OK, July 4th is behind us now, and after daily pool trips with the four kids (plus a beach trip), I’m fried – literally. This is about how I feel at the end of the day (sans the drink and cucumbers because life would be too good with those additions):
(By the way, I feel like I’ve aged 20 years in the last month from sun damage. I apply sunscreen with at least 70 SPF – if not higher – every day AND wear a hat but I still manage to add dark spots and a leathery tan. What’s a girl to do?)
Since we’ve gone to the pool almost everyday this summer – at least for part of the day – you’d think my kids would be D-O-N-E with the pool, but they’re not. To keep my sanity with daily pool trips, I’ve had to pare things down.
And to protect my sanity, I’ve had to come up with some promises to myself (and to the kids) when I just can’t. take. another. pool. day. Hope you find these “tips” useful:
1. Apply sunscreen BEFORE we go to the pool. Never, ever wait until we get there; otherwise, I’ll be running after them, spraying sunscreen haphazardly, and trying to suck in my gut as I bend over to apply the stick on their faces. All of that to then just see my hard work be washed away the minute they jump in (by the way, why can’t pools have a sunscreen shower where you just walk right through and are ready to go? I would SO join that pool.).
2. No more individual juice boxes or Thermoses. From here on out, it’s a canteen of water, a Solo cup (one for each kid IF they are lucky – otherwise, we’re saving the environment and sharing so long as no one has an unidentified lip fungus).
3. Speaking of sharing a canteen, no more individual lunches (unless Lunchables go on sale). It’s a stack of peanut butter sandwiches, a big bag of chips to share and fruit if it’s already chopped by the nice man behind the counter at Harris Teeter.
4. The Puddle Jumper DOES NOT come off of the 2-year-old. I don’t care how much he screams or how great he is at floating alone (which he is not). I can’t handle the constant worry of drowning another second.
5. Forget the million pool toys. I have no idea where that tiny fish is from the beginning of the summer that sinks to the bottom of the pool. I can’t keep up with all of them AND their toys. Plus, did everyone buy those sinkable fish at Target or is just me?
6. We’ll invite a friend IF he or she can swim…WELL. Otherwise, nope, no friends – they’ll have to just get along with their siblings. Sorry.
7. They’re all sharing one or two towels. It’s 100 degrees outside – they are going to be warm when they’re dripping wet, which means I refuse to wash 5 towels after every pool trip. Between the irrigation system and the washer full of towels, I’m going to owe the City of Charlotte water department my firstborn’s 529 plan when it’s all said and done.
8. I will teach them the games we used to play (Marco Polo, “Jump, Dive, Twist,” etc.) but once they get the gist, (as my dad used to say) Y.O.Y.O., Baby (you’re on your own).
9. They will get extra points for wearing their swim shirts. I don’t know what these points will add up to, but if they wear the swim shirts without fighting me, I vow to come up with a game where we use these points. For prizes. Or candy. Or PopTarts. For whatever – I don’t care – just wear the swim shirts. It’s the only way I can tell my boys apart from other boys. Too many toe-headed boys with Old Navy swim trunks in Charlotte.
10. Extra, extra bonus points for the sister or brother who sees the baby making a questionable face in the pool when he hasn’t done his “business” for the day. The constant worry over shutting down a pool because my kid pooped is almost as exhausting as the drowning nightmare. And you and I both know those swim diapers don’t hold…well, you know.
OK, I think that’s it. What are your solemn vows for the rest of the summer?