Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just you wait

Last Sunday I took Elijah to the pool for family swim. Only this time we went without my brother and Finn. The first thing Eli and I learned the minute we hit the water is the pool without Uncle Steve and Cousin Finn is b-o-r-i-n-g. I did my best to entertain, which meant talking in funny voices, tossing him in the air and pointing out kids who I thought were in the midst of peeing in the pool.

After about 40 minutes I ran out of material and Elijah had that look like his last granules of patience were hitting the bottom of the hourglass. I decided to hit the family locker room.

The family locker room always baffles me. They won’t allow kids in the regular locker rooms. It must be to protect babies from seeing fat, naked people. So they dump us all, men women and kids, into a tiny room in the basement that reeks of chlorine. They have little curtained off areas for changing, but that mostly for us adults not to reveal our bits and pieces. The kids are far less modest.

I was in the middle of removing Eli’s soaked swimming diaper when the German two year old at the locker next to us erupted into a tantrum to end all tantrums. He kicked, screamed German obscenities and generally made the lockers rattle. His overwhelmed mother gently spoke to him in German and tried not to make eye contact with me or Eli. Eli, on the other hand, was quite interested in the tantrum. He pulled himself up on the bench and inched himself over to the screaming toddler for a better look.

The mother turned to me and said, “Your boy, he is very good, yah?” I responded, way too loudly, “Yes! Me boy. Good. Good boy. Yes.” She said, “You just wait until they get into the angry stage.”

Angry stage? I looked down at Eli, who seemed to be taking notes.

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