Sunday, 8:51 am.
Z and I arrive at the pool early, as the early morning lane swimmers are doing their last laps. Her hand-me-down suit is gaping at the legs and I'm tugging at my own suit, hoping last night's hot date with my Mach-3 Turbo did its job.
We spend 20 minutes in the pool by ourselves, kicking and noodling and motorboat-motorboat-step-on-the-gas-ing. Finally, some older kids and parents arrive but with Z not able to swim on her own, she's reduced to watching the other kids from afar.
As the classes start, the ones that Z doesn't want to take because she doesn't like to get her hair, face, eyes or ears wet (OMG ARMAGEDDON IF THE EARS GET WET), we pack up our things. We towel off in the locker room, both of us eyeing the other moms and kids as they get into their suits for class.
"I want to make a friend," Z announces loudly.
I blush self-consciously but force myself to smile, to support her. "Okay. Do you want to introduce yourself to someone?"
She nods and turns to a little girl close by, "Hi. I'm Z."
The other girl is not yet two, a little young for full conversation. Her mother answers Z's questions and Z seems satisfied as she grabs my hand for the freezing walk to the car.
On the way home, I am mentally checking off items in my head (Alone time with Z. CHECK. Preschooler energy release. CHECK.) when I hear her voice, soft but triumphant from the back seat. "I made a friend."
(Oh, right. Friends.)
Monday, 9:30 am.
After Z goes to school, I sit motionless at the computer, facing yet another cold week ensconced in the house. I think about the playgroups we've gone to that haven't worked out for one reason or another, the ones for Z that meet at E's naptime, the ones for E that meet at Z's preschool pick-up time, the ones where the moms all cluck about how expensive it is to dress their girls in frilly dresses and their husbands get mad at them and they just yell WELL HOW ABOUT YOU TAKE SOME MONEY OUT OF YOUR PRECIOUS FOOTBALL BEER BUDGET, HUH? and everyone laughs and clucks except me.
I begin searching the web for classes for Z, anything that will get her moving and get us out of the house, meeting new people.
Music and movement? Full. Preschool gymnastics? Meets at E's naptime. Splash and play? Meets during Z's preschool and may include, one can only guess, SPLASHING.
Pre-ballet? Good time. One space left. Let's not think too much about ballet, baaLLLLLEEETTTTT with all its baggage. It's just a way to meet other moms and girls and get Z moving in these cold months without a playground.
Let's just try it.
Tuesday, 4:12 pm.
"Can I try on my new shoes now, Mommy? Can I? Can I? Will you teach me to dance, Mommy? Will you teach me ballet?"