Sunday, November 18, 2012

It Was All Worth It!


On Friday, Paprika had a swim meet after school. She has been soooo excited about it, and I had signed her up for three events. The meet was the same day as the Turkey Trot at school. Can you imagine so much excitement in one day?!!! Haha.

The meet started at 5, and I picked Paprika up from school at 3. Mr. M was working late, and so I was taking all three kids to the swim meet by myself!  Violet had not napped yet that day, and she had slept horribly the night before (she is getting more teeth). She had been so fussy and clingly all day, and I knew she was just exhausted.

By the time I got everyone back in the car after school pick-up, it was 3:30. And then, just a few blocks from home, Violet fell asleep.
Now, I knew if we went home, she would wake up and it would completely ruin any chance of a nap. By the time she'd fall back asleep, it would be time to leave for the swim meet. Plus, it was raining.  I knew that if she didn't nap, she would be totally miserable at the swim meet and the whole thing would be a disaster.  So, I did what any other desperate mom would do. I kept driving!

We drove around for...oh, about two hours...while Violet slept. I had pens and paper in the car, and so Ginger and Paprika just drew quietly in the backseat. I also had a camera in the car, so the girls took turns taking pictures of things (with the flash off). We would stop the car and idle for a bit until Violet started to wake up...then once Violet started stirring, Paprika would signal me and then I'd get the van moving to help Violet stay asleep.
With the rain pattering on our van as we drove, it was so peaceful and relaxing for us all.  I'm glad we had that downtime because before I knew it, it was time for the swim meet...which was anything but peaceful! Haha!


So, when we got to the swim meet, Violet was still asleep.  I got Paprika dressed in the van and did everything I could to prolong Violet's nap, but eventually, it was just time to wake her up.  It was still raining and cold!  Paprika said she was going to go check-in with her coach, and so I let her do that while I got Ginger and Violet out of the van.  The meet was at our home pool, and she was going to check-in about 50 feet away, so I didn't think it was a big deal.

We were only about two minutes behind Paprika, but when we got to the pool, it was crowded with a sea of people - hundreds of kids and adults.  Paprika was nowhere to be found and I started freaking out.  It was dark.  I couldn't find her.  She was wearing the same outfit as everyone else.  Violet was so upset from being woken up, and Ginger wanted to run away from me! Nightmare!


Eventually, I did find her and got her all checked in with her coach.  Her three events could not have been more spaced out!  She was swimming in the 7th, the 30th, and the 66th race.  When I saw that she was basically swimming in the last race of the night, I about started crying. I texted Mr. M and begged him to come, but they were having a little emergency at work, so that was out of the question.  It was one of those parenting moments when you realize no one is coming to save you, so you are just going to have to figure out how to get through it.


We ended up in the employee lounge, which is off-limits to anyone but employees.  Since we practically live at that pool, we have been there before.  I just took the girls in there and sat them down and started playing "I Spy With My Little Eye" with them.  Then we did Knock Knock Jokes for an hour.  Then we made up some other silly games to pass the time.

I think the coaches felt sorry for me since I clearly was in over my head with a tired baby and a three year old.  So, they just let us hang out there.  I was glad because I really didn't want to stand in the dark, getting rained on for three hours with three tiny children all trying to run away from me.


I couldn't really hear the events being called from inside the office, so I asked Paprika's coach to come find us when it was time for her to swim.  Her first event came up fast.  She swam the 25 backstroke, and I am sorry to say that I have no idea how she did.  By the time I got over to the pool, she had already finished and was out of the pool.  Doh!  I felt so bad about it - I only knew she had swum because her goggles were wet.

Her second event was 25 breaststroke.  Ginger, Violet, and I all cheered her on for that event.  We stood at the end of the lane and were yelling like crazy for her.  I have no idea what place she came in because they were all so close.  But, I did notice that for the whole race, Paprika was looking to the side (instead of ahead).  I figured she was checking out her competition, so I asked her about it later. 

She said:  Oh mom, the lights over the pool were so beautiful, I just wanted to watch them the whole time. 

Then, after that event, we waited over an hour until the last event.  I decided at the last minute to record it, and I am so glad I did!  After almost losing my sanity over trying to keep tabs on everyone, calm Violet, not freeze to death, and stay dry...Paprika came in FIRST place in her final race of the night.  Everyone was kind of swimming the same pace, and then half-way through, Paprika just broke away and sped off wayyyy in front of everyone.  I was cheering...everyone was yelling her name.  It was perfect!

When Paprika got to the end, I told her she came in first, and she was SO HAPPY.  It was one of those peak parenting experiences that made everything up to that point worth it. 

And, the most exciting part for Paprika?  Getting a blue ribbon...because blue is her favorite colorOf course it is!  ;-)



Mimi said...

WOW! Huge Congrats to Paprika! She's wonderful! I really felt so excited reading the last bit, where she broke and won! (I know it's not just about the winning, but it's so exciting when they do win).
Erika, you did great, I really don't know how you do it, a lesser Mom (me!) would do home, or something like that. That juggling is so hard, I rem. so well being on edge so nobody went missing or hurt themselves.
So well done to you too, to all of you! A good day's work!

Sheila said...

I really love this post! So many emotions but everyone was in it together. Woohoo! for Paprika.
I hope she never loses her wonder. I almost started crying over the pretty lights at the pool. You did good Mama.