Supermoms Anonymous

Can I really have it all and why would I want to?

I Love Lucy episode #349: A day at the pool

If you are not familiar with my phrase-ologies, an I Love Lucy day is a day so ridiculous it feels like you’re trapped in an I Love Lucy rerun (my favorite being the candy factory episode, my least favorite is the wallpaper hanging episode).

It starts as a beautiful day with an innocent question: can we go swimming? Translation…Mom, where’s my stuff? Are the towels clean yet? (Check the linen closet) Have you seen my goggles? (In the trunk of the van where you FORGOT them after the last swim day) Do you know where my swim trunks are? (In the closet…with the rest of your clean clothes) This one was a little harder. I had to go look for them personally. It seems that when I tell my nine-year-old to put away his clean clothes, swim trunks belong on the closet floor, wadded up and left in a pile next to the dirty clothes bin. No wonder I was stumped.

What time are we leaving? Translation…everyone is outside wondering when I am going to unlock the van. Meanwhile, I have to let the dogs out, close the frosting can, put away the cupcakes left on the counter, let the dogs back in, lock the back door, turn off the lights, grab my stuff and lock the front door behind me. Something about an hour in bleach water makes kids lose their minds, but I have to drag them into the tub.

The only things we still need are sun block and cash for the pool admission. Next stop is the dollar store. Of course, I traverse the whole store TWICE before realizing there is a small HBA section next to the checkout. I finally find the sun block on an end cap facing a back wall. I am so proud of my discovery that I want to plant a flag and claim the display in the names of weary moms and sun-burned kids everywhere.

I spend the next fifteen minutes reading labels. My kids detest sun block. One quick spritz or squirt of liquid sun armor and they are fussing it burns. Given the choice of sun block or no swimming, they have actually gone home in dry bathing suits. Finally, after much deliberation, I put back the baby sun block because what self-respecting 10 and 3/4 year old is going to wear something that has a pink label with the caricature of little miss droopy drawers on the front?  I grab kids’ sun block.  It promises no sting and it is chock full of vitamins. Good because we ran out of gummy vitamins over the weekend. Plus it says it is rub-resistant and water-resistant. Maybe not so great.  If it does burn, my only choice will be a fire extinguisher.

At the checkout, I am rudely reminded by the uncooperative debit card machine that I cannot get cash back at this store. What else can I call it but rude when it doesn’t even ask me if I want cash back? Thankfully, I rummage up enough cash in my wallet to pay for pool admission. Back in the car, my daughter is putting on sun block while my son rolls down his window and holds his nose. The girls and I debate which fruit concoction the lotion most resembles.

After much adieu, we get to the park only to see a huge banner posted on the fence: “Pool Closed.” (It definitely should have been printed in all-caps since I am screaming not only all-caps but a few symbols inside my head.) I had a van full of kids, not all of them are even mine. They are even wearing sun block!

Turns out the power had gone out during the last thunderstorm, shutting down the filter as well as monkeying up the water-chemicals mojo.  My oldest does not like to swim at the indoor pool, so we leave to take him home.  Less than ten minutes later, we arrive back at the pool.  Walking into the gym, I get a sinking feeling. Lots of other people are also asking about the outdoor pool and leaving. UGH! I had forgotten the two pools have different schedules. It would be two more hours until we could swim.

The kids are reluctant to go home yet again, so we head off to the playground for a surprisingly uneventful ninety minutes of peace for me. Eventually, I round up the kids – not as easy as it sounds. First, my youngest son came to the car for a snack. I asked him to go get the girls. The girls came back to the van but they had no idea where my son was. The girls went to look for him. He comes back and says he has been in the bathroom. Finally, I tell him to stay in the van and I eventually find the girls myself.

We are in the pool at last. After two hours of swimming, even my son is tired and hungry. Just when I am about to tell the kids to get out of the water, the rain starts pouring. Half the people are out of the pool and outside playing in the rain.  I decide to read rather than wade to the van.  When the rain begins to subside, I round up the kids to leave just as the lightning starts and the lifeguard closes the pool.

The End…and that is all the ‘splaining I am going to do today, Ricky Ricardo 🙂


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