It comes every year, the anticipation and excitement of summer. For most that means loads of time swimming at the beach or pool to beat the extremely hot and humid weather. We are lucky to have a pool in our backyard now, but the first three years of parenthood we lugged our stroller filled with snacks, cooler, diapers, toys, towels, sunscreen, and loads of other crap to the community pool.
I thought things would get much easier now that we have a pool just a few steps away, but it’s still a bit of work taking the kids swimming every day. Especially since one of the girls is a toddler and still can’t dress herself. So here are the 30 easy steps to taking your kids swimming.
- Change the kids into their swimsuits.
- Ask them to go potty and hear choruses of, “I just went!”
- Put their hair up so it doesn’t get in their eyes. One of them particularly loathes when she gets hair in her eyes.
- Put sunscreen on child number one. Quickly get a wet washcloth to wipe sunscreen out of her eyes which inevitably happens. Oops! (Note to self, buy a sunscreen stick)
- Put sunscreen on second child a little more carefully.
- Struggle to open the pool gate and usually break a nail or the skin on my finger in the process.
- Gather pool toys, rafts, Barbie’s and Barbie pool, flotation devices, dive sticks, goggles, and pool noodles.
- Start swimming! Woo hoo!
- Less than ten minutes later the oldest yells….”Potty! I need to go potty right now!” She argues with me and wants to go in the grass. “Your dad lets you do what? No we go potty in the potty!”
- Dry her off and send her in the house shivering.
- Ask the younger child to practice her turn, kick and reach. Then spend ten minutes calming her down and patiently encouraging her to practice swimming. End up just dropping toddler in the pool and making her do her obligatory four practice exercises.
- Once the older child is back and playing happily with her sister, grab my Nook, put my head back and sit by the side of the pool basking in the sun. Finally feel the peace that is summer!
- Five minutes later hear child number two exclaim, “I need to go potty!”
- Debate quickly - do I want another dripping child in the house? Uh no. So I bring the toddler potty outside. At least they don’t pee in the pool right?! (That grass idea might not be so bad, not that I’ll actually admit that to my husband.)
- Give child number one a ride around the pool, and then play shark with her.
- Play the mermaid game with child number two. Then play it again with child number one.
- Think seriously about making a cocktail as I sit by the side of the pool and work on my tan - when I see child number one straddling the water jet.
- Remind her quietly to stop. She gets embarrassed then splashes me in the face.
- Put child number one in time out.
- Get the water balloons out and blow up and tie copious amounts of water balloons.
- Do a few experiments then let them have a water balloon fight.
- Pick up infinitesimal pieces of water balloons all over the pool deck with the help of the kids. It seriously is worth all the work though, they love it!
- Sit in the sun for a nice stretch and finally feel like I’m on vacation.
- Hear choruses of, “I’m bored!” or “I’m cold!” and start the getting out process.
- Dry off the kids.
- Strip them out of their bathing suits and hang suits and the towels to dry.
- Help them get dressed.
- Bring in all the pool toys and put them away.
- Hear choruses of, “I’m hungry!” and find a suitable snack that won’t spoil dinner.
- Start dinner and rejoice that two more hours of the day are gone! It’s almost bedtime…
I know what you’re thinking….”She’s really complaining she has a pool in her backyard?!” And it is really awesome, but doing this everyday can get a bit cumbersome. Quite honestly swimming with the kids and being home every day with them after 1:00 really is a gift that I do enjoy. If only we had a pool heater for the winter. Nah…never mind...I’ll keep this a summer
chore activity. Plus it really is sooooo much easier than driving over to the beach, don’t even get me started on that process…