It’s officially pool season and if you don’t have kids I suggest you run straight to your neighborhood pool with your favorite paperback, magazines, beverages, and iPod and relax and enjoy the freedom of being responsible for applying sunscreen to no one’s backside but your own. Personally I think a very effective birth control would be to force teenagers to babysit a hyped up on Kool Aid 2-year-old at the pool for the day in 90-degree heat to experience the full blown swim diaper experience in all its heat rash glory.
Once you have kids your leisurely poolside time will be usurped by the application of sunscreen (usually against a very unwilling wriggling child), fetching drinks and snacks because being near chlorinated water turns children into ravenous beasts who can down a sack of Cheetos in 5 seconds, inflating pool toys and water wings, and assisting your child to the restroom every half hour as they do the “I gotta GO POTTY” dance. It’s pretty much a win/win for your kid who has the time of their life while you turn into their personal slave for the day.
There is a turning point, however, when your child swims well independently (thank you Jesus) and no longer needs you to watch them like a hawk. And there is much rejoicing during your first family vacation where you can actually spend down time at the pool sipping an ice cold beverage while your kids play without needing you every two seconds. Some parents apparently carry this too far, however. They get totally hammered at the pool, or so I’ve heard.
This past weekend at Miss C’s end of season soccer party the kids were whooping it up in on a backyard water slide and we parents were discussing which neighborhood pools were already open. The conversation ultimately led to how some kids act like total banshees in the pool, running over toddlers and little old ladies doing laps, while their parents choose to be oblivious. One mom interjected, “Oh at our neighborhood pool it’s not the kids that cause problems, it’s the adults. Some of them get totally drunk. They put their kids in swim vests and just let them do whatever while they drink all day.”
I’m not a big proponent of helicopter parenting and I’m definitely not anti-drinking, but a swimming pool is one of those places, oh I don’t know, where if you don’t supervise your kids, you know, they could drown or hurt other kids.
So are there parents who take the whole party scene too far at your community pool? We don’t have a neighborhood pool and I’m fairly certain our neighborhood YMCA frowns upon sneaking in a kegerator.