She saved and she saved
for the last six weeks she’s been saving.
Well that’s not strictly true, she’s been saving for the last two years… every penny she picks up, every note or coin she’s given, they all go into her piggy bank, her hand painted and very loved pink pank (as she calls it), or the rabbit pank … a hand painted glazed rabbit with a slot in the top. Every now and again we go to the bank and we deposit money into her account. It’s always an adventure, and the receipts are kept like golden tickets as special treasures.
So she’s been saving for ages, but for the last weeks it’s been for something particular.
She’s been swimming, with me, and with her father and I, and after a very shaky first half hour, “I want to go home NOW”, and, “I NEED milky” (which she had, in the changing room where she’d fled to), she got back in, clutched on like a limpet and then slowly surely found her way in the watery world of a local pool. It was mid afternoon on a wet day, we were meant to be somewhere else but things hadn’t worked out and we ended up in the pool, with a new pair of (second hand) orange arm bands. After an hour she was jumping from the steps into my arms, and after an hour and a half she was jumping off the side into the water and doggy paddling across the pool to me muttering “dig, dig, dig” to herself (how I tried to explain the front paw / hand action for swimming, having consulted one of the teachers nearby after she’d finished with her class of 10 small folk in swim hats and goggles).
She loved it, she was so proud of her arm bands and of the fact we both had matching red costumes (accident not design).
On the way out we walked past a display, and she stopped, “I want goggles Mummy, other children had goggles, I need goggles for when I swim under water like other children”, I probably would have bought her some but I had absolutely no money with me. We went home, and for the next few days she talked about goggles, and I said I didn’t have any money, then she had a realisation, “I have money in my pink pank”.
… and so the saving began. Every single penny squirrelled away, “for my goggles”. We nearly bought some the other week but she’d been truly horrible to a friend of hers in the park earlier so it was decided she wasn’t going to be able to have the goggles that day and she had to buy a little present for her chum to apologise for being unkind. She did, unquestioningly (tissues with horses on them), she knew she’d been a bit of a monkey and made her friend cry. She kept on saving as she had to rebuild her depleted fund (or that’s what I told her, really she’d had enough from the moment she decided on her hearts desire).
Today we went, on the wettest rainiest Bank Holiday Monday ever, to the pool, the same pool with the display by the door, and before we went, we emptied her pink pank (or maybe it was the rabbit pank) into a shopping bag. We sat at a table and I took out a handful of coins … we matched them all up and counted … she was so excited as she sat up peering out over the coins at the other small folk in the pool, all wearing goggles.
She ran, carefully clutching handfuls of coins, over to the counter and called up, “please, please lady, I’m here”, until she attracted attention. I went over and lifted her up, the lady asked how she could help, “Pink goggles, I want pink goggles, I got money, look, I have all the money, I saved it in my pink pank ……. ……. …….. and ……….”, on she went, much to the confusion of the lady. In the end a pair of pink goggles were plonked onto the counter.
It was as if she’d been given the world, she clutched the packaging all the way back to the table and then asked me to open it. I did and she took out the pink (and purple) goggles very carefully and just beamed, “this is my best thing in the whole world Mummy … look at my goggles”, and then she put them on.
I whooped out loud with joy.
Instead, I said in a rather gruff voice, “let’s get changed”, and got her to carry a towel mountain into the changing rooms, still wearing the goggles”. A lady stopped her and told her she looked very smart, “Yes I do”, she replied.
We swam, with her father, we laughed, she jumped, she dived, she sploshed and she beamed. She told everyone they were her goggles, and then she asked to take off her arm bands and did lots of gleeful jumping from the side into the water and our arms. Then she launched herself out of her father’s arms back towards me and SWAM, she swam all by herself, under water, about 4 feet to me (clearly I had my arms there, as did he, incase she got into any difficulty), then she turned and went back again … and again and again and then with her eyes above water, and then her head above water … my little fish swam a tiny way unaided. VERY proud of herself, absolutely delighted in fact, and I nearly started to sob in the swimming pool!
When I finally managed to persuade her out of the pool, out of the shower and out of the building, she was shattered! She fell asleep in the middle of her supper, but then woke later and wore her newly purchased goggles proudly around the house and showed Granby, “Look at ME!”
I had to distract her with stories to stop her from sleeping in them.
I wonder what she’ll start saving for next.