One of our lovely swimmers, Mickey, writes a blog and is guest blogging for Turtle Tots this week, read on to find more about Mickey's experience of "making friends in your pants"!!
I’ve never been hugely comfortable with baby and toddler groups. The idea of sitting in a circle shaking maracas with 20 other people who are sleep deprived and not sure whether there’s baby sick on their Breton striped top didn’t really appeal to me. I tried the music class, I tried the sensory class and I tried the yoga class, I’d heard great things about baby swimming classes, but honestly – the thought of my 10 week post partum tum and milk swollen baps barely contained in a swimsuit while I attempted to not drop a slippery infant!? At least at the sensory classes I was dry and dressed. It wasn’t about me though, so after a brief phone call, I found myself enrolled in the Turtle Tots baby level one, oh, and it started the next day.
I walked into the changing room, and found five or six other mums in a similar state to myself – new mums with that slightly panicked ‘gazelle in the headlights’ look about them, wrestling variously with giant changing bags and car seats. As the weeks went by, several things became clear. We weren’t going to drop our children in the pool, we were all pretty different, and there’s absolutely no way you can maintain your modesty when trying to dry, dress and simultaneously feed a tired baby.
As generally happens in these situations, folks pair off or form little groups, and I got friendly with one mama in particular. Our boys were about the same age and we lived pretty close to each other. The Post-swim Playdate was born. For the next two years, we bonded over toddler milestones and parent fails, and her little boy even took his first steps at my little one’s first birthday party. I work full time now, and still take the little one swimming, but my friend and I have mourned the loss of the Post-swim Playdate. In its place, we now walk to nursery together on Fridays, and take the boys to the park afterwards. We text almost every day and have shared potty training trials and our views on mixing the Duplo sets (I’m pro, she’s against).
The rest of the swimming crew have variously dropped off, changed groups or moved away, but we still keep in touch. Our kiddo’s birthday parties have turned into mini Turtle Tots reunions, and it’s great to see what they’ve been up to and how much they’ve all grown. I didn’t get on with my ante-natal group, and I’ve never felt any solidarity with my other baby or toddler groups. The little circle of friends I’ve found through Turtle Tots has taken me by surprise, but in a good way. Perhaps all groups should have an initiation rite wherein you have to dress a soggy infant with only half your clothes on, that would sort us out.
Mickey Elliott is a graphic designer and Mama bear to a two year old boy. His main hobbies are pretending to be an aeroplane and avoiding naps. Hers are cooking and hiding in cupboards eating biscuits. Mickey keeps a blog about life with this particular small person at Geekarilla.com.