Pool It Together


“LOOK Mama, LOOK!” Delia demanded as she plunged into another frantic underwater handstand.  Had there been a lifeguard within eyeshot, a full-blown rescue would have ensued.  I offered my requisite clapping from the poolside deck. 

“That was great, honey!” I overpitched, having lost all perspective after about the fortieth attempt.

After our barn-burner start to the summer on the waterslides of Niagara Falls, we continued our wet adventure at my in-laws cottage on Lake Simcoe last week.  The property isn’t actually on the water, but a ways up the hill from it, so a pool was installed about fifty years ago to provide easy access to swimming.

“Come in Mum, the warm’s warm!”  Oh, I’ve heard that promise before.  One look at the pinky-blue goose bumps on my son’s arms as he bobbed in the unheated pool, and I lobbed back a stall tactic.

“I just need to get hot enough sweetie, then I’ll be in.”

Yeah, in August.

Born a Pisces, my daughter is a natural swimmer (if birth signs have anything to do with it).  Her brother, by contrast, is not.  After untold years of swimming lessons, Bodie still floats like a stone.  Give him a hockey stick and a puck and he’s all show.  But ask him to do a little front crawl, and he flails through the water in soggy fits of laughter.  I don’t expect Michael Phelps, but less ‘drowning man’ would be nice for all of the classes we’ve endured.  Here’s pictorial evidence, as approved by Mr. Aquatics himself:



At least the kid’s got a sense of humour, and that’s got to count for something.  We’ll ramp up the lessons again in September.

In the meantime, I’ll just revel in the peace and tranquility that only these family-bonding summer months can offer.

“Watch Mum!”

“No, WATCH ME Mama!”

“She’s watching ME!”

“I asked first!”



“DID SO!!”

“You’re such an idiot.”

“YOU’RE an idiot!”

“Well YOU’RE a …”

Aah … summer.

    • Andie Duncan
      Andie Duncan says:

      You’re definitely not the only one! My sister and I used to have knock down, drag ’em out fights as kids, but we’re the greatest of friends as adults … so there IS hope! 🙂

  1. Sheila Black
    Sheila Black says:

    Too funny, Andie!!! Delia is a Pisces, like me!! OK…….now it all makes sense why she and I see eye to eye!!!

  2. TIA
    TIA says:

    I have 4 kids that all vie for pool attention constantly!! Their new trick is when one of them goes under the water and another gets on their shoulders. I have gotten the “look mama” about 50 times already for the same trick! I just wish they would put an am or leg out to spruce things up a bit;)

    • Andie Duncan
      Andie Duncan says:

      I know. Enough with the handstands … give me a double half gainer with a twist kids! Now THAT I’ll watch repeatedly. (Btw, 4 kids in the pool?! I humbly bow down!) 🙂

  3. The Monkey Bellhop
    The Monkey Bellhop says:

    Great blog, Andie, and very glad I found it. I can relate to this post. My 12 year old daughter continues to force me – maybe compel is the right word – to rate her underwater handstands on a scale of 1-10. My scoring has nothing to do with her skills but everything to do with my threshold for patience and whether or not I have had any internal dialogue that day about my pending mortality. Either way, I never go any lower than a 7.5.

  4. mammaspeaks
    mammaspeaks says:

    Hi Andie…loved your style of writing…funny is the word and believe me, we can all do with a little bit of that in our life… keep going!

  5. Escaping Elegance
    Escaping Elegance says:

    I’m really enjoying your blog. I recognize my life in your voice.

    My inlaws have a pool and my job is to “time” the boys while they swim from one side to the other underwater. I wonder how long before they realize I’m not wearing a watch. For now, the random numbers keep them happy. And they are much quieter when fully submerged.

    My youngest is at the stage where he just hasn’t figured out his buoyancy. When the grandparents worry, I tell them, “It’s okay, his swimming just looks a lot like drowning.”

  6. Jessie
    Jessie says:

    “Watch ME!” – I never would have guessed how those two words would start to make my blood boil after hearing them a mere 2,987,243 times!

  7. Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk
    Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk says:

    Both my sons had fins by the end of each summer and were thoroughly confused to learn that Marco Polo was an actual person. Great article, and thanks for stopping by my blog, too.