Casa de phillips currently resides in an area known for crazy high summer temperatures. The local weathermen attempt to spice up the weather forecast (which remains the same all summer long: HOT) by adding funny graphics of a sweating sun or by sharing exactly how many 100+ degree days we have experienced in a row.
Yeah, those crazy weatherman antics do not make it any less hot.
Such crazy high temperatures limits our time outdoors past 9am, which can be really tough for a mom home with children.
My solution: the pool.
In years past, taking the kids to the pool has been a somewhat stressful situation. There is the ever-present fear of someone drowning, the risk of a toddler pulling on an unfortunate part of my swimsuit and the wrestling match one must engage in when attempting to put a swim diaper and swimsuit on a wiggling baby.
Fortunately the swim diaper days are long behind us. I do still have to issue the stern reminder of “Do not pull on Mommy’s swimsuit”. And potential drowning is a risk whenever anyone enters a body of water.
However, we are at the point where I can actually breathe a little at the pool. I know my kids can swim and fend for themselves (somewhat) in the kid’s pool. Am I the mom laying off on a secluded beach chair with a book and Sonic cup? Not yet. But I am the mom who can splash around with her kids and actually enjoy the pool rather than stressing over the fact that the baby has headed off in one direction while the toddler is chasing after something in an opposite direction (Been there. Done that. Likely have the high blood pressure and gray hair to prove it).
This summer, take a few minutes to get the family prepared for pool fun before hitting the water. Below are a few of my favorite Pool 101 tips.
Keep the pool bag packed
Our pool bag stays packed from the end of May to the beginning of September and lives in the laundry room. Keeping it packed means minimal prep time each time we leave to soak up the sun.
The contents of our pool bag includes:
- Sunscreen (spray, lotion and face stick)
- Pool toys (labeled with our name)
- Snacks (prepackaged…these obviously have to be replaced. I attempt to replace them once arriving home from the pool so they will be ready to go on the next visit.)
- Towels (We throw all swim stuff in the washer upon arriving home from the pool. Rather than carting clean dry towels upstairs, I simply stuff them in the pool bag so they will be ready to go next time.)
- Money/Pool Entrance Card
The only thing I have to toss in is drinks and we can hit the pool!
Review safety rules…everytime
A day at the pool can quickly take a drastic turn when a swimmer gets into trouble. This year, both kids can swim independently. However, that does not mean that drowning is not a possibility. We always talk about the basic safety rules of the pool in the car as we drive to our swimming destination.
The rules we discuss include:
- No running in pool area. Ever.
- No holding onto other children while swimming.
- If you feel in trouble in the water or go too deep, swim to the wall.
- Never touch the drain on the bottom (we are not too this phase of swimming yet, but this is such an important rule).
- Swim with an adult.
The best safety rule for parents is: KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR KIDDOS. We often meet friends at the pool. The moms usually can spend time relaxing in the shallow part of the kid area while the kids swim. However, our eyes are always on the kids. My friends could have a horn sprouting from the top of their head which would go unnoticed because I rarely look at them when having conversation in the pool. Drownings often happen when a large group of kids and adults are swimming together, mainly because the adults become distracted by socializing with each other. Enjoy your time at the pool but keep those eyes on the kids.
Have supper on stand-by
For whatever reason, swimming makes the family HUNGRY. We often hit the water in the afternoon, thus making us arrive home right before dinner time. Wanting to keep the family budget in check (as well as our waistlines), hitting the fast food line is not really an option. On pool days (which are almost everyday for my two fish), I have supper prepped and ready to cook before we leave for the pool. I attempt to simplfy dinner anyway during the summer and especially do so on pool days. I might have a crock-pot meal waiting for us when we get home or perhaps have sandwhich items laid out and ready for our arrival. Having supper on stand-by for when you get home from teh pool allows everyone the chance to maintain the relaxed pace of summer after exiting the water for the day.
It’s true. I have said (more than once)“Don’t get my hair wet!” while swimming with my kiddos. Apparently I have morphed into an elderly woman who gets her hair set on rollars once a week. Sheesh.
Although I do have my moments of being un-fun, I also love to play with my kids in the water. Now that they can swim and I am no longer simply carrying them around the deep end, we can have a really great time playing together in the pool. This summer, do not simply linger by the pool’s edge while your kiddos splash around. Get in there with them and make some summertime memories together.
Isn’t summer the best…especially when one can spend time at the pool?