As a mother of three kids very close together in age, I’m constantly facing the internal struggle of whether or not to leave the house with my children. I want them to enjoy their childhood and experience story time at the library, free summer movies, and play dates, but I also don’t want to kill them.
So as I left the house today with lunches made, towels and sunscreen packed, three children dressed in swimsuits, I also left with a mild sense of dread, for based on past experience, this day at my friend’s pool would be anything but relaxing. For me, that is.
Getting there is half the battle, and boy that battle was a tough one today! For children who were excited about swimming, they sure didn’t get ready with much enthusiasm. And Chloe–does her body have a little sensor that indicates when her mommy has just put a new (cloth) diaper on her, allowing her to release the effects of her iron medicine plus prune juice? The bathing suit that took ten minutes to get on the wiggly baby now had to come off. Ten more minutes to wipe a squirmy heiny and put a bathing suit back on, and we were on our way (again).
Once we arrived, the other half of the battle could begin. Before I had even finished setting out the kids’ lunch on their towels, Caleb and Hannah Grace had each taken a turn pulling the valve from the lemonade pitcher, releasing a wonderful mess all over the table and floor of the screened-in porch. I was so happy I got to clean up those messes twice, and apparently, so was Chloe. While I was cleaning, she was eating everyone else’s lunch. Peanut butter sandwiches, whole grapes–everything this mommy had restricted from this one-year-old she put in her mouth. Of course the cut grapes and cracker pieces I set out for her remained untouched.
The pool is a wonderful, refreshing idea for combatting this horrid Georgia heat, yet the pool only works if one gets in it. Hannah Grace won’t get in the pool, Caleb won’t get out of it, and Chloe won’t stay put. She wants in the pool, and less than 30 seconds later she wants out. I felt like a jack-in-the-box climbing in and out and in and out, chasing after the baby one minute, and yelling at Hannah Grace the next to leave the lemonade alone. It’s near impossible to watch three children when they’re all in different places. And when it’s 96 degrees outside and probably that percentage humidity, if I’m not soaking in a pool, I want to be inside–not chasing after children!
And so, I’d like to apologize to the group of mothers who sat beneath the umbrella, enjoying their lunch and adult conversation, jumping in the pool to cool themselves, and then resuming social time: I would’ve loved to socialize, as well. In fact, I am a pretty pleasant person, but seeing as my baby won’t stay in a float for two minutes before climbing out, my middle child wants to be pushed on the swing–the only child, by the way, who wants to swing instead of swim–and my oldest child insists on spraying every kid in the face with the water gun but then cries when anyone sprays him back (sorry about that, too), I think embracing my role as antisocial, crazy mother is best.
And while I’m apologizing, I’d also like to apologize to any mothers of only girls. My son doesn’t understand the concept of dropping his pants out-of-view before peeing behind the shed. We are working on modesty in my home, but that lesson hasn’t stuck, yet. I am pleased that at least Hannah Grace did not take her bathing suit off this time as she did at a previous swimming engagement.
And to the woman who brought the 100-calorie snack bag–no, you didn’t finish your snack, but my children did. While I was putting Hannah Grace in time-out for taking your food, Caleb came out of the pool and ate the rest. Think of it this way–now you only had a 50-calorie snack.
So to my dear friend, I always appreciate your invitations to come swim, but I don’t think I can bring my children when there is a large group. That, and the fact that I don’t think you’re going to invite us again since my daughter peed on your carpet.
As we get ready to head out of town with my family for a few days, I thought this post from last year would serve to remind me that the craziness always leads to a funny story! I hope your summer is filling up with memories that you will treasure, if not now, at least in a year! What’s a memory that you have that, at the time, brought you frustration but now brings you laughter?