We joined a pool this year. And like everything else in life, I've realized that a pool visit with children is way different than a pool visit before children. I mean, this is pretty much the case with every endeavor, but for some reason I never learn these truths until I am plummeted into them. So to help all you fellow pool-goers out there, I offer up my advice on the proper pool visiting steps both before and after having children.
Going to the Pool: the pre-child days
1) Spend the afternoon before looking for a new book. You've just finished the Twilight series and Water for Elephants. Think it might be time for a mystery/thriller. Look into new Vince Flynn or James Patterson novels.
2) Wake up the morning of. Have a relaxing cup of coffee on the deck while starting your new book.
3) Change into bikini, throw on a cover up.
4) Pack towel, SPF 15 lotion, book and water bottle.
5) Arrive at pool. Pick out best spot for optimal sun exposure. Sit, read, fall asleep, dip in water, repeat every hour.
6) Head home 4 hours later, tired from all the sun and catch a quick nap before dinner plans with friends.
Going to the Pool: with children
1) Spend the evening before in Target buying new swim suits, SPF hats, flip-flops, life vests, sunscreen in bulk, toys, pool friendly snacks and princess beach towels (because you absolutely refused the Ariel swimsuit and this is the only compromise that stops the crying). Notice a shelf full of books that you've never heard of and will, most likely, never read.
2) Wake up early the morning of because toddler is up early. Fix a cup of decaf tea because...still breastfeeding.
3) Spend the morning packing a diaper bag, a cooler and a pool bag. It's not quite done when husband and preschooler get up because you are also trying to keep the toddler from drinking household cleaners, eating dog food, ramming a broom through the window, pushing buttons on the TV and riding the dogs.
4) Get dressed in your tankini/skirt bathing suit that covers as much as humanly possible and is still considered appropriate for swimming.
5) Get kids dressed...but first cover them in SPF 50 sunblock. Toddler hates this and runs around naked while you chase and spray him intermittently.
6) Really get kids dressed in new pink-polka-dot-pink-tutu bathing suit, and pirate swim trunks with matching swim shirt. Swoon over cute baby feet in tiny flip flops.
8) Finish packing bags and make 3 trips to the car with bags, swim gear and children.
9) Remember tea. Decide luke warm is better than cold and chug.
10) Arrive at pool after being asked 17 times in 5 minutes if we're there yet and why the pool isn't at our house.
11) Manage to get everything into pool area. Pick a chair in the shade that you will sit in once everyone is settled.
12) Put on life vests.
13) Preschooler goes with husband to big pool. Take toddler to baby pool.
14) Put toddler in water and sit on side. Begin conversation with another mother.
15) In the next 30 minutes, pull toddler off the fence, rescue toddler from drowning no less than 10 times, help toddler down the slide, stop toddler from stealing toys, wipe sunblock from toddler's eyes, forget other mother's name and don't even notice when she's gone. What were we discussing?
16) Discover that toddler has pooped in swim diaper, which is not actually a diaper and now poop is all the way up his back and down his legs.
17) Take toddler to locker room and place him on changing table and pull all swim clothes off of him. Rinse poop out in sink. Decide the shirt is a lost cause. Rip swim diaper off toddler because otherwise poop will be smeared even further down his legs.
18) Realize there is no poop in the actual "diaper." Curse Huggies.
19) Clean up toddler and place swim trunks back on him.
20) Return to pool. See #15.
21) Break time. Re-apply sunblock.
22) Feed children snacks and regret not giving toddler nap before coming to pool.
23) Break is over, back in the pool. See #15.
24) Toddler is melting down. Sit in your chair (FINALLY). Nurse him and read book on Kindle.
25) Toddler is having nothing of cover up. He pulls and kicks until you give up and just don't care anymore. Then swats Kindle out of hand.
26) Put Kindle away.
27) Toddler is now gaining second wind, back to the pool
28) Pull screaming preschooler out of pool and head back to car with all gear.
30) Children fall asleep before leaving parking lot.
31) Arrive home and attempt to remove wet clothes from sleeping children without waking them up.
33) Make dinner while children whine.
34) Eat dinner while children cry.
35) Husband reminds you that chlorine can turn blond hair green. Remember that you do indeed have blond children.
36) Bathe horribly tired and inconsolable children.
37) Put extremely tired children to bed. Somehow it still takes an hour.
38) Attempt to fold laundry but fall asleep in front of TV instead.