Earlier this week, Jason and I managed to secure a scholarship for an annual membership to the Southwest Community Center, part of the Portland Parks and Rec network. I did water aerobics there for the three months or so of my pregnancy and was really impressed with the facility. When Jason and I decided it was time to really commit to a healthy lifestyle, but also knew that we couldn't afford a gym membership, we were thrilled to discover that the community center gave scholarships. We applied, and were approved, and just in the past week Jason has attended four times (twice on one day!)
Now, Jason was excited for his workouts, but was even more excited when he realized that we could take Cy to Family Swim. Bathtime is one of the best times of our day, and it just seemed a natural progression to get Cy in a pool. In fact, Jason has been planning for and talking about "the big event" all week. He even had me drive across town to buy a pair of reusable swim diapers so that the three of us could take advantage of the family swim today!
After a few hiccups in our plan (including a baby who not only slept in until 9am, but then took an unprecedented 3 hour nap at 11 - why does this only happen on days when I plan for his "regular" nap schedule?)...where was I? Oh yeah, so once we finally got ourselves out the door, we realized that getting the three of us changed and into, and back out of, the pool was going to take some maneuvering. We had some elaborate plans worked out until I remembered that I had seen family changing rooms at the community center. I had never been inside them before, though, so I wasn't sure how helpful they would be. I pictured maybe just a basic bathroom with a changing table, and figured we would still have to go shower in the main locker rooms.
Let me just say, of all the things that have impressed me about this community center (and there are a lot), the family changing rooms may just top the list! Each room has a sink and a toilet, a changing table, a long bench and - get this - a shower! And the room itself is huge - plenty of room for several children. It was easy, then, for both Jason and I to take Cy into the changing room together, allowing us to trade off holding him and dressing him while we got ourselves dressed. It made the whole process so much easier and more enjoyable than it could have been. Plus, there are a total of four family changing rooms!
I had also been thinking about signing Cy and me up for Parent/child swim classes in January, but was concerned about the whole changing/drying off process, especially since I would be by myself. Seeing the family changing rooms has eased my worries and now I'm even more excited about the prospect.
I have to know - is this whole family changing room thing common? Am I just a newbie mom who didn't realize how accomodating some places would be? Because in my limited experience, most places seem the opposite of accommodating. Sometimes I almost feel bad for having a baby in tow. In fact, I've been surprised by the number of places that have zero space to change babies - and don't get me started on the lack of changing tables in men's restrooms! And yet, whoever designed the community center really thought ahead to the needs of families, and made the swimming experience completely accessible, and, dare I say, easy. I was already impressed - now I'm downright in love! (On a related note, Washington Square does have its own extraordinary family restroom, complete with a miniature toilet right next to the big person's toilet. I don't think I've ever thought of a toilet as cute until I saw that one. It makes me excited for the day Cy can use a toilet, and I think we may go to the mall just so we can use that one!)
So, needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), we will be frequenting the family swim time and most definitely taking full advantage of these fantastic changing rooms!