I have recently revised this view; going to the public pool with three overactive and feral children has to be equally undignified, if not more. Our town's public pool is my family's Nirvana. We spend quite a bit of time there throughout the summer, and it's the one place all three of my kids enjoy equally. When we're there, the kids are typically happy; they rarely squabble with each other and they're worn out when we get home, which means they sleep late, which means I get some time alone.
It's a total win, in my book.
So even though getting all the kids slathered in sunscreen and packing up a week's worth of snacks, drinks, and towels makes me want a nap, and even though the idea of spending an afternoon squeezed into my ill-fitting and unfashionable bathing suit makes me want an antidepressant, we venture out to the pool on a regular basis.
I then spend the next several hours trying to maintain some level of decorum.
And fail miserably.
Whenever Tommy is not in the water, he is running around, causing a stir. Running at the pool is strictly verboten, so every time he leaves the water, several lifesavers blow their whistles and yell frantically, "No running! No running!"
Surprisingly, their entreaties do nothing to stop my preschooler from galloping around, occasionally looking back at me to see if I am in pursuit, laughing the entire time. Between my plantar fasciitis and the piping hot pavement, I have great difficulty catching up with him; I must look like I'm 70 as I lumber around the pool in pursuit of my
Later, when he starts screaming because I won't let him eat the entire can of Pringles in one sitting, I have to bend over, pick up his flailing body and lug him to some corner so he can melt down in relative peace. I'm really sorry to all the people I have unconsciously flashed while bending over. I try to keep myself covered, but that stupid little bathing suit skirt is not up to the challenge of covering my ample derriere.
When Tommy's not screaming or throwing a fit, we enjoy playing in the pool with Charlotte and Danny. The kids all love to splash each other and wrestle with me. The problem with this is I am wearing a bathing suit. Charlotte and Danny both have almost pantsed me in front of half the town after grabbing my suit while swimming. And Tom has nearly pulled off my top a number of times. No one deserves to be exposed to that sort of thing, especially at a family pool.
And just when I think that everything has calmed down, I get whacked in the head with a foam ball. When I locate Danny, he is laughing and gesturing to Charlotte. After the dozenth time of getting smacked in the face with a soaking ball, I hear Danny yell triumphantly, "I got her, Charlotte! The pig is down!"
Apparently, the kids are playing Angry Birds, and I am the pig.
All this to wear the kids out, so they'll sleep late.
The indignity is worth it.
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