This is a guest post by Lauren Fishman.
The summertime brings so many fun things to do with the kids including one of my family’s favorites, spending the day at the local pool. Going to the pool for the day, however, or even a few hours, means packing up a bag that looks like it could hold a week’s worth of contents, maybe more. You know those movies where the parents show up covered in bags, coolers, hats, inflatables and things for the pool? That would be us…
We are a family of five, including three young children, which means five towels, three pairs of goggles, one floatie, various tubes of sunscreen, hats, swim diapers, pool toys, snacks and lunch, and changes of clothes. Just to give you a visual, this bag is so large that it could practically hold my two and a half year old as well and it weighs as much, if not more, than he does! And I’m sure you can imagine all the work that goes into packing this bag…if only a bag could pack itself. Hmm, maybe I’m on to something.
So, you get my drift as to how much work goes into just getting organized to get to the pool. Once there, we begin a circus of a different kind, finding a spot to “camp out”, applying the sunscreen and unpacking said giant bag. And I won’t even tell you about the time we arrived at the pool and realized we forgot the bag at home in the garage.
At our pool, it’s funny how there is a distinct divide between the families with younger children sitting on one side of the pool, with tables and umbrellas, close to the snack bar, and kiddie pool, and families with older children, or get this…grownups with NO children, sitting on the highly coveted side of the pool with lounge chairs. I envy the lounge chair people because right now it feels like I will never get to sit in one of those. In fact, I hardly ever sit at all while I’m at the pool.
By the time we are all sunscreened up, goggles on, floatie and hat ready, we may have been at the pool for a half an hour, and we haven’t even gotten wet! We all get in the pool, and guess what happens; inevitably someone has to go the bathroom. Shoes back on and into the locker room we go. And if you’re a parent, you know just how much of a pain it is to pull a wet bathing suit down and then back up. I’m thinking some sort of bathing suit with a trap door bottom part would be nice.
We finally get back in the pool for all of about ten minutes until someone decides he/she is hungry, which then means they are ALL hungry, and out of the pool we go to unpack the cooler for a snack. A few minutes later everyone is full and content. We walk back towards the pool when the lifeguards blow the whistle for a ten minute adult swim…figures. Do they not realize how hard we just worked to get to the pool, with all our stuff, and now they must blow that stinkin’ whistle??
All the kids pile in the kiddie pool, otherwise known as warm pool of pee. Please do not put your mouth in there to blow bubbles! No, I do not want to sit in it with you. Must you really dump that water repeatedly over your head? Oh please lifeguards, can’t you see that you are torturing all the parents here, while just a few adults, namely the lounge chair people take advantage of the adult swim?!
For a minute, I allow myself to think about what it would be like to go in the pool during adult swim and not have a kid hanging off me, getting splashed in the face, or listening to the incessant drone of “watch me, mom!” It sounds nice and maybe I’ll be able to tell you more about it at the point when I can sit in one of those lounge chairs, which may never happen.
But, when that magical time comes when my husband and I can actually sit in those nice lounge chairs, it will mean a different point in our lives has begun–one where our kids don’t care if we are watching every move they make, and in fact don’t want us to; one where not only do our kids not want to hang off of us, but they want to sit on the other side of the pool from us; one where they don’t want to eat an ice cream treat with us, but rather take our money to get one on their own and eat it with their friends. As crazy as it currently is just making a day at the pool happen, and going through all of the “shenanigans”, I’ll enjoy the craziness while it lasts….And then I’ll tell you about how great it is to sit in those lounge chairs.
Lauren Fishman M.Ed, is a former Fifth Grade teacher. In her “life after children,” she is the family CEO – now if she can only figure out how to get paid like one! Lauren is a regular contributor to Mommybites and Supplet, and is trying to figure out what her next adventure will be. You can follow her on twitter @Laurenafishman. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three young children.