Do your kids love to swim? Mine do. We are fortunate enough to have a swimming pool, which has been a life saver when during the summer it can feel like our town is located on the surface of the sun. It gets fudgen hot here.
Having a pool is awesome.... and also the worst thing ever. Let me tell you why. No, it's not because of the maintenance and the cleaning and the cost of chemicals. It's because my kids want to be in the pool every second of every day. Even the cold days, in winter, when they might die of hypothermia if they got their way and got to go swimming in December. Zero F's given by my children when it comes to temperature requirements of enjoyable pool use.
I managed to make it all the way to an 80 degree day in April before they wore me down enough to let them go swimming. And now the exhausting, repetitive "get ready" cycle of swimming season is upon me.
You know the drill. Getting tiny humans ready for a day at the pool is a PROCESS. Let's break it down:
First you have to get the kids into their bathing suits. This part is straight forward enough.
Then you apply copious amounts of sunscreen. I have fair, ginger babies that sunburn if they even think about going outside. I should probably buy stock in sunscreen. So much sunscreen. I have found that I can't really cheat and use the spray stuff because it just doesn't work as well. So I have to laboriously apply thick coatings of the lotion variety to the kiddos while they actively fight to get away from me. It's not super fun. I joke to myself that this must be the parent equivalent of trying to catch a greased hog.
Then we need headwear. Baseball caps or floppy hats, something to protect their noggins.
Once we get the swimwear and sunscreen situation handled, they get buckled into their life vests. Phoebe can swim, but despite her perceived ability to swim like Michael Phelps, she isn't great at it yet. Not great enough to warrant life vest free enjoyment on the pool. Not unless I am in it with her, and friends that water is FRIGID, there is no way in the world I am getting into that pool until it is over 100 degrees outside.
Side note- do you remember being a kid and swimming in a creek that was, like, frozen ice water and thinking that was fun? I remember that too...... but oh hell no. Not any more. I need tepid water now. Like almost warm enough to slowly poach me. A bath. Yes, it's a bath. A friend sent me this the other day when I said I was working on a blog, and it just occurred to me that it is perfect for this.
But I digress....
Next step- Towels! Big fluffy beach towels. At least 6 because my (2!) children will make it their life's mission to properly soak at least 4 of those towels. Maybe one more for the dog. Muttley loves to swim. He bobs across the pool like a furry little buoy.
Okay, so they have their swimsuits and hats and sunscreen and towels and they are properly inserted into their life saving personal flotation devices. Now we need to set up the umbrellas so that there is a teensy bit of shade on the water. Just enough shade to cool off the metal handrail that has been baking in the sun all day and will legit burn the skin right off your hands. We set up some chairs in the shade, properly lay out the towels. I think we are ready to enjoy some pool time!
The kids jump in. It's awesome! They love it. I grab a book or my phone and sit down on one of the lounge chairs in the shade and just get comfy when.....
"Mooooooooom, I have to poooooop!"
They've been in the water exactly 2.5 minutes.
So I get up, help Oliver wrestle himself out of his life vest and towel dry him enough to send him inside to use the bathroom. Guys, do you know how hard it is to pull soggy wet swim shorts up and down? It's a process. He makes it into the bathroom but needs assistance getting the shorts off. Once he's done, it's even harder to get the swim shorts back up again. But we managed. He happily races back off to the pool. Quick buckle back up with the life vest and into the water he goes.
But now it's Phoebe's turn, now she has to pee. She is older and one would think that she could successfully remove her life vest, dry off a bit and use the rest room without help. One would be WRONG. She can't get her life vest off because the buckle hurts her fingers. She haphazardly wraps a towel around her shoulders and leaves a wet trail all the way into the bathroom where she manages to get her swimsuit off and use the toilet, but can't seem to get it back on without getting tangled up and yelling for help. Remember when I said getting the swimsuits on was a pretty straightforward process?
Finally, after much getting ready and bathroom shenanigan's handled, both children are happily swimming in the pool and I am ready to hang out and relax.
This happy relaxation time lasts exactly 13 minutes. Now they are hungry and tired of swimming and want to go inside.
So they grab their soggy towels and sort of dry off. Not enough to not drip water all over the living room floor, but better than dumping a bucket of water on it, I suppose. Muttley, fresh off his swim across the pool and soaking wet, now has a case of the zoomies and races full speed across all the furniture, up and down the hallway 3 times, and back into the backyard to roll around in the dirt. It's a good thing he is so cute.
I take a few minutes to put the umbrellas down, gather up the wet towels to throw in the wash and lock the pool fence back up. I dry off the kids and get their wet swimsuits off and hanging up to dry, put dry clothes on them and plop them down at the table for a snack.
"I'm ready to get back in the pool now".
And so we lather, rinse and repeat this process every day from now until fall.