Kids and the pool

I live in a subdivision that has a good sized community pool. There are deck chairs and a kiddy pool. It’s a really nice perk, especially if you have kids (I’ve noticed).

Hanging out poolside this summer I’ve noticed two things that are particularly perplexing about kids and the aquatic experience. The first is the kiddy pool. I understand that water and small children are a dangerous combo; therefore, the creation of the kiddy pool. At this facility it’s about three inches of water (that often has a yellowish tinge) surrounded by a short gate. Upon first glance, this might seem like a great invention. However, if water and small children are a dangerous combo, I also believe that three inches of boiling hot water and children must be dangerous as well. It has been 95 degrees for the last five days. I am constantly getting nervous that someone is going to dip their small child into pool and pull that child out with boils on their feet. At best, the child is going to get overheated. It is not a kiddy pool. It is a shallow hot tub. There needs to be a sign posted in the kiddy pool area that makes everyone aware of this. There are more things that confuse me about the kiddy pool (such as why a full grown adult would sit all the way down in three inches of urine while their child splashes it into their face), but I will leave that for another day.

The second thing that is perplexing to me about kids and the pool is that almost everyone seems to be having a miserable time. The next time you go to the pool, observe. First, the entry. The mother is walking in with enough stuff to take a two week vacation to Europe. There are floaties, snacks, water, towels,sunscreen, diapers (both kinds: swimmers and dry), books, toys and variety of unidentifiable objects. I always wonder why they are bringing so much stuff to this particular pool because you HAVE to live in the immediate neighborhood to get access. There is a gate with a key. This family can not be THAT far away from home! Once they enter, chaos ensues. The mom is bogged down with a month’s worth of supplies while the kids are making a beeline for the deep end. The mom starts screaming at the kids, “Don’t you take one more step or we will go home right now!” She has to say this seven times before the kids stop running and gather around the spot she has picked. Then, the real scene begins.crying child

One kid is crying because he got sunscreen in his eyes. One kid is arguing with his mother about floaties. One kid is almost in the pool before the mom even notices. Once all the little ones are lubed up with sunscreen, and saddled with enough floatation material to save a small cruiseliner, they are allowed to hop in the water. I see the mother lie back in her chair and reach into her bag. She pulls out a novel the size of War and Peace and I think, “Good luck with that after the scene I just saw.” The poor woman has just cracked the cover when a blood curdling scream can be heard by the entire United States of America. Every pool patron is on alert. And that is it. It is all over. All three children, the mother, and the entire basement that was packed into three oversized bags march out of the pool. One child is questioning why they are leaving (repeatedly), one child is continuing to scream with blood streaming down his face, and the third child is balanced on the mother’s hip (along with the rest of the house). Very impressive.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a day at the pool with the kids…or at least about 15 minutes for this woman.I have to believe that most trips to the pool with kids are not this horrible or else they would stop making pools. I commend all the moms out there just trying to get some sun and few minutes of peace and quiet. May I recommend another place than the pool?

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