Wednesday, July 28, 2010
There Has to Be An Easier Way to Do This, Part II
For anyone who read my blog post regarding getting my kids ready for the pool, I should let you know that the fun does not stop once we reach our destination. After I have checked the radar for scattered showers, gotten the kids ready, made sure there is no swim meet scheduled for that afternoon, packed water and Sugar-Free Kool-Aid and popsicles and towels and pool toys and sunscreen and my cell phone and a magazine to read and the kitchen sink, we head to the pool. The pool, where I can relax with a contraband beer disguised in a plastic cup and read a magazine while I soak up the sun’s glorious rays through my SPF 75. The pool, where the kids play together nicely in the sparkling water while the attentive lifeguards watch them closely. Or not.
Take yesterday, for instance. We have gone to the pool roughly four times a week for the entire summer, so you would think that my kids had the preparation mastered. Um, no. I still have to coach them through every step. Katie just wanders off with a book or her video game and forgets that she’s supposed to be getting ready. What’s worse is Davis – he completely remembers where we are going, but can’t put it together. My favorite is when they are at the back door ready to go, and Davis is naked, with his towel in hand. “Buddy!” I’ll say. “Are you forgetting something?” He looks at me, for all the world trying to figure out what I’m talking about. This is why this kid cannot go to Sewanee. Liberal Arts colleges and nudist colonies of the world, beware.
We get to the pool. We drag my backpack, the floatees, the cooler with drinks, the towels, and the water wings to an empty table and set up shop. I top off the sunscreen application and release the children into the pool. I settle back with my drink and my magazine. Summer pie recipes. Yum. And here’s Davis, needing a snack and a drink. “But we just got here and you had a snack and a drink before we left the house,” I try to reason. “But I’m so thirsty and hungry,” he pleads. I put down the magazine and look at it longingly, knowing full well I will not read a page today. I get out a snack and a drink, and get Davis settled down. Here comes Katie. “But I–I-I-I-I-I-I want a snack, too, that’s not fair, Davis always gets everything, you like him better, he had more snack at the house and here he is again and” I hand her a popsicle. She gets quiet and sits down. After the pool snack, I encourage them to get back into the pool. After all, there is usually only a ten-minute window between the time we get there and the time that the teenage lifeguards hear “thunder”, clearing the pool of those annoying swimmers and allowing them to retire to the club house to flirt with each other some more.
The kids get back in the pool. As I slowly reach for my magazine, I spot Davis running for the club house. As he get about halfway there, the burn from the scorching concrete registers. He freezes completely still and begins screaming “My feet!! Burnie Burn!!” I race over to him, pick him up, and carry him back to his flip-flops, all the while trying to explain that the concrete IS HOT, and if he needs to walk around, he needs to wear his shoes. He heads off to the potty.
(Quick aside – are all children obsessed with public potties or is it just my kids? We can potty before we leave the house but as soon as we get somewhere, they both have to go again. Also, the nastier the potty, the more my children want to go. This, however, is another blog post for another day.)
TEN MINUTES later, I am still watching for Davis. I make sure Katie isn’t actively drowning, then stalk off to the club house to collect my son. I find him STILL sitting on the potty in the men’s room. Apparently swimming makes him, ahem, regular. I make it back to my pool chair and just as I make contact with the seat, he comes racing across the concrete, screaming because his feet are burning BECAUSE HE HAS ON NO SHOES. Again. I carry him back into the men’s room (I spend entirely too much time in there!) to collect his shoes. We get back out to the pool, in the water he goes, snack/drink/potty time done. Now they can swim and I can relax. Full of hope, I reach for my magazine and my drink. Cue thunder…