I've been taking Norah to the Y at least once every other week to practice swimming. I'll wait for Dwayne to get home, feed the baby, put dinner in the oven, then go. Norah and I are usually back in time to eat dinner with her dad and before the baby gets hungry again. Dwayne is always happy to help. He knows Norah needs to learn to swim and this way, I am saving us the most money.

I was paying for Norah to take formal lessons at the Y and actually saving quite a bit of money on them because I am an employee. But, I realized I wasn't saving any time by paying someone else to teach Norah how to swim. I still had to get her dressed, get her in the car, get her to the pool at a time that was always inconvenient for me and sit and be present for her entire lesson.

So, somewhere between racing to get her to gym and sitting, staring at the tiled floor while she swam, I remembered that in addition to discounted lessons, Norah has free access to the pool at other, also inconvenient times and also because I am an employee. I figured if I had to be there at an inconvenient time, I might as well wear my suit under my clothes and just go ahead get in the pool with her, saving all the money I was spending on lessons for something else and using the time I had to be there anyway to teach her myself.

And, our homemade lessons are working out pretty well. I don't have any formal training in teaching kids to swim, but like many other things I'm teaching Norah myself, consistency seems to be more important than anything else.

I am happy with my swim-solution, but a little frustrated with myself for coming up with it. My need for efficiency combined with Dwayne's desire for frugality creates these sort of "solutions" for our family all the time.

And, sometimes, quite frankly, I'm a little self conscious about our family's "can do" spirit. It feels like we have what the evil Bingley sisters on Pride and Prejudice call "an abominable sort of conceited independence." I'm already teaching Norah how to read, write, count... I was really hoping to credit someone else, anyone else with teaching her how to swim. That way, at least, the other mom's who sit contentedly and watch someone else teach their kids how to swim would stop looking at me like I have a third eye.

I'm like that mom who takes over their daughter's girl scout troop because the other mom who was in charge didn't plan the meetings efficiently enough. I carry a clip board more often than I carry a purse. Sometimes I don't like this quality in myself, but most of the time, I just can't help it.

Maybe T-ball will go better for me. Dwayne and I are thinking of signing Norah up next spring. I never played T-ball, can't even hit a ball with a bat. So, I have high hopes that I won't possibly be able to think that I can do a better job with the practices than Norah's coach.



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