Friday evening, after a long day at work, the last thing I wanted to do was go out, so I kissed my husband goodbye as he went off to represent us at a night out with his parents and brother/sister in law, and I dialed up the local delivery guy for pizza for me and the kids.
I was fairly exhausted from the long week and the late 4th of July fireworks and all I was really interested in doing was my best imitation of a couch potato. Race Car Man had other ideas.
He really, really wanted me to go out in the pool with him. He knows he is not allowed to go swimming unless he is supervised by an adult. The water comes up to his shoulders in our pool, but he is not a good swimmer and I won't take the risk.
He's so enthusiastic about this pool that one night last week one afternoon when it was time for a break he wouldn't even buy into my offer of an hour playing Minecraft. Yes, the pool is THAT AWESOME. His bravery has grown by leaps and bounds. Last summer he wouldn't get his face or head wet at all and wasn't happy without floaties or a life vest on. By last Friday he was dog paddling without assistance and timing how long he could stay underwater. My insistence that evening that I was not ready to swimming with him until after dinner didn't go over very well at all.
As I sat browsing Facebook and waiting for our dinner to arrive, I could hear him slamming things around in his room and muttering to himself.
He came stomping down the hallway and through the kitchen, and just before I heared him open the door to the garage he shouted "I'm going to the wilderness so I can swim when I want!"
I hurried up and out the door in time to see him starting to march around the corner of the yard to the side street.
"Where are you going?"
He stopped and turned, glaring. He had his Sponge Bob bacpack on his back.
"I'm going to the WILDERNESS!"
"Where exactly is the wilderness? Because unless its somewhere in our pasture, I'm going to have to insist not."
"Well I want to go swimming and unless you agree to go in the pool with me, I'm leaving. FOR THE WILDERNESS."
This is one of the many moments of parenting where my sense of humor undermines my authority. Its so hard to sound stern when you're laughing. Plus he hates it when he's serious and I'm laughing.
"Honey, you can't go live in the wilderness. They don't have Minecraft. Or swimming pools."
"I can go swimmng in the RIVER."
"Honey, the river runs too fast, and its too deep. Plus, remember how you don't like going in the pool unless the water temperature is at least 85 degrees? Its not even close to that warm in the river."
He stomped his feet. "I WANT TO GO SWIM."
At this point, the pizza arrived.
"Look, come in and have some dinner and then I'll go out back so you can swim."
"I'm not eating! Not until you let me go swimming!"
"Will you at least come in the house?"
It took another five minutes of cajoling before he would come back into the house, but only after he first decided he'd just move into the front yard for the rest of the summer. Lack of a tent and the realization that it would be really uncomfortable when the irrigation clicked on at 10 pm convinced him his own bed might make swankier accomodations.
Yesterday after getting some chores accomplished, he got plenty of time to show me his fancy swim moves. After we splashed around for an hour or two we took a walk down the street to the river and watched folks zipping around in their boats and jet skis. He put his hands in the water to test the temperature.
"How cold is it?" I ask.
"Oh, its not bad," he replies.
"'Not bad' enough to swim in?" I query, grinning.
He threw a rock, then another rock.
"Mommy, little kids shouldn't swim in the river. Its too deep, you know."
I guess I won that argument, but then he declared his little legs too tired to walk all the way home and guilted me into giving him a piggyback ride up our street.