Not that it matters all that much to me which day of the week it is, but at least today there are no after-school obligations for the kids.
Yesterday Julia had a make-up swim class, since she missed Monday's lesson. We didn't say anything about it when we'd scheduled it. At that point there was still the possibility that she would be scared to go and would try to find reasons to get out of going.
I told her on the way home from the grocery store yesterday, before we picked up Alex after school.
And she was fine. "Okay," she said. No fear, no tears. Reconfirming for me that Monday she was genuinely sick, as if the vomiting hadn't done that already.
Anyway, we went to the pool last night, Julia all snug and cozy – and purple – in her new Warm Belly Wetsuit. Alex has red. These things are great - no more purple lips or chattering teeth. Anyway, she went into the water with her teacher, Ms. C, and Alex and I watched from the bleachers. Well, we watched, and also Alex drew pictures of collections of animals: Animals from Africa…Dinosaurs…Sea Creatures.
And Julia did SO well. It's kind of culture shock for her, especially, in these lessons. I think I've mentioned that before. But the main things are 1) the kids don't wear any kind of flotation device during the lessons and 2) they actually are DOING SOMETHING during the whole half hour class. Before, she was used to casually floating along in the pool with her classmates, maybe swimming, sort of, but nothing really intense or serious or scary. She would have remained in that same class for another year, probably, because there was no emphasis on progress. But don't get me started. Anyway, this time around, she is LEARNING. And it's not easy. It's scary. She's not tall enough to touch bottom with her head above water, so she really needs to keep herself afloat. And she does. Last night she swam from the end of the lane to the flags, which is, I think, about ten or fifteen feet. She floated on her back, and the teacher slowly – talking to her all the time – took her hands away so Julia was floating all on her own. I watched, remembering that feeling from when I took lessons an eternity ago. And Julia stayed there, a little purple starfish on the surface of the water, until fear kicked in and she began to sink. She was scared. I could see it on her little face – that furrowed brow, the pout, the worried eyes. But her teacher held her and talked to her and hugged her and worked with her, worked her through it. It's horrible and wonderful to watch. After the floating/sinking thing, Ms. C had Julia lie on her back, Ms C's hand under Julia's neck, supporting her. Then they went up and down half the length of that lane, Ms C counting 1, 2, 3 and then having Julia turn over from her back onto her stomach and swim for another count of 1, 2, 3, and then flip back onto her back and float 1, 2, 3, and then flip back to her stomach again. Over and over. So Julia would know HOW to do that herself and NOT just sink down to the bottom in terror.
And at the end of the class, Julia was all smiles, and I hugged her wet little warm belly'd body and told her how proud I was of her. She got two stamps on the backs of her hands – they're big on positive reinforcement there – and then we headed back to the locker room, Julia somehow taller than when she'd arrived a half an hour before.
Let's see, what else….
Well, thank you to the people who have shared their spayed cat/abdominal stitches stories with me in the comments section of this post. So far Softie is taking it easy (mostly) and her suture wound looks fine. I check it multiple times a day (much to Softie's growing annoyance) and it is looking pink (not red or bloody) and healthy. I apparently have strong, rapidly-healing cat stock here.
Funny thing about Softie – I don't know if I've told you about this before – she adores Alex. It's funny – she's technically Julia's cat, and Scratchy is Alex's. But really, they're all the family cats. Of course, cats being cats, they decide where their own individual loyalties lie. Scratchy, as I've said before, loves me. I'm not bragging or anything, he just does. It's obvious. He is smitten. And so adorable about it. If he had opposable thumbs and was allowed outside, he'd probably pick dandelions for me just because. In the summer, I mean.
But Softie – she loves Alex. More specifically, she loves Alex's head when it's asleep and on a pillow.
Last night at some point Julia was out of her bed and in our bed for a little while. I brought her back to the kids' bedroom, and when I opened the door to go in, out of nowhere, Softie came racing past me, into the room, onto Alex's bed, and to his head, where she paced, purring LOUDLY and rubbing her cheek against his hair. It's adorable and hysterical.
I put Julia in her bed, tucked the covers around her, and Softie continued to purr and purr and purr, overjoyed at her luck. But I had to put an end to her happiness. Had to (gently because of the stitches) remove her from the bed and from the bedroom and close the door before she could race back in again. If allowed to stay, she would have woken Alex up with all her loud, insistent affection. It's only so cute when you're trying to sleep, apparently. So Alex has asked that we keep the door shut so the cats won't wake him up. (Scratchy would have joined in the fun, too. He likes to attack Alex's feet.)
Softie accepted her exile without complaint. She went back downstairs to sleep wherever she sleeps. Just waiting, I presume, for the next opportunity to come along.
And that's it for the moment. Have to get Alex to school. Then it's back here for my big exciting project of the day: I have to clean out the fridge.
Wish me luck.