Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I love shopping for bathing suits. I love it like a cat loves a bath, like a 2 year old loves naptime or like my husband loves complete strangers giving him hugs. The very process of finding that perfect suit is poetic. There are many things to consider before purchasing a piece of material so small even the larger ones would be considered indecent in some countries. There’s the print, the color, the amount of medication you will need to feel comfortable wearing that thing in public.

Not only does it cling, it’s tiny too. I’m not talking about just the bikini. Those became a thing of the past after having my first child. Since then my tummy has more closely resembled a deflated balloon with a sad face for a belly button. And this is why I opt for a one piece but even those don’t hide the parts I think they should.

One of my most embarrassing bathing suit shopping experiences happened a few years ago. Jackson was just 6 months and Jacob, a newly minted 5 year old. Because of their ages, I had to bring both boys into the dressing room while I tried to get a bathing suit on and off before the security cameras had a chance to record this spectacle. I know I’ve got issues.

Jackson was content sitting in his carrier as long as he could see me, but Jacob was a little less patient. After promising a new pack of Pokémon cards if he would just give mommy a little piece and quiet he agreed and started playing with his hot wheels.

With both boys distracted by the full length mirror, I get the first of two selections on. I give it a quick look and decide against the color. In between getting that suit off and the next on, it looks like bringing the boys was no big deal at all.

Jacob soon grows bored and starts asking questions.

“Mama, why do girls wear swim suits?”

“Because, we like to torture ourselves.”

“Why do you HAVE to wear swimsuits?”

“Because you could get arrested for indecent exposure if you didn’t.”

“Why do you still look like you have a baby in your tummy?”

“Ok, that’s enough. Just play and let me try one more on and we can go.”

So I continued with my last selection and said my favorite little bathing suit prayer. “Dear God, please, please, please let this be the year that cellulite is as coveted as the next installment of the Harry Potter book series.”

As I was removing the last swimsuit, and silently putting a jinx on the person who thought spandex is a material suited for everyBODY, Jacob broke into song. He had been listening to music with his dad and the tune he was singing sounded a little familiar. At the top of his lungs he sang,

“Oh big belly bamalam! Oh big belly bamalam! Big mama’s got a child that nearly drives her wild!”

And he repeated this over and over and louder and louder. When I finally got my clothes back on we quickly left the store. I then said my new bathing suit prayer. A prayer that I still say before, during and after swimsuit shopping. “Dear God, please use lightening to remind me to NEVER take my children with me when I try on bathing suits. Oh and God, one more thing. Please, please, please when you get a chance could you work on the cellulite thing. Amen.”

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