Every Saturday morning, Katie has swimming lessons at our local high school's pool. We are in a bit of a lull regarding the kids' activities, as baseball season has yet to start and taekwondo has a very flexible schedule, so swimming is her thing, her activity, her gig.
And she loves it.
Since my other children aren't old enough to stay home alone, they get to come with me to Katie's lesson when Dad is at work.
The boys are used to the routine. They bring their Gameboys and find a spot on the bleachers. There, they will wait for me until I'm done helping Katie in the locker room and bringing her to the "Blowfish" area of the pool to the waiting arms of her instructor.
It's an easy routine, one would think.
Last week, after getting the goggles just right on Katie's face, watching her do a few bobs and giggle with the other 4-year-olds in the pool, I found a place on a nearby bench. The boys were sitting way up at the top of the bleachers where is is too hot and humid for humans, so I motioned for them to join me on the bench.
"How many kids do you have?" said the woman sitting next to me.
"Just three," I answered her.
"Just three," she laughed, "you say that like it's no big deal."
"Well, most of the time, it isn't - except for today, when they act like puppies and can't keep their hands to themselves," I said before politely excusing myself from the conversation to shoot daggers out of my eyes in the direction of the boys, who were man-handling each other on the bench next to me.
The chatty woman continued to talk, and I continued to threaten my son's very existence with dirty looks.
I watched the clock, willing the hands to move a little more quickly, wishing to end the torture of taking chimpanzees with me to my daughter's swimming lesson.
It didn't budge.
Nearing the end of the marathon half-hour lesson, our daughters were jumping into the pool one after the other, a sure sign that it was time to meet them outside the locker rooms with their towels. I told the boys to meet me in the lobby and, "absolutely no monkey business or you'll be sorry," before standing up to go get Katie.
The chatty lady next to me, who I learned was born in Hong Kong, she was Chinese and had adopted her daughter from China, had only one child and didn't want any more, her husband was in the Navy and she was concerned with the public school system where she lived, her sister was a cop and had 2 boys, also close in age like mine, said, "Do you have to bring all of your kids with you everywhere you go?"
The condom industry should be giving me a cut of all the profits that woman is going to be bringing in.