Just keep swimming - with my MiaTui Bag

What do Snumpreneurs do in the Summer Holidays?

Like superman in reverse, we take off our all in one leotards and put on a summer frock and flip-flops.  And we keep busy!

The kid's special school is no longer offering a 4 week summer program in July - it's because the staff get July off as paid annual leave and any overtime earned by doing an extra month with 23 autistic kids is taxed to bejayzuzz and not paid until NOVEMBER!!!

 So we have 45 days extra days at home to fill.

One of our annual day-filling routines is a special needs swim camp offered by Newpark School in 
Blackrock. One to one ratio of teacher to pupil and 5 days in a row to learn and remember what they learned the day before. We love it.

Liam at Newpark Swim camp in 2009

Gracie was delighted to be back in 2013 !

Sometimes they actually have to work 2-1 as Gracie needed a bit more encouragement to comply this year.

Bringing 2 kids swimming on my own might seem difficult; and as it is a special needs swim camp we can't expect to get into the disabled change room as it is always in use.

So I have to bring both my very post-puberty teenagers into the ladies' changing rooms. It's a challenge to maintain modesty and not scare any of the newer parents who might not be ready to see us 'livin' it large' - so to speak.....

However, after 8 Years I have it down to a fine art:  Get in, get them changed, get them in the pool, get them motivated to swim, get out and get dry, dressed, rewarded and back into the car without leaving anything behind.

The right bag makes all the difference and this year I have my Mia Tui Amelie travel-bag, re-born as a super mum swimming bag:

Room for everything from Token Boards to towels.

The many compartments make sure I don't forget to pack, unpack, or repack anything.

From Swimming hats to wipes (essential for post-cookie clean up)

Gracie's snazzy swim cap and Liam's goggles are never forgotten in their own compartment.

The middle section holds the essential waterproof token boards. Gracie is working for Cookies. 

Liam's floating reward tokens. He is diving for Doritos at the end of the session.
 (Diving tokens are exchanged for Doritos, I don't throw corn chips in the pool!)

Wet cossies and nylon hats are rolled up in one of the waterproof pockets where they don't drip over everything else.

All important purse kept on the stretchy lanyard - is chock full of coins for the vending machine ready to purchase those rewards. I never forget it this way as it pings back into the bag.

We have one more week of swimming booked and it really helps put shape on the day. Between the drive, the getting changed, the 45 minute lesson and the drying, changing, rewarding and driving home we fill 2.5 hours of what can seem like a very long day. The kids get their daily Occupational Therapy and I get a chance to see how much they have learned and developed since last year.

Oh and the best part? it is only 11 pm and BOTH MY CHILDREN ARE ASLEEP!!! 

as they say in the Mastercard commercials

Daily Special Needs Swimming lesson: €20 each
Daily Cookie or Dorito treat: €1.50

Getting your kids to sleep at night? PRICELESS xxx


Skye said…
Nah, I'm quite sure you're there chucking doritos into the pool. Stylishly, obvs!
jazzygal said…
Love it! Love Mia Tui Amelie bags too. Mine got a run in it's second hand role as carry-on luggage when travelling this summer. A perfect travelling accessory.

And no, soggy Doritos SO wouldn't work as a reward!

Great that you're getting the swim camps, remember them well :-)

xx Jazzy
So much I like about this post - it's a reminder that Smiley really does deserve more than one swim during the summer holidays (though that was the first time I had dared try to bring her for 6 years!) and that I MUST try and spread the word about Mia Tui Bags :)

love the photos too xx