As she quietly ate the bowl of porridge that she had politely requested for breakfast, I announced that we were going swimming today. A huge grin spread across her little cereal smeared face. "Swimming! Swimming! Swimming!" I was thrilled that our planned activity caused such delight. The meal entirely finished, she popped her bowl neatly onto the kitchen worktop before leaping about the room in excitement. We got dressed with very little fuss, apart from a mini tantrum over covering up her Charlie and Lola swimming costume with a top, and organised towels and other swimming paraphernalia. I left the house, for once feeling confident that I had remembered everything that we needed, with a very happy toddler sitting nicely in her pushchair. Outside we encountered glorious sunshine accompanied by the slightest of breezes, keeping the air just cool enough. My favourite kind of weather. I was almost disappointed that the walk to the swimming pool was only five or ten minutes long.
Paying for my ticket and getting changed passed without issue. Of course, I couldn't expect perfect behaviour from my Little Monster. Whilst I was attempting to cram our two full bags and shoes into a locker, she tried to make an escape. I had to leave the contents of our swimming bag falling on the floor as I dashed after her. Luckily she didn't get far but the previously empty changing rooms were suddenly full of fellow swimmers who all found the incident rather amusing. I managed to see the humour of the situation and my good mood remained intact.
We waded into the slightly warm water until it reached her shoulders. She made her way to the closest edge and sat herself up on the side. I spent about ten minutes coaxing her into the water. We haven't been swimming many times due to moving about so much and lack of facilities in our old neighbourhood. This means she's a little unsure of the vast expanse of water. I assured her that it was really just like a big bath, which seemed to do the trick. She spent the majority of the rest of our visit wading about in the water, occasionally clinging to me so that she could lay back and kick her legs. She even made a little attempt at a doggy paddle. After a while, she didn't even want me holding her hand, although she changed her mind when the fountains and sprinklers were turned on. Far above us was a very large container which periodically filled up then tipped its contents down a ramp and into the pool. The older children found this very thrilling but the Little Monster was a bit scared by it. She soon got used to avoiding it and the wading and splashing continued.
She was upset when I told her it was time to go home so, because she'd been such a good girl, I promised to get her a nice lunch from the supermarket on the way. This was enough to calm the growing rage and getting dressed was fairly quiet and orderly. At one point, I spied her little hand inching towards the changing room door lock but I quickly put a stop to that before she exposed me at the worst possible moment.
The walk home was just as pleasant as the outward journey had been that morning and I picked up some cooked chicken pieces, salad and some nice smoothies for our lunch. I know that doesn't sound very exciting but considering I had been planning jam sandwiches, it was much appreciated. Now I'm sitting at the laptop while the Little Monster does some drawing with her crayons. I've managed to do two loads of laundry and applied for two jobs. An enjoyable and productive day!