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Friday, August 15, 2008

Off the Deep End

When I was in Vegas, we (me and the kids) went swimming in my parents' pool. My dad looked on with an expression of beneficence from his lounge chair, poolside. If you know me, you know that I don't really do deep ends of pools, for a myriad of reasons. Okay, actually just one reason and it's called my alligator/crocodile phobia, which is both completely unreasonable and absolutely terrifying.

But with my dad looking on, I kind of felt obliged to prove that, you know, I'm like a normal mom, like a mom who doesn't freak out over imaginary crocodiles, and one of those moms who pushes the kids around on floaties all over the pool, not just in the first four feet of water, and a mom who isn't going to pass on her freakish phobias to her kids.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered I can't even pretend to be that mom, not even for ten seconds:

"Hey, Veevs!" I say, striving for a nonchalant tone, "Do you want to go over to the diving board and I'll catch you when you jump off?"

She looks at me uncertainly. This is not her forte. Her forte involves underwater somersaults and mother-daughter synchronized swimming set to the tune of "I Will Survive"--NOT catapulting off the diving board.

"Uh. Okay." She gamely steps out of the water, and walks slowly to the deep end. I swim down there, doing my best to look unconcerned, while also keeping an eye on the drain for a rogue crocodile, which could explode out of the drain at any moment and grab me with its crazy-sharp teeth and start a death roll, snapping my spinal cord in two in mere seconds. My only hope is to poke its eye, so I try to keep my arms free. I smile reassuringly at Veevs, because you know, nothing's wrong! I'm just treading water over here!

I get to my position in front of the board. The drain is directly beneath me, and I. swear. I. am. having. a. panic. attack. Breathe. Breathe. Stifle a whimper. All I'm aware of is how my legs are dangling there, flailing around, practically begging for a crocodile to eat them. I last about 2.4 seconds.

I shriek. I book it back to the shallow end, and then say sheepishly, "Uh. Sorry, Veevs. I couldn't do it. Crocodiles, you know."

Veevs looks at me compassionately, "It's okay, mom. I was scared about jumping off the diving board, too." Because if there's one thing that girl knows for sure now, it is that I hate crocodiles MORE than I love her. I'm so glad I've just proven it to her.

My dad laughs at me and shakes his head. He knew I wasn't that kind of mom, anyway. And then, just to make me feel better, he proceeds to give me a play-by-play of a crocodile horror film that he watched--different from the one that scarred me for life, but one involving a crocodile launching itself into a helicopter to get revenge. And don't worry, that didn't cement my belief in the crocodile as a supernatural force of evil or anything.

16 comments:

heather of the EO said...

So does this mean you won't go on any helicopter rides anytime soon? Crocodiles and helicopters??? That's almost as absurd as crocodiles and pools! :)
If it makes you feel better, I am totally and completely a freak when it comes to bees and wasps. Not hornets though, they seem more...rare. I frequently throw things and run around, arms flailing, only to find that I'm running from a fly...or a gnat.

Carol said...

Loving that you are passing your love of synchronised swimming on to another generation.

Too funny Heids.

Oh and Facebook keeps going crazy whenever I access your profile so regarding my blogging superstar status, what's a girl to do when you go and leave me for 3 weeks without prior notice. I had to make new friends.

You of course will always remain my favourite, mostly because nobody has ever told me tales of Elk Pee Perfume but you.

Veronica @Toddled Dredge said...

I remember going golfing with my dad on vacation once when I was a kid and there were alligators on the golf course. Real ones. Scary.

Now you don't have to golf either.

Jen said...

Um. Wow. Considered therapy? I love your dad!

Amy said...

"I hate crocodiles MORE than I love her."

That just made me snort!

ktmay said...

Dang- That's kind of a crazy phobia. Is there an actual name for this phobia? I live in Louisiana so I probably SHOULD be scared of alligators (I have never seen a crocodile down here except at the zoo though)...I have plenty of stories that would only make you even more terrified, but I don't want to do that to you. How nice am I? LOL

Claire said...

At least you were in the pool! I would have been shouting instructions from the comfort of a deckchair, with a cool glass of juice in one hand and a hand held fan in the other.

You're more of 'THAT kind' of mother than I could ever aspire to be!

Claire said...

At least you were in the pool! I would have been shouting instructions from the comfort of a deckchair, with a cool glass of juice in one hand and a hand held fan in the other.

You're more of 'THAT kind' of mother than I could ever aspire to be!

jennie w. said...

Then you will especially like this blog post I read last week.
http://anapronaday.blogspot.com/2008/08/redneck-lawn-care.html

Glad you're on board for the food storage. I post the week's new item on Sunday night so you have all week to shop for it. Make sure you tell me if you got it because I publicly call people to repentence. Nothing like a little public humiliation to keep you going!

The Motherboard said...

THAT is exactly why I do not swim in the ocean or lakes of any kind. Except I am afraid it will be a very large creature with tentacles that will get me.
Or Nessie.

Finally! Someone who understands! Hurrah! Err. I mean so sorry you are scaring your child for life and all that!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Your dad and my dad (AKA the Colonel) would really have fun together. But probably no one else would have fun while they plotted - I mean chatted. Seriously.

On another note, the Husband's cousin was a golf course superintendent in Florida a couple of years ago. His employees all carried shotguns while they worked on the course... crocodiles.

Not to feed into your paranoia or anything.

Jill said...

I saw a news story just last week about someone finding a baby crocodile in their flooded out yard.

I could totally see an alligator flying a helicopter.

Better safe than sorry.

JustRandi said...

Hey, I think it's good for your kids to know your limits. My kids, for example know that I will totally knock them over to get to peanut M&M's before they do.

As long as they know...

Beck said...

Alligators and crocodiles, eh? Well, I'm brave enough about those - mainly because I live a million miles from them, but I am paralyzed with terror around rodents and we live in an old house. You may guess how that is working out for me.

Yvonne said...

That so surprises me about you--who'd have thought??? I agree with everyone who said at least you got in the pool.

Lisa said...

Heidi
Thank you for visiting my blog. I responded to your comment in my comments (where you wouldnt see it unless youwere looking for it). As I said, I promise to be funny and upbeat... and not so down and negative. In fact if my monster ever goes to bed I will write a funny upbeat blog. I promise.

That said. At least your phobia stops at aligators and crocs. Mine is slowly taking over my life in teh form of bugs. At one point it was June Bugs. I would stay out in the dark yard for hours past curfew as a teen because my parents left the outside light on in May. Flash forward to when Samara was a baby. By the it was bees and wasps. A friend and I were sitting at teh playground on the grass when samara and her daughter were old enough to sit up but not walk or crawl. We were having great mommies/ babies time when suddenly a bee droned over to us. I, being that OTHER kind of mom jumped up and ran for my life... leaving my friend and her baby... AND MY OWN BABY... to perish. Luckily my friend is THAT kinda mom and she swooshed the bee on its way... At this point it is EVERY TYPE of bug... One day my kids are going to wish their mommy wasnt a chicken sh*t... :)