Cupcake had her first swimming lesson over Memorial Day weekend, and so I am pleased to report that "Operation Ariel" is now officially underway. Before the end of the summer I will have that kid in the Olympics, so help me Jeebus.
It is extremely cool that the baby has no fear of the water, and it is also a little terrifying -- she reminds me very much of my cousin Jason when he was her age. Not sure whether anyone remembers or not, but we used to call Jay "Dangermouse" because the kid was never afraid of anything. I think he's broken half the bones in his body, and a good 75% of those injuries started with "Hey guys! Watch this!" Occasionally, as an homage but also because it is oh-so-apt, G and I will refer to the baby the same way.
One of the most vivid memories of my late-childhood-early-adolescence-nascent-emo-period was the day I first associated "bad things" with "XX person having a stroke." Jason was maybe two at the time, not yet three I don't think, and as per usual, he managed to wriggle his way out of his swimming bubble. The rest of us were playing War or Slapjack or one of those other summertime card games where the only rules are noise and anarchy and accusing each other of cheating while we gnoshed on our cheese sandwiches and fudgesicles.
Nobody was paying much attention to Jay, or no more attention than normal, when all of the sudden we heard a tiny, evil giggle, then a splash, then -- screaming, caterwauling, noise the likes of which you have never heard. Grandmothers and great-grandmothers and their canasta cards went flying, sunglasses ended up in plastic Tupperware tumblers of iced tea, everybody made for the side of the pool, and then ... it was over.
Aunt Kathy was soaking wet, fully dressed, holding Jason, who was grinning like a maniac and already figuring how and when to do that again, because that? Was awesome. My grandmother sighed, lit another cigarette, reapplied her iodine and baby oil, and kept saying over and over, "I thought Kathy was going to have a stroke," something that I have said at least once per week for the last twenty-five years or so. I have no idea where kids pick these things up.