Went to the Schwimmbad yesterday, down in Bad Neustadt.
It's two pools indoor and two out, plus one of those long slides, a kiddie pool, a whirlpool, and a sauna. It's nice. Alan is becoming a strong little swimmer. David, much less so -- David overthinks stuff, and ties himself up -- but it will come. Jacob and Leah just love splashing around.
What really struck me, though, is how warm Bad Neustadt is. It's just 35 km south of us (20 miles) but it feels more like 200. There was almost no snow on the ground there. In Fladungen, nasty, crusty, re-frozen snow covers everything. It's easily 8 or 10 degrees Fahrenheit (4 or 5 Celsius) colder here. Part of that is altitude -- we're about 100 meters higher up -- but mostly it's our weird microclimate, shivering under the chilly shadow of the Hochrhoen.
Anyway. One other thing: we are right now near, I think -- I hope -- the point of maximum logistical difficulty in doing this sort of thing. Alan and David can change by themselves, but can't be relied on to do it neatly and not forget anything. Jacob can't change himself. (Or, more precisely, can but won't.) Leah is still in diapers. We have to carry bathing suits and towels and swim toys and flippers in a huge bag, because the boys are not at the point yet where we can give each his own backpack. (Though maybe soon.) And once in the pool, one parent has to stay in the kiddy pool at all times.
It's one of those parenting paradoxes: half the time you're looking at them and thinking, you are so adorable right now, must you change? I can't stand it! And the other half you're thinking, grow up grow up grow up damn it hurry up grow up!
Actually, I can think both of those more or less at the same time.
Anyway, Schwimmbad. Winter fun!