Swim Class:

An Interview with Annie

Annie started swim lessons yesterday. She was very excited, but was scared that she would have to put her head under the water. Annie was sure that a person would die if their head went under the water.

Luckily she didn’t have to put her head under the water.

She went with Daddy and Cora Rose to the pool. Annie wore a swimsuit but Daddy and Cora did not, because they were not going into the pool with her.

Her teacher’s name was Alice. This is a good name, because it is Annie’s middle name. She doesn’t like to use her proper name, Marian Alice, for day-to-day life – but it’s there when she needs it.

There were 2 other kids in her class. They were both boys. Annie forgot what their names are.

Since Mommy did not get to go to the swim lesson, Mommy interviewed Annie afterwards to find out what it was like. Daddy was not allowed to take photos, so we will all have to imagine it from Annie’s description. This is a transcript of most of the interview, which was recorded for posterity:

Mommy: Were there any other kids in your class?
Annie: There were 2 kids. They were boys.
Mommy: What were their names?
Annie: I don’t remember.
Mommy: So what happened first? You got into the pool?
Annie: I JUMPED in the pool!
Mommy: and what happened then? 
Annie: The teacher flipped me over!
Daddy: The teacher helped her float on her back. I thought she was going to be too scared but she wasn’t.
Annie: I was not scared. I was so brave!
Mommy: Were the two boys in your class brave?
Annie: Oh, I was braver than them.
Mommy: You were? Why?
Annie: Because I’m a girl. [pause] I have to go to work. 
Mommy: Where are you going to work? 
Annie: Right here next to the couch.
Mommy: What’s your work?
Annie: This is.
Mommy: But what do you do at your work?
Annie: Oh! I work with my friends at the work. [pause, indistinct noises] Have a good day!  
Mommy: Oh thanks. Who am I?
Annie: You’re the big sister, and then this is the little sister [pointing to Cora Rose] and you are bigger than her so you have to protect her. [turns to Daddy] And you can protect Mommy. Ok?
Mommy: Who’s he?
Annie: He’s the bigger boy. And I’m the mom.
Mommy: But I want to hear more about swimming class! 
Annie: Oh I was at my work and I came home. Help put this on, please? Big kid? [more indistinct noises]
Mommy: But I want to hear more about swimming! What happened at swimming class?
Annie: Oh! I… Daddy said I could go all day, but not if I scream.
Mommy: And what happened then?
Annie: I wouldn’t go there again.
Mommy: You wouldn’t go where again?
Annie: There. To swim class. [Annie shrieks]
Daddy: No, we haven’t figured that out yet, Annie.
Mommy: So did you scream?
Annie: Yes I screamed.
Mommy: So… but wait… tell me more about the class itself before we talk about screaming. Tell me what else you did. You floated on your back. So what else did you do?
Annie: Oh! [pause] So… so… so… there, I swimmed, and then I stand, and I… and I was on a noodle. First I was on a duckie, then I swimmed with it, and then I hold onto it, and then she tried a noodle on me, so I could [Annie makes a sound like “thththbbthbb”] so I could thbbthbb blow water, do bubbles.
Mommy: Oh! Where did you do bubbles?
Annie: Oh! The water has to go in my mouth and blup! then you blow it out!
Mommy: Oh! So you were on the noodle, and you were blowing bubbles in the water?
Annie: And… and so… and then she… she, she did… [fidgety noises] Oh! I’ve got to pump, I’ve got to pump and then… Oh! I already pumped, so I gotta feed my baby it!
Mommy: Oh, you already pumped? That’s good. Feed your baby and then I need my bottle back.
[Pause, more indistinct noises]
Mommy: Can you tell me more about swimming? So did the boys get to go on the noodle too, or just you?
Annie: I can go on, and the boys could go on!
Mommy: Did they do a good job blowing bubbles?
Annie: Yeah they did.
Mommy: Did you do a good job blowing bubbles?
Annie: No, I didn’t know how to blow bubbles.
Mommy: Oh, you didn’t? Did you learn how?
Annie: No. Oh! I have to go… She has to go to swim class! [rustling doll noises]. I’m the teacher!
Mommy: Oh you’re the teacher! Show me how you teach her!
Annie: I’m… I’m… she has to…
[some indistinct squealing noises, sounds of Annie running around in the distance]
Mommy: What’s going on? [more squealing] Show me what you do at swim class!
Mommy: Tell me what’s you’re doing; I can’t see!
Annie: Oh! [the running stops, Annie’s voice comes closer] And it’s good, and we did everything, and… it was soooo gorgeous there!
Mommy: What was gorgeous? Oh, the pool was gorgeous?
Annie: Uh huh. And there’s a little star, but I couldn’t go there, I just had to go in my area, with two kids, only two.
Mommy: And the teacher.
Annie: And there was a boy and a girl.
Mommy: I thought it was two boys!
Daddy: Oh, you’re talking about after swim class?
Annie: Oh, after I leaved.
Mommy: What happened after you left?
Annie: I changed out of that swimsuit.
Mommy: Good. You got to swim a little bit at the pool after you were finished?
Annie: Uh huh. It was with those waterfall things.
Mommy: There were waterfall things?
Peter: They were fountain things.
Mommy: That’s so cool! So you swam in the waterfall things? So what else happened?
Mommy: So what else… what else… so you played in the waterfall things?
Annie: Uh huh.
Mommy: And then what happened?
Annie: Mmmm
Mommy: What happened after you had to get out?
Annie: Ummm… I screamed. I said [using an angry, high-pitched voice] “I don’t want to go home!”
Mommy: And then what happened? Don’t touch that.
Annie: And then… we goed home
Mommy: Oh, but what happened with you? 
Annie: I scr- No we didn’t. We go to school.
Mommy: Oh yeah? Tell me about leaving though.
Annie: I didn’t want to leave!
Mommy: And so what happened? 
Annie: I screamed, “I don’t want to go home!”
Mommy: And what did Daddy do?
Annie: He keeped going.
Mommy: He kept going anyway? And what did you do?
Annie: I said [shrieking now] “Noooooo!!”
Mommy: Oh, you just woke up your sister. Um… and what did Daddy say?
Annie: If you do that again, we’re not going to go here again!
Daddy: Did I say that? I don’t remember saying that.
Mommy: And then what happened?
Annie: I screamed again.
Mommy: Oh no! So what’s going to happen now?
Annie: I didn’t screamed again, but… he… Let’s start here! [sound of running feet]
Mommy: What?
Annie: Soo… he said… (indistinct noises, Annie running around again)
Mommy: What? What? I can’t understand you.
Annie: He said, no more swim class.
Daddy: Did I say that?
Mommy: I don’t know if he said that. I think he said you’re on probation.
Daddy: I did? I don’t remember any of this.
Mommy: Well, the equivalent. I’m guessing. We’ll have to talk about this later. Did you do a lot of screaming?
Annie: Yes
Mommy: How come?
Daddy: What did you do when you went outside? Do you remember what you did when you went outside?
Mommy: What did you do when you went outside?
Annie: I runned away from Daddy.
Mommy [gasping]: Outside?
Annie: Uh huh.
Mommy: Why did you do that?
Annie: Because I was mad.
Mommy: What did daddy do when you ran away outside?
Annie: He said [shrieking] “Come back!”
Mommy: Why did he say that?
Annie: Because he was mad at me.
Mommy: He was mad at you? Well that sounds more like he’s afraid, when you scream like that.
Annie: He was mad.
Mommy: Was he mad, or scared?
Annie: He was mad.
Mommy: Why was he mad?
Annie: Because he didn’t want me to do that.
Mommy: He didn’t want you to run away? Or he didn’t want you to scream?
Annie: He didn’t want me to [makes an angry spitting noise]
Mommy: Oh! He didn’t? Why didn’t he want you to do that?
Annie: Because I didn’t… I didn’t… hear… but he said he don’t want me to do that.
Mommy: Hmm. Well then. So what happens now?
Daddy: I think I didn’t want you to run towards the busy road.
Mommy: What happens now? Since you ran outside into the busy road?
Annie: I didn’t run into the busy road.
Mommy: Oh you didn’t?
Daddy: Luckily you stopped.
Mommy: Hey hey don’t step- I mean, you’re going to break that toy if you step on it.  So what happens now?
Annie: I’m going to go again.
Mommy: Are you going to go again?
Annie: Uh huh.
Mommy: But even though you ran away? You’re still going to go again even though you ran away?
[Indistinct noise]

