Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Mama Duck

"Oh hey, Jane. I wish I could go shopping, but I'm taking the kids to the pool because I enjoy giving myself a massive coronary."

Afternoon Readers,

It's that time again.

Along with the heat, my children's desire to go to the public pool has escalated, and there's no getting around it. The good news is this particular activity is slightly less horrific than standing outside in your underwear.

But it's pretty much the same thing. And after four kids, standing around with strangers, in the equivalent of a leotard, fails to inspire the same excitement as it did when my abs were in the middle of my body and I didn't have a stretch mark that kind of looks like the word, "sad," when I try to reach things above my head.

But we did it. Yesterday, I managed to take all Kellermans to the pool and back.  Unfortunately, taking four kids to the pool is a little different than my previous years with two and then three. For quick reference, here are all the steps I used to do it.

1. Find swimsuits for five people.

2. Put sunscreen on all four kids. Forget to put it on yourself because you're still trying to find swim suit trunks for the kid shouting, "Now I can't go because you didn't buy me a suit. Why do you hate me more than the other kids?"

3. Remember that the baby's bald and rub some sunscreen into the back of her head. You don't need her looking like Ed Asner with second degree burns.

4. Spend most of the morning packing towels, snacks, swim diapers, goggles, phone, wallet, extra flip flops, and pool toys. Shoot to leave at 12:30pm.

5. Make sure everyone's gone to the bathroom. Hauling your entire family into the wet pool bathroom is about as fun as pulling a hot pan out of the oven with your bare hands.

6. Get everyone to the car and buckled in. It's now 1:30pm. On the way, answer questions about why birds can fly and what the end of the world will look like. Maybe it'll be today. Then you won't have to go stand around in wet spandex.

7. Park, unload everyone, and enjoy the stares as you get up all in the pool's business. Once you enter the four kid range, looking like a duck with a line of ducklings behind you is a given. Shout things in random directions, like, "They're all mine. Thought I'd kill some time this afternoon by giving myself crippling anxiety related to keeping four humans above the water. Is that deck chair free? Great."

8. Instead of relaxing in any sort of capacity, spend the entire time counting heads like you work in a lettuce packaging facility.

9. Take the time to lose track of each child, at least once.

10. Have a heart attack.

11. Try to make small talk with other parents but sound like you have tourettes instead.

"Your baby is so cute. How old is- Hey! Hey don't wander off! Sorry, the three-year-old is climbing the lifeguard stand. So you cloth di- For the love of all that's good and holy, don't hold your sister's head under the water. Sorry, what was your baby's name, again? Quinoa? Oh. James. Right. Wait, did you see where any of my kids went? Haha... summer, am I right? Gotta go."

"What was that?"

"Oh, we had all these kids because we hate low blood pressure. Same reason I have mixed feelings about oatmeal."

12. Hand out snacks. Coral thirty wrappers, even though you only brought twelve packages of fruit snacks.

13. Stay for fifteen more minutes because of hysterical requests.

14. Pack everyone up five minutes later because they thought about it some more and the water's really cold and the baby's trying to fall asleep in the wading pool.

15. Desperately try to leave with everyone and everything you arrived with. Plan to do it again tomorrow.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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