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Swim lessons for Leda

Cole was very upset last night that Daddy was taking Sister on a special trip that he didn't get attend. "I want to go to." So now I have to think up something special for the two of us. He had a great time playing outside with Mama, apparently, but he's a kid who does like to be included. Or, rather, he likes the family to do things together.

Leda was in her swimsuit from a late-afternoon test fit still...she refused to let me take it off she loved it so much. It's actually a hand-me-down of Cole's so I forgive the teacher for calling her a him initially. It's black swim trunks with skulls and a white swim shirt. Anyway, we left plenty early and arrived what I considered "on time" at 15 minutes before class. But this time we're at an indoor pool at the high school and there is a class before ours. So if you're waiting at the class meeting spot in the hallway, you're there in the hot-sauna while a stream of kids and parents come out of the water. Kelly and I switching off who takes her each lesson--I'm taking Wed, she has Mondays--so now we know.

Our instructor is the same from the now-infamous attempt to do parent-tot swim with Cole last summer at the big outdoor pool. The ones where we had to leave early from the screaming. In fact, virtually the same schedule of activities in the water. Pleased to say an entirely different outcome this time. Leda was excited from the moment the teacher brought the basket of ducks out for the kids to pick one. She couldn't decide...firefighter duck, police duck, scholar duck, baseball player duck?

Leda is definitely the smallest and maybe the youngest in the class. A few dads there. A few older kids who are ready to move on to the preschool version which is the same activities...just no mom or dad in the water with them. Not a lot of space to maneuver around the pool deck, but other than that I didn't mind the facility. It's old, but not nearly as rundown as some in our community would make it out.

We started class with a few songs, carrying our toddler in a circle, splashing, jumping to get them a little wet maybe up to the shoulder. But we eventually moved on to other skills...front floating, blowing bubbles in the water, kicking. Leda's favorite was when the ducks were all let loose in the pool and the kids had to hunt them down, pick them up, and throw them in the basket. For her first time in the water, she did well. Not ready for advanced stuff. But she was happy. Not screaming and excited like I thought maybe she would do. It was just smiling, curious Leda...cold with a lip quiver, mind you. She was a little afraid I'd let her go and a little clingy about hanging on, but other than that. Maybe mild resistance to getting water in her eyes, but I'm 34 and still have that problem. Didn't mind splashing, up to her chin, hanging on my arms to be front down. She wanted to go to the deep end, which pretty much fits her personality.

It was a nice way to end the day. 5 more minutes in the car on the way home and she would have been knocked out.

* * *

This morning I was up at 5:30am to do a bike ride in this gorgeous weather. Took the road bike again and was glad I did...it's fun to ride. Especially as I'm getting the hang of it. The seat was too far forward before and throwing off my center of gravity--part of the wobbly problem. Kelly wanted it back for her rides anyway, so we'll see if we can agree on a fore/aft location.

I'm still having trouble getting clipped in with the one-sided pedals, but no ankle bleeding this time. Just a few misses that left my butt hurting when I slammed down on the seat having missed the lock-in. But I'm learning to A) take my time going slow and B) where the cleat versus pedal placement is best to hear that click that you're secure.

Didn't go as far as I thought, but it took me awhile to get out the door and the cross traffic on major streets for rush hour meant a long wait at a few crosswalks. I wanted to come home at a reasonable time for us all to still get ready for work and showers and such. Cutting the ride short left me thirsty for more which is probably always better than pushing too hard and not having fun getting home.

Stopped to eat a waffle that was in the back of my bike jersey at my turnaround point and was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes so it was a great opportunity to practice eating on the bike. Spent a lot of time in aero and a lot of time finding a comfortable hand position on the brake hoods. Found a comfortable gear on the big ring. Had it up to low 20's with little effort. Didn't really feel maxed out like I do going in the 20's on my hybrid.

The way I'd describe the difference is the hybrid is nice for city riding because it's so easy to stop and start, but I can definitely see why a road bike is the right choice for long haul efforts. Surprisingly, some of the nasty bumpy roads on my hybrid were smooth on the road bike but that may be tires and carbon more than anything. Once you get the road bike going and up to speed you feel like you could go forever.

While riding home I was stopped at a major cross street waiting at a red light when 3 "serious" cyclists blew through the intersection. It was clear of traffic, but I just stood there shaking my head about that giving us a bad name. Made a friend, at least. There was a woman--girl?--riding a cruiser that I had passed but she pulled up next to me waiting for the light. She was just noodling around town and noted my 3 water bottles and was genuinely impressed when I said I was doing about 20 miles this morning. She kind of had that new cyclist vibe and commented that she sees so few women out riding. I suggested she come ride with the club sometime...although I'm technically still not a member yet!

All in all a perfect morning ride. Looking forward to our family weekend rides now. Being on the bike has certainly become one of my favorite activities.

* * *

Cole was playing with Leda's pink plastic minivan toy this morning that comes with the figure of a mom and a baby girl who he calls "the sister." Today he engaged me in a somewhat funny, dead-on conversation about gender by asking where the daddy figure was. Hmm, that's a good question. In my head, I'm figuring that this is a girls toy and they assume little girls want to play with mommies and babies that look like them. Why doesn't Barbie come with a rock climbing outfit? I dunno. I theorized to Cole that there may be a separate toy with a dad and son. I really do think he felt something wrong with the picture. It was the first time he's ever explicitly inquired about gender and I was amused with the early bitterness of gender stereotypes in his voice. The subtext to his question was, "why the hell wouldn't they make a daddy and older brother?"

Here's the bad news kid...it won't be the last time corporate America fails to recognize and validate the diversity all around you.

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