End of interview

Feeling like she did not have a complete picture of the entire swimming class from the above description, Mommy attempted to get more information an hour later. Here is a full transcript off the follow-up interview: 

Mommy: What was your teacher’s name?
Annie: Oh! Alice.
Mommy: What was she like?
Annie: Oh! She was like… so nice!
Mommy: Oh yeah?
Annie: Mm hm.. I kind of was afraid floating on my backward, but I was very good with that. I was holding it.
Mommy: Oh, you were holding… what were you holding?
Annie: I was holding my… my scream fit.
Mommy: [Pause] Oh, you were holding your scream fit. That’s good, I’m glad. You didn’t actually scream?
Annie: Uh-uh [shaking head]
Mommy: But you were thinking about it?
Annie: Mm hm.
Mommy: Mm. Was there anything she wanted you to do that was too scary?
Annie: Mm-mm. I’m going to draw a ghost.
Mommy: Nothing at all?
Annie: It’s a ghost! (points to a drawing)
Mommy: Oh I like the ghost. Wow, that’s a really good ghost. Look at this ghost!
Daddy: It’s really good. Just like the whale you did.
Annie [makes scary ghost noises]. It’s a scary ghost. [More ghost noises]
Mommy: Tell me about the other kids in your class.
Annie: It’s over his eyes [sounds of scribbling]
Mommy: Oh no! What’s over his eyes?
Annie: A mask.
Mommy: Oh it’s so scary!
Annie: Let’s draw some black in it. Is this the black?
Mommy: Tell me about the other kids. Did you like them?
Annie: [more scary ghost noises].
Mommy: It’s a scary ghost. It’s terrifying. Also the marker on the table is pretty terrifying, just in a different way. But tell me about the other kids. Can you? Will you tell me a little bit about the other kids? Just a little bit? Were they scared of anything?
Annie: Uh-uh.
[sound of something spilling] 
Mommy: Oh no! Shoot! 
Annie: Sorry!

[Interview ends abruptly]

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