Does my day at the pool sound relaxing? Because it wasn’t. Whenever I tell someone that we just “spent the day at the pool,” they smile and nod in a benign way, because it sounds so idyllic. A nice Mom splashing in the water with her sweet little gems…except when you add children to water, it’s not idyllic. It’s survival. I should be saying that I “survived the day at the pool.”
Let’s start with the morning negotiations regarding packing lunch versus buying lunch. The kids demand to buy lunch at the pool, and I would love to buy lunch every day too! But that expense adds up real quick in the summer. Especially because they usually just order a PB&J and I can make that for real cheap at home. So now, I’m back to packing lunches while making breakfast, which is one of the main reasons that I was so excited for school to be done!
Should I mention the fun that is getting dressed for the pool when you are a Mom? Regardless of the shape you are in, Moms tend to have plenty of physical insecurities that just don’t pair well with a swimsuit. And finding a swimsuit that accommodates children is extra stress, because those little monsters are going to pull on every strap and crevice of your person at the pool. I generally don’t feel ready to flash my neighbors at the public pool, yet my children will try to accomplish that feat for no good reason. I wish I could velcro that suit to my body.
I’m not even going to discuss the sunscreen. No one likes the sunscreen. And why the bloody heck is it all over the OUTSIDE of my vehicle?
So we get to the pool. We’ve survived the parking lot. Children who are so ready to swim often forget their senses and dart in all directions. We stake out our space with moderate shade and mark our territory with a blanket and more bags of gear than is physically possible for one woman to carry (I use a wagon, no joke).
Now we are in the water. I don’t care how many kids you have, water is stressful. Add in the recent articles on dry drowning, and you are on hyper alert. Not to mention that at any given time, I have either one to all three of my children physically hanging on me/pulling on me in the water. Why must they pull on me? Everyone wants my attention and anyone can drown. Sorry if I sound like a huge Debbie Downer about children in the pool. They are having a blast and making memories, but I am in survival mode.
Seriously, my day at the pool is spent swiveling my head around like a maniac, counting my children, re-counting my children and repeatedly shouting like an insane person.
Here’s a summary of what comes out of my mouth (over and over and over and over):
- SPIT THAT OUT!
- We WALK at the pool!
- Get off your brother.
- Don’t touch your sister.
- GET OFF ME!
- Yes, I see you…I’m watching….YES, I SAID I’M WATCHING!
- For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE stop drinking the pool water.
- Where are your goggles? We talked about NOT leaving them floating in the pool/in the bushes.
- GET OFF MY BAG OF DRY CLOTHES!
- Why didn’t you have to pee 5 minutes ago when we took a pee break?
- I told you, I DON’T HAVE ANY MORE SNACKS!
We can’t forget to factor in toddler attitudes, right? I mean, toddlers were put on this Earth to basically ruin all of our fun. It is guaranteed that too much sun or too much fun will get to one of them and all heck will break loose. Tiny wet people suddenly will throw themselves on the hot cement surrounding the pool and scream, while you stand there dripping wet, not really caring what their issue is, but realizing that you’ve overstayed your pool time and wondering how to round up the others that are still having fun. Oh the freedom, of getting to throw yourself on the ground screaming. I bet it feels great.
I don’t mean to complain about being able to spend the summer days with my kids, I really am enjoying my summer vacation with them. And I am super lucky that we have such a nice town pool to enjoy. However, I just wish the sense of maternal survival at the pool was more well known. No, I didn’t just relax all day. I kept people alive! I believe that a good day at the pool is merely measured by bringing home the same number of children that you arrived with.