I’ve been working all week… and I’ve been listening to my kids whine all week. Summer is so tiresome… already! And, even though I know my kids are bratty, I still feel guilty when I listen to them whine all week while I’m chained to the computer working. So, Thursday, I promised them that I’d take them to the pool on Friday. I really thought I could be done with my work project by Friday around noon. Well, that didn’t exactly happen, but by 1pm the kids were extremely restless, of course. So, I said the heck with work, and off to the pool we went!
Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Even though the pool is probably a whopping 3 miles from our house, it took us a good hour, from the time I decided to quit working, to get there. A few hours at the pool requires so much prep work (and I don’t even have babies anymore! Isn’t it supposed to be easier at this point??).
First, everyone needed their bathing suits. Luckily, I did somewhat think ahead on this one… Thursday evening we all hunted and pecked through the dirty laundry, found suits, and washed them. Around 11 Friday morning, I remembered that the suits were still wet in the washer and I had Avery go down and switch them to the dryer. Whew. Crisis avoided there!
Towels. Miraculously, I found three clean towels in the linen closet; that never happens. We NEVER have clean towels in this house, certainly not one for each of us. Huge score!
Sunscreen. This was actually right where it belongs on the bathroom counter. No idea how that happened. Usually, I buy a new $8 bottle of sunscreen every time we go to the pool because I can never find the last bottle I bought (somewhere in this house, 17 nearly full bottles of sunscreen are hiding).
Food. I am never organized enough to plan ahead for “taking-our-own-food” situations. So, usually, I take extra cash and we eat at the snack bar at the pool. I knew I didn’t have lots of extra money to deal with yesterday, so I had to quickly come up with a Plan B. Luckily, we had leftover hot dogs from the night before… I heated them up, threw them on some buns, loaded up some Zip-Loc baggies, and tossed ’em in the pool bag. Then I grabbed a bag of potato chips and an unopened box of crackers out of the cabinet and threw them in. Avery’d been driving me nuts all morning to cut up her 3 pints of strawberries… I didn’t have time to do all that, but I did grab a thing of strawberries and added them to the pool bag (totally fooled the other pool moms into thinking I’m a great mom who not only packs our own food but packs HEALTHY food as well! hahahaha!).
While I was doing all of this, Damon was scrounging around looking for change so that he could talk me into stopping to get some goggles on the way to the pool. The darn kid came up with $1.90, so I did make a pit stop at Dollar General (totally on the way) and let him buy a cheap pool mask (that I had to adjust 548 times while we were at the pool because the strap kept coming undone; note to self: cheap goggles/masks are a baaaad idea!).
I was hoping I’d be able to get $20 cash back from my DG purchase… because I had no cash on me (as usual), and I’m pretttttty sure that the pool doesn’t take debit for entry fees. Of course, that would be too convenient; DG does not give cash back… unless you’re using a Discover card (uhhh, what?? Who’s ever heard of something that ridiculous???). So, onto Plan B… or would this be Plan C at this point?
We took a little, tiny detour to Sheetz, where there’s a no-fee ATM (just one more reason to love Sheetz). I got $20 cash and also bought a huge bottle of water that we could all share (because I had nothing in the house to pack for drinks; note to self…).
Soooo… an hour later, we actually arrived at the pool, paid our $10.50, and joined the hundreds of other Weirtonians who had the same idea. The pool was packed. Luckily, it’s a huge pool. And, of course, we got there just in time for them to call “break/pool check!” and the kids had to wait ten minutes before they could jump in (oh, the horror!).
In the midst of all the pool-prep chaos, I even remembered to throw my camera in the bag (I was so proud!).
We were at the pool for 3.5 hours… and we were all IN the water that whole time (except for the 10-minute pool checks when the kids had to get out). And, speaking of that… for the first time in my adult life, I actually stayed in the pool during those break times and enjoyed the water without the millions of squealing, splashing, half-drowning children. It was HEAVENLY. I don’t know why I’ve never done that before, but I will certainly do it again!!!
I had to drag the kids away, kicking and screaming (not really; they are old enough to control themselves that much, thank God!), at 5:30pm… so that we could get home in time to grab Nick and head to his softball game last night. The best thing about an exhausting pool day (or half-day as it were)? Last night, I had the best night of sleep I’ve had in AGES.
I’ve made it a summer goal of sorts to spend at least one day each week doing something fun with the kids… and I’m fairly certain they’ll both choose the pool every time! By the end of summer, I should have this pool routine down to a science… with our fully stocked pool bag at the ready whenever we might need it. I know, I know… lofty aspirations.