By Friday night, things felt distinctly more "back to normal" around here, that is to say, a complete and utter disaster of my own making.
Ike had been invited to a birthday party at a friend's house, and while the invitation clearly said "pool party," I was weirdly plagued with doubt as to what that actually meant, as I have not attended a pool party since probably junior high. Like, is it a real pool? Or something more like we would do, which would fill up a kiddie pool and set up an off-brand Slip n' Slide in the backyard? Am I supposed to wear a bathing suit, or just Ike? But all I own are bikinis? Is that inappropriate? WHAT'S THE ETIQUETTE HERE I'VE COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN HOW TO SUBURB.
I also realized that since moving, no one has come across any of our pool or beach-related gear, including floaties or backpacks or goggles or pool noodles or any of the 20 million sand toys we own. I made another last-ditch effort to find it all in the storage area before giving up and thus showing up to the pool party (YES IT WAS A REAL POOL WHO HONESTLY THINKS OTHERWISE) completely unprepared. I mean, I remembered a towel. Singular. That will matter later.
Ike made some really good swimming progress as a toddler -- he actually seemed like a pretty natural swimmer who understood how to float and kick and paddle -- right before developing an Intense Thing About His Hair last summer. Namely, he did not want to get it wet. Not even a tiny bit of damp along the ends. Trips to the pool or attempts at lessons suddenly ranged from exercises in futile misery to full-out, sitting in the corner rebellion. Even setting up a sprinkler in the backyard freaked him out, and I'm pretty sure our next-door neighbors mistook bathtime for nightly torture sessions.
And you know what? I caved. I gave in and stopped pushing. We were getting ready to move anyway and not using our Y membership much on the weekends so I canceled lessons, struggled through his miserable hairwashes and told myself we'd wait it out and let him get over it.
The good news is, he is indeed over it.
The bad news is, he is now five years old and doesn't know how to swim.
At the party, he did at least exercise his usual caution -- staying where he could touch and close to the steps or walls -- and I hovered along the sides as well. He practiced doggy paddling in the shallow water and seemed to be having a lot of fun. There were some dads and stronger swimmers in the pool, a lifeguard relative was set to join in momentarily, but the parents of other non-swimmers had of course shown up prepared with aids and floaties and such.
While I was debating whether to get in the pool with him (sensible-yet-surely-inappropriate bikini included), a cooler of wine and beer magically appeared poolside and everybody immediately dug right in cuz dang, it's a party. I grabbed a screw-top beer and popped it open cuz dang, I'm classy.
And of course -- OF COURSE -- in the 30 seconds it took to do just that, the most negligent-y activity available, Ike was suddenly not where he'd been 30 seconds before. I scanned the pool for the only blond head and saw him hanging onto the edge of a crocodile raft that was being piloted by an older child. His face looked concerned and I realized the raft had drifted to where Ike probably couldn't touch.
I went over and calmly asked Ike to reach for my hand, then made a futile attempt to grab the raft and guide it back, only to have it drift further away. The older kid decided he wanted to get back to the shallower water as well and jumped off, at which point it flipped over, Ike lost his grip and ended up underneath the raft and submerged under the water.
And so I was like, "NOPE THAT'S NOT HAPPENING BUT GUESS WHAT THIS ISSSSSS" and jumped into the pool, fully clothed. I had Ike up and out of the water in a few seconds, only to suddenly realize that 1) I couldn't touch either, and 2) had yet to course-correct my swimming to account for the weight of my shoes, belt and clothing and was being dragged under.
Thankfully, there was no need for a rescue attempt on my rescue, as I adjusted for the drag and propelled us both to the wall. We climbed out and every single adult at the party was now waffling between OMG IS HE OKAY and OMG THAT WAS KIND OF BALLER.
I wrapped Ike up in our (singular) towel and sheepishly accepted an extra from another mom for my own soaking wet ass. Ike started out kind of indignant: "I was SUFFOCATING, Mom!" before deciding that the part where I jumped into the pool with my clothes on was the real highlight of the night, and pretty damn funny to him. YOU'RE WELCOME CHILD. ENJOY BREATHING.
Ike was fine. Ike IS fine! We borrowed some spare water wings and goggles from our host (who said they'd yet to host a party where at least one adult DIDN'T have to pull that exact same move) and Ike was back in the water within five minutes, having crossed the Wet Hair Boundary in the most dramatic way possible. I could barely coax him out, even for pizza and cake. He is most definitely ready to get back into swimming lessons, and we shall be arranging those post-haste.
It was really crazy hot out, so my unexpected dip in the water and soaking wet clothing actually kept me rather cool and refreshed the rest of the night. A couple hours later I went inside to see how frizzy insane my hair was (very), and realized that while my shirt had mostly dried, the bikini top underneath most certainly had NOT, and I'd been sporting two round wet spots right around the boob zone the whole time.
On the ride home, Ike tried to convince me that we really should get a pool in our backyard. I countered that the kiddie pool and off-brand Slip n' Slide were probably more our style.
(Post-jump selfie of mothering fail. Also note that the wet boob spots were right under the word "BUT," because perfect. All in all, a classic Exhibit A for what happens whenever I leave the house.)