Why my children are on the naughty list this year

Child No. 1: Bode.

I hate swimming.

OK, let me qualify that. I don’t actually hate being in the water. When I did a study abroad in the Middle East, I relished my early-morning swims in the Sea of Galilee. But due to two failed operations on my nasal passages, I just hate getting my face wet.

Kind of an important factor when you’re swimming.

When we went to Mexico a couple of years ago, Haddie became an excellent swimmer. Three-year-old Bode takes after me. He enjoys the water but hates to be submerged. Swim lessons last summer didn’t help help his aversion so I was recently determined to conquer it on a Saturday morning trip to the pool.

“I’m going to dunk you.”
“Nooooooo. You can’t dunk me, Mommy.”
“Sure, it’s fun. Mommy will even do it with you.”

And I did. Don’t tell him but there was nothing fun about it.

We let him get used to the water for a while and then did the deed. And shocker: he did not die. I can’t say he liked it but it definitely overcame his fear. So much so that he brazenly went on the large water slide on the tube with Jamie multiple times, each time getting his face wet.

As we were driving home, we praised him. He relished in his glory but then pointed out that Mommy didn’t go on the waterslide.


I hemmed and hawed about it but nothing worked. Finally, Jamie interjected:

“Bode, Mommy isn’t a fish like you!”

“Dat’s right. She’s a whale.”

Child No. 2: Hadley.

My 5-year-old daughter Hadley and I were recently sitting at the kitchen table. She was deeply engrossed in coloring when we heard a strange sound, likely the wind blowing our Christmas door hanging. Without looking up, Hadley caustically queried, “What the hell was that?”

My sentiments exactly.

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