Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pool Wars I and II

This summer there have been two pool wars.

The first one was so horrendous, so heinous, so traumatic, that no photographers were able to capture a single picture of the incident. According to alleged eyewitness accounