Dear Snarky – Swim Team Drop Out Drama

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I recently let my 12-year son quit our huge neighborhood summer swim team. He’s a decent swimmer but he told me he hated waking up for 7 am practice and that it was “ruining his summer.” He quit a week before the first meet and I thought no big deal. It’s not like he was letting his team down by having one less “B” swimmer.

My problem is a couple of moms, with kids on the team, gave me serious crap about my son quitting. One even said he “needed to come to practice and apologize to his team.” WTH? Kids come and go all the time for vacations, summer camp, you name it.

What would you do to get these moms to back off?

Signed, Drowning

Dear Drowning,

These poor women must be bored beyond belief or high on chlorine fumes to insert themselves so forcefully into your business. Other sports parents may disagree with me BUT due to the volume of kids on the team and the fact that you quit before the first meet I’m going to have to say no harm, no foul. Plus, as a general rule, we don’t want our kids to be miserable all summer.

As for the mom who told you your kid needed to apologize to his teammates I would let her know in no uncertain terms that you require an apology from her. When she, visibly shocked, asks why, reply, “For involving yourself in my parenting choices and personal life.”

After delivering this line proudly walk away. Do not engage yourself in any kind of conversation or let this mom have a chance for a rebuttal.

Hopefully, your set down will start out as juicy poolside gossip and then grow into the stuff of legends. God, I love it when that happens.

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Swim Team Cheaters


Dear Snarky,

My two kids are on the neighborhood swim team and a couple of parents have noticed that two mothers are cheating so their kids can win. They do this by being the time keepers on the lane their kids are swimming in and fudging the results and by that I mean shaving off seconds from their kids swim time. We have one more swim meet before the season is over. Should I say something? It’s not like I have a video that shows them doing it. It’s just something a few of us have noticed happening.

Signed,  I Hate Cheaters

Dear I Hate Cheaters,

You’re not going to like my advice because I’m going to tell you to NOT confront these two moms. Like you said you have no solid proof and trust me on this once you suggest they’re playing fast and loose with their kid’s swim times a big old, ugly, suburban “I’m going sue you” storm will hit the cue de sac. You know what I’m talking about – the cheater moms will start threatening to sue you, the swim team association, the HOA, you name it. So, do not go there. No good will come from it. Instead, get sneaky. Do everything in your power to make sure these moms are not the ones being the lane timers when their kids swim. It won’t be easy but I’m sure you can figure out a way to get them away from the pool area. Seriously, tell them their cars are being towed or something. Next, you’re going to have to get actively involved in your neighborhood swim team. Get yourself on the board and insist that swim rules and regulations are enforced. I know somewhere it’s written that parents can’t be the lane timer when their kids are swimming. No go get em!