Thirty minutes a day, five days a week for two-and-a-half weeks. Crazy, absolutely! I was optimistic though.
That was until day one. The entire morning Bram and Anders had been overly aggressive with each other to the point that Anders had to spend over an hour on his bed in time-out. As we loaded the car to leave, the boys took off down our alleyway to play with puddles at the front of our apartment building. They NEVER take off like that. I finally got them into the car, and then a few blocks away from home, Anders yells, "Mom! You need to stop at someone's house. I really need to pee right now!" I was still so upset from the morning and the kids behavior I told him he would have to hold it.
We got to the pool, and the nearest bathroom was too far away to make a trip back to the car for everything before Anders' swim lesson started. I had to load up the wagon, corral Bram and get him to hussle, while carrying Astrid and pulling the wagon. All the while Anders is jumping up and down, screaming that he has to pee.
We made it to the bathroom in time for Anders to pee himself a little bit before making it to the toilet. During the swim lesson, he had to pee two more times. Of course, mine is the one kid that doesn't actually pee in the pool. He had to wear Bram's swim trunks for the rest of the activities we had planned for that afternoon.
Day two gets better. And by better, I mean so much worse. We decided to get to the pool/park early to avoid a repeat of the morning before. We were there an hour before Anders' swim lesson started. I had just settled on a bench and the moment Astrid began nursing (the boys were playing on the playground structure), Anders comes running up to me in a panic and says, "Mom! I gotta poop!" I told him I needed him to wait until I finished nursing his sister. He whines, "Mom! It's starting!" I had no choice but to jump up, while still nursing, and get moving with all three kids and the wagon to the bathroom that was a football field away. We made it to the bathroom, in time, this time.
Anders goes into the stall by himself and before I can stop him, his shoes are off and his swim trunks are on the very gross floor. When he finished his business, I was ready to help him wipe up, to find there was no toilet paper. I am lugging Astrid in my arms and trying to keep Bram from touching anything. We find toilet paper in the stall next door and I help Anders wipe up. He jumps off the toilet to crouch down to get his swim trunks back on. I flush the toilet and it doesn't work. I flush a second time and it overflows with such power and speed, Anders gets flooded poopy toilet water all over his back. It floods into his shoes that are on the floor, and it floods all over my feet/shoes. We couldn't get away from it because the stall door opened inwards and would have pushed us even closer to the exploding water. It was awful in the most hilarious way possible.
After day two, I knew I was crazy for thinking I could do swim lessons with three kids under four. I was stressed about how the next eleven days would be. It was impossible for it to get worse after experiencing the worst the second day. And I am happy to report that we did it, and we did it with flying colors. It became the norm for us by day five and now I am a little sad we are done.
It also helped me build the confidence in my abilities as a mother to push me to take the kids to the zoo, by myself. We met up with friends there, so I wasn't completely helpless, but before swim lessons. I don't think I would have been brave enough to attempt it. So swim lessons taught me and Anders some great life lessons as well.