Aelig loves to go to the swimming pool, so I had been wanting to enroll her to swimming classes. Unfortunately I'm someone who is not very up to date on enrollement dates, so I missed the pre-enrollment day. By chatting with my coworker I realized that she had enrolled both her girls, while I would have to fight with a bunch of people on a Wednesday afternoon. She advised me to arrive 45 minutes early in order to secure a place.
Well, I was not keen on queuing for such a long time in advance as Awena would get bored and complained. So we arrived 15 minutes before they started accepting enrollment. There was a long line outside the registration place, I was given #47. We all wondered if there would be enough place for all of us, seeing that more and more people arriving. There was a pregnant woman coming with a foldable chair. Some moms knew each other so they were gossiping about schools, teachers, activities for kids....
The registration started at 2pm. People rushed inside the gym to form another queue. We were told to go inside the swimming pool in order for the trainers to see which level they should put our kids in. We went into changing room, parents and kids were packed along the corridor. Trainers called out numbers, so there was no use to rush actually. I put Awena inside a baby carrier, she was curious and tried to get free. Aelig was proud to be able to walk from one end to the other in the swimming pool, as expected she was put into the beginner class.
Once the level testing was done, we headed back to the gym to submit all kind of documents : registration form, medical certificate, a check for the whole season, proof of our income group (you pay the fee according to your family income group), proof of our current address. We waited for at least one hour there. The gym was packed with kids so I let Awena out to play with them.
And then I met the boy, and his mother. Apparently he was one of Aelig's boyfriends. They were there for the registration too, so I chatted with the mother. She told me that her boy likes Aelig a lot, and it was love at first sight. She suggested that we choose the same time slot so that they kids can swim together. I agreed to her suggestion.
Now, the little girl is happy to go to the swimming pool after school once a week. The hard part being that she has homework in the evening and she is not keen on doing them. So, after a long day (school + swimming class), there would be dragging, threathening, yelling, crying. How I wish Wednesdays are still no school day (she has class on Wednesday mornings since sept)! At least she could stay later on Tuesday night.
Anyhow, this episod just made me realise that the "kiasu spirit" (afraid to lose in Malaysian language), exists as well in France, at least where I'm. Moms were fighting for a spot for their love one. I hope all the kids enjoy and appreciate the classes after all the hard work their moms put in. :-)
PS : Most of the public swimming pools are run by the local Town Hall. It offers relatively affordable price, that's why swimming lessons are one of the popular after school activities.