OK, You Win, No More Swim Class

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Daddy Stories

Like most parents, Amy and I spend a fair amount of time telling Malcolm that he can’t have what he wants. Sure, we bend on some small stuff, letting him gorge himself on salami and getting him his very own gimp for his birthday. Our job, though, is mostly to rain on his parade. I’m not sure if  Amy and I enjoy getting him back for the misery he inflicts on us or if it’s because he wants outrageous things (he just asked for a newer Iphone, “like daddy’s), but it seems most of our interactions nowadays involve him asking for something and not getting it.

But I really wanted that wallet!

There is however, one aspect to his development that he is going get his way with. He hates swim class. It’s not even a trivial hatred either, like hating REO Speedwagon for making so many hits. Malcolm hates swim class and is never afraid to tell me about. (He’s not into dropping F-bombs but if it was, Mondays and Wednesdays would go a lot like this:

Malcolm, are you ready for swim class?

Fuck swim class.

It’s annoying too, because Malcolm genuinely enjoys swimming and from our perch at the Oakland YMCA viewing area, he appears to have a great time in the class, smiling and flailing about in the water like a distressed sea lion. Ask him immediately before and after class, though, and he’d tell you that he’d rather be getting an enema. (Mental note: find out why he knows what that means.)

Every once in a while, however, good ideas outlive their usefulness. (Just ask the inventor of the 1994 website jokesaboutjapanesradiation.com). After much consideration, we decided that the price of swim class is too high. Gym memberships are expensive, and even if they grew on trees, his current class has five other mouth breathers in it, giving him a grand total of about four minutes of actual teaching time per class. When you factor in the late start time of the class, which inevitably leads to him going to sleep late on a weeknight, we get a grumpy kid who puts up a fight to go to a class which doesn’t really appear to help him actually learn to swim all that well. We pay for this? I’D rather be getting an enema.

I informed Malcolm that he had the choice whether to continue the current swim class or to look for a new one over the summer, and he grinned. With the evil grin of an interrogator who gets a name of spy after a few hours of testicular electrocution, he looked at me and said, “Thanks daddy, I don’t want to go to swim class any more.” A part of me wants to arbitrarily take something away (like a stuffed animal) just to show him that I still run this joint, but since he just asked me if we could move to Texas to watch basketball games, I think there will be plenty of opportunity for me to assert myself. If not, I can just be mean to his gimp.


6 responses to “OK, You Win, No More Swim Class”

  1. Debra Lilley says:

    you will regret this, sitting at the pool, for classes and then training upto 6 times a week was the highlight of my parenting, especially the galas when you travel all day to watch a race that lasts about 40 seconds.

  2. Dennis P says:

    To Hell with swimming class, you guys have baseball right? If I remember correctly your team won the World Series right, or did you forget that? Spend your time watching/studying/eating/breathing/playing baseball. Way cooler than swimming!

  3. Michael Phelps says:

    Swimming? That’s just something you do to survive when you get in water. Don’t look up to me. It’s not a sport, and nobody cares about it (well, maybe just for 2 weeks every 4 years). I’m no hero. Just a pothead.

  4. nana says:

    sounds like a good plan—-and besides—he’s coming to Bakersfield (yes, you CAN recognize the B’ville natives in the casinos) this summer for a visit with the “old folks at home” and he’ll swim a LOT in our pool when it’s 112*——-

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