I love the pool. Let me rephrase, I love the idea of the pool. Blue skies, 82 degrees, low humidity, lounge chairs, and “People” magazine sounds a little like how I envision heaven. Add in my two cherubic children and suddenly a poolside day becomes less angelic. It’s not that they are bad or misbehaving, it’s just that I no longer have the luxury of lounging around poolside like I did when I was in my teens. Right. That was forever ago. That was before I was really aware at just how damaging the sun’s rays were. When I used to lather myself with tan accelorator and squirt my hair with Sun-In.
Fast-forward 20 years or so and here I am doing an entirely different set of tricks at the pool. Picnic in the shade, SPF 85 (for those fair-skinned redheads of mine), Parents magazine (if I’m lucky to get any reading done), and my hair–which is sporting a few strands of gray–pulled back into a clip. Blah. Boring. Hard. But the girls are having a blast. That is when one of them isn’t running off to the bathroom because she sat (shall I say “shat?”) on the squirt-up-from-the-bottom fountain thing-y as though it were a little bidet?! She thought it was hilarious until she learned it had enema-like qualities. Lesson learned.
I have started taking my kids’ shampoo with me to the pool. It works like a charm. They are already wet, so why not just bathe them in the locker room?! I do. Throw on some clean clothes (“comfy cozies”) and blow dry their hair when we get home. Bathtime–check that one off the list.
Here are some other tips:
- Of course you’ll want the essentials: Sunscreen, towels, cover-ups, etc
- Bring along a stash of singles for the snack bar
- Leave a few non-pershible snacks in the car for home-going munchies
- Put dry clothes in a zippered bag…once dry and ready for home, re-use the bag for wet suits
- Rotate your pool toys routinely. My girls like dive sticks and small Nerf ball-type things. I try to keep it fresh so they don’t get too bored with their supply
- As soon as you walk in the door, start a load of laundry
- Keep all of your pool gear in a ready to grab-n-go area of your house or car. That means washing, drying and folding beach towels right away so you aren’t scurrying around at the last minute the next time you decide to hit the blue waters.
Have fun! Pool season is short-lived–at least it is here in Chicago.