Thursday 9 June 2005

water baby

We had our first swimming class today and I absolutely loved it - and so did Jack, eventually. As I started getting into the pool, the guy leading the class came over to say hello. Jack took one look at him and started screaming, and spent the first couple of minutes of the class with his lower lip firmly jutting out (but no longer screaming, thankfully). As soon as the class started, Jack became quite interested in this new watery world, staring intently at the surface. He even became very interested in the formerly scary man leading the class and when he was supposed to be looking at mummy wriggling her fingers and making the water look fun, he was staring at the teacher doing it instead. We sang songs (you English sing "Rock a Bye Baby" to some other tune I've never heard of and you sing alternative lyrics to "Frere Jacques" that were new to me), swayed our babies back and forth, swam backwards with our babies in front of us, sang more songs, and some of the more "experienced" babies were dunked under the water. Apparently us newbies are doing that next week, which should be fun (or it'll end in tears).

One thing that I found disappointing was the complete disinterest of most of the mums in being sociable. This isn't to say that they were all calling me names and throwing things at me; most of them simply didn't respond to my attempts at being friendly. We were one of the last to get in the pool, so I greeted everyone with a smile and hello. Some smiled weakly, most ignored us. During the class, I was smiling and chatting to the other babies as their mums gave me a tight polite smile and kept to themselves. In the changing room afterwards I bade a cheerful goodbye to the ladies, and only got a reaction from one slightly startled looking woman (who didn't seem quite sure who I was talking to) who said "Oh! Bye." But at least she smiled. I understand that the English aren't big on chitchat and the "have a nice day" kind of mentality, which is fair enough - but man, how do you people make friends? Do you quietly ignore each other for a year and then send a written invitation to attend a luncheon? I am being facetious (I know many English women who were warm and friendly with me from the moment we met), but I do find there is a lack of the North American tendency to strike up a conversation with anyone, which I'm sure most Brits find annoying anyway. I'll just have to keep trying, I guess.

Regardless, it was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to next week. In unrelated news, Jack has just started blowing raspberries today. It's slobbery and adorable.

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