The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

After a family swim, getting changed can stop you cold

Swimming at the Mountlake Terrace pool has been a fun activity my family has enjoyed for the past six years, but the changing room situation has always been problematic.

When my son was younger he could come into the women’s locker room with me to change. This was always less than ideal because it seemed that swimming lessons always overlapped with the arthritis water aerobics class.

Don’t get me wrong! I think it is great that 80-year-olds are donning bathing suits and getting exercise; I just don’t want my son to see them naked in the communal shower afterward.

But I’d take the arthritis ladies any day over the rare occasion when a group of young, 20-year-old moms in bikinis takes over the leisure pool with their babies. That always makes me leave the Pavilion feeling very dowdy in my one-piece, and wondering if my husband secretly wishes I had a tattoo.

Now that my son is 7, we are faced with a major problem. He is too old to be allowed in the women’s locker room and must go to the men’s quarters instead. In our present culture where every person has a cellphone with picture and video capabilities, there is no way I am sending my little boy into the men’s room to disrobe by himself.

The Mountlake Terrace pool does have one family changing room, but after swimming lessons there is usually a big line. So we choose the last option left: throwing our clothes on over our swimsuits and heading out into the 40-degree night air.

Now, before you start telling me about the gorgeous suite of family changing rooms at the Lynnwood pool, let me assure you that I know all about them and agree that they are fantastic. But my son has so loved his swimming teachers at Mountlake Terrace that I am hesitant to switch. Besides, I challenge you to find one square foot of the Lynnwood “beach area” where you aren’t being splashed in the face with water. My 2-year-old isn’t impressed.

As annoying as our after-swim situation is, there is also something fun about piling into the car, reeking of chlorine and freezing cold. I crank up the heater and my kids and I sing along to the radio the whole way home. When we open the front door we smell dinner in the slow cooker, waiting to feed us.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at http://teachingmybabytoread.blog.com.


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