the triplets, Henry (who is a very accomplished swimmer in his own right) informs anyone that is interested that he wants to go swimming too and he begins climbing up the 1-meter diving board and prepares to do a cannonball on top of the kids that are already in the water, warming up.
Ack! More scurrying commences!
Fast forward two hours, the kids have completed their races, and Henry - remarkably - is still dry. Charlie is required to remain at the pool to complete the timing, but because it's getting late, I want to take the kids home and get them showered and in to bed, so that I might subsequently also go to bed. My energy is waning fast as I herd them to the car ("It's time to go, because I said so, now let's everyone please cooperate and not evoke the nutso mommy, children..."), drive home, feed them something light, walk the dog, and put them in the shower. When I turn the faucet on, I don't realize that the shower head has twisted and is facing directly at me, so once the water enters the pipes, I'm saturated from head to toe.
(As is the floor.) (And the wall.) (And the clean pajamas folded neatly on the toilet seat.)
When Charlie arrives home at almost 10 PM, the kids have just been tucked in and I'm laying on top of the covers, soggy and barely conscious.
This experience, albeit a wonderful glorious one, is exhausting.
I may have to begin taking naps at work.