On Tuesday, Robert’s swim lessons got off to a pretty successful start. There was no way in hell he’d go under water and blow bubbles (one of the course’s principal objectives), but he kicked and splashed like a champ, and he even dog-paddled for about 20 feet all by himself with a Noodle wedged into his armpits. What is left of Daddy’s hair stood on end with pride.
Then Thursday came along, and Robert wasn’t nearly as motivated. In fact, he wanted nothing to do with the pool at all. Thinking I did not wait an hour to sign up for these lessons just so my son could stare at the trucks rumbling by on the FDR, I did the Be A Man thing and took him into the pool with me, despite his shrill protests. I held him for a bit, then he kicked for a bit, then he swam by himself for a bit, all the while begging to get back onto dry land and throw towels into the pool. And I felt kinda bad for him. Here he was, a proud new member of Underpants Nation, and Daddy was rewarding him by making him flail for his life.
This may help explain the accidents he’s had lately, when he’s never even bothered to head for the bathroom. These could be normal relapses, or they could be little protests against The Man for trying to drown him and/or stomp on his potty buzz. Either way, we were a bit anxious, because walking around with an unpredictable, un-diapered child in a playground with no toilet access is a game of High-Stakes Hot Potato. Someone's not gonna be happy when the music stops.
We’d had just about enough of plotting our every move around access to plumbing when Robert left the table on Saturday and scampered down the hall, hands pulling at his waistband. I followed as usual, offering help, but he turned around and said, “Will you please stand outside because I need some privacy right now.” He slammed the door in my face, and my heart soared.
So I guess it was premature to say that Robert is out of diapers. As we all know, proclaiming “mission accomplished” doesn't make it so.