On arrival at the swimming pool, the Mother took her group to the girls’ communal changing area, and quickly chaos ensued. The second the girls were out of sight of the Iron Lady, their volume went through the roof. Bombs have exploded and have made less noise than these girls. But before the Mother could even begin to worry about the noise, there was another issue to contend with, namely nudity!
Girls stripped and in seconds here were 17 half-naked as well as entirely naked kids prancing around the changing rooms. Although it was delightful to see these girls were unashamed of their bodies, it was still going to go down as one of the most uncomfortable moments in the Mothers life. And believe me there was was some stiff competition.
Where the hell was she meant to look, she couldn’t just close her eyes, that would be a bit bloody weird. She thought about leaving the changing room, but that wasn’t really an option either. In the end, she decided that the best place to look would be up to the heavens. It wasn’t a bad view, although it was one that was slightly obscured by the opaque, moss-covered glass ceiling of Seven Seas Leisure Centre. But better this, than bare bums and Mary’s thought of the Mother.
Once changed, each child needed help putting on their swimming hat. Ah, the faithful swimming hat, the second most unattractive item of clothing ever invented. The sanitary belt, of course, always took first place, nothing was ever going to knock that off its top spot.
Now putting a swimming hat on your own hair was bad enough. But trying to get it over long afro hair, dreadlocks, and worst of all rapunzel sized extension was near impossible! Finally, the last child left the changing room, hat on head, and the Mother snuck out of the changing rooms to pay a visit to the hot drinks machine. Surely the Iron Lady wouldn’t mind, Even the good Lord himself would have needed a cappuccino after all that.
Instant Coffee Break
Forty minutes later and the Mother was ready for changing rooms, part two. Swimming hats had to be removed from heads, and wet costumes had to be uncurled and separated from bodies. Then there was the preening. Once changed, the girls set to work on their hair and skin. Bottles of castor oil, coconut conditioner, serums, deodorants, and tubs of talcum powders suddenly appeared. Sprays, Oils, and perfumes filled the air with a pungent mist, a smell, not even the chlorine could compete with. Even at ten years old, these girls all had a particular beauty routine. The Mother sat waiting on the wooden bench while trying to avoid slipping into a chemically induced coma,
Girls shouted to be heard over the constant roar of the hairdryers. Knickers were dropped in puddles, socks were lost, plasters discarded. All the time, the girls talked at a hundred miles an hour. Yet to the Mothers surprise in just seven minutes, every single girl was changed and lined up outside the outside swimming pool.. Their hair was immaculate, their uniforms pristine. There were fashions shows in Milan where models could not boast this level of organization.
“Did they get dressed in silence?” Asked the Iron Lady
Christ, how can I even answer that thought the Mother?
‘Yeah……mostly,” she said.
And with that, she was struck down by a bolt of lightning and reduced to nothing more than a small pile of dust. Which was a real shame because she was actually beginning to enjoy working at the school.