We have a pool.
If you don’t have a pool, then I know what you’re thinking:
I have a fun activity that’s perfect in the intense AZ heat … and it’s right in my backyard!
If you also have a pool, then you will understand when I say that as a mother, I’ll take 60 degree weather and no pool any day!
In the glorious winter months, my children run outside to play, slamming the screen door shut while escaping with all types of toy animals, playdough, and pots and pans. In and out they run, happily buzzing about in their imaginations, creating their own adventures in the backyard.
Fast forward to summer.
Now it’s too hot to play with those toys outside. BUT the pool is ready. One would think the pool will just replace backyard playtime.
Oh… how I wish ….
It all begins with a “MAMA, Can we go swimming?”
Buckle up cowgirls. Here we go… the “Prep Phase”
1st: Remind the kids to go potty. One reminder here never works as we all know our children don’t like to listen to the first instruction. If you’re lucky, they maybe want to listen the 3rd time you’ve said it.
2nd: The “Search For Bathing Suits” commences
Rummage through the clean laundry pile on the sofa … no luck. Check the kids’ bathroom hanging rack – again MIA. Oh yes! Of course, it’s in a heap in the washer or dryer in mid-laundry cycle. Locate and pull up on squirming kids.
3rd: Sunscreen (Now this is a process!)
Locate the bottles (never in their proper place, always where last tossed aside from day before) . Direct your kids to spread out arms and legs and keep eyes closed while you bend over and cover every spot of bare skin with sunscreen #1 while rubbing to make sure it sticks. Then move on to more expensive sunscreen #2 for the face so that it doesn’t burn their eyes. By now your back hurts from bending and your hands are all oiled up they can’t open that jar that you needed for cooking.
4th: It’s goggle time … AKA the tear maker.
In my house, goggles are either:
1) too tight they hurt their heads
2) too foggy and they can’t see
3) too loose and won’t keep water out
All of the above induce crying in my house. EVERY. DAY.
Once goggles have been adjusted to the precise tightness location, we have liftoff!!
Kids In Pool!
Summer fun should now begin! Shouldn’t it?
Reality 101: Instead of happily going about my own tasks, I have now become lifeguard and bartender at my very own home poolside cabana.
“Mama – I’m thirsty.”
“Mama, can we have some potato chips to enjoy on our blankets in the sun?”
“Mama, can you go fetch the raft/toy/tube/noodle that fell out of the pool for the hundredth time?”
All this the while keeping stalwart eyes on both kids at all times with the constant fear of drowning shaking my motherhood’s nerves.
And then, about 20 minutes into pool time, one child (usually the skinniest) comes out shivering. “Mama, I’m cold! Can I go in a warm bath?”
Extract kids from pool. Dry off with pool towel. Run bath. Clean, shampoo & condition. Dry off with bath towel.
(Here’s a fun summer math equation for you: 2 towels every few days * per kid = lots more laundry.) Help kids change clothes. Ensure pool pump is off and backdoor is secure.
Now can get back to the long list of to do’s I had before the “Mama can we swim?”
And … isn’t it great when Dad comes home and wants to jump in the pool with the kids again?
Am I wrong? Am I crazy? Do you love your pool or do you agree that there are just as many reasons NOT to have a pool?