Guest blogger Jenny Isenman is a freelance writer/humor columnist and wiper of noses, tushies and countertops. She has two perfect children, a boy who is 7 and a girl who is 4.
She has a fabulously funny and relatable Suburban Jungle blog: It May Be Suburbia, But it's a Jungle Out There.
My five year old little flower has a tendency to be a bit… Valley Girl. I don’t know if it’s all the Bratz movies influencing her to make phone calls that start with OMG and end with TTYL, but it’s something. I certainly don’t handle calls to my friends that way, though I did tend to write SWAK on the back of every letter I sent from camp. Whatever the cause, the attitude has made giving her any kind of lesson, or even the smallest smidgen of constructive criticism near impossible. As she was nearing five, I decided it was time to teach her how to swim. I live in Florida, so this is an endeavor that I started at the Y when she was six months old. At that time, she bawled so hysterically that I decided she didn’t need to be a SoFla water-baby like my neighbors’ kids, who could swim across the pool to be breast fed. No, my daughter was destined to be a landlubber. We tried again and again. We took classes.
We even switched instructors and offered rewards for a tear free lesson. Our last instructor promised the screaming wouldn’t bother her. “It happens,” she said. After two lessons she took her check, and on departure whispered, “Maybe this one’s not meant for the water.” decided one day it would click, and vowed to keep the baby fence around the pool until she left for college.
Then I got an email. One of the amazing things about being a famous blogger is that people will email you with their products and ideas I usually say “No thanks,” though there’s a local cupcake store that may get a plug sometime soon if their red velvets are really as good as they claim. This request, however, was from a woman who was the owner of S.W.I.M., an instructional swimming program, and she asked if I’d like to try them out. I candidly told her that if she could teach my daughter to swim, I would scream their name from the mountaintops. If the lessons failed, well, “No pay for you.” Yes, I said it in the soup Nazi voice. It’s a crowd pleaser.
She showed up at my house with more paperwork than any person about to get wet should be carrying. She was ready to rate my little one’s ability, and chart her goals on a timetable. When we were all done with the written exam, she checked to see if the swim instructor was nearby.
“Aren’t you the swim instructor?” I casually asked. “No, Mr. Jeff will be here any minute.”
Well unless Mr. Jeff is a girl, which seems highly unlikely, we might have a problem. The only thing my daughter hates more than being told how to do something, is being told how to do something by a boy. She pretty much just started acknowledging my husband in the last few days.
“Soooo, you may want to pop on a bikini,” I reasoned.
“Don’t worry. Mr. Jeff is great with the kids. That’s him now.”
As I walked to the door I continued to protest, “I’m just a little nervous about Mr. Je…HELLO Mr. Jeff! Yes, sure…of course. We can totally give Mr. Jeff a try. I mean he came all the way out here, I’d hate to turn him away.”
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and it’s true. So, my daughter took her hour lesson and by the end, I felt $45 was a fair price of admission. Not admission into where your minds are going, the $45 was purely for the swimming lessons. When was the last time I enjoyed watching some twentysomething hottie disrobe? Maybe when I was 20ish, though I don’t remember drooling quite as much. As I observed from my lounge chair, sipping a frozen margarita (ok, it was iced green tea… I need the extra anti-oxidants at my age), it dawned on me that I was officially a desperate housewife.
What does this mean? Will I start buying drinks for guys with a lift of my glass and a wink?
Will I buy a convertible to fight the urge to chat up people half my age, or at the very least, to impress them?
The only thing that would be more cliché about this scenario, is if Jeff was cleaning my
pool instead of swimming in it.
So, I decided maybe this was the bad idea I originally thought it was. Luckily, my daughter chose this moment to start noticing boys. She was totally smitten; she liked the way he joked around, and how Jeff sang swim songs as they traveled around the pool. I think she was even partial to his blue eyes and defined pecs. No wait…that was me.
For weeks every Tuesday and Thursday, I sat myself on the lawn chair, sipped my tea, and convinced myself that Mr. Jeff was clearly gay. Coincidentally, my outfits may have gotten skimpier as I gradually came to this conclusion. I didn’t even want anything to happen. No, like any aging Mom, who often feels like a hot twentysomething, I wanted to be noticed. Maybe get a,“Gee, Miss Jenny, it sure is hot out here. Could I have some of that there tea?”
Did I make him sound a little too Forest Gump?
The swimming lessons were supposed to make me feel more secure, but somehow they had the opposite effect. In the end, Mr. Jeff taught Ryan how to swim, possibly in too short of a time if you ask me. He never gave me any sense that I was desirable, though he did say my friends could get $5 off each lesson. In my mind, I’m sure he meant this as code for, “You are one hot MOMMA!” or “I’m quite gay.” Either way, next week I’m scouting out a new lawn guy.
P.S. If you’re in South Florida and interested in swim lessons for a child: www.safewaterinstructionmethods.com. Tell them you’re a friend of Jenny From the Blog for $5 off each lesson. If you don’t contact them, make sure you’re informed about water safety.
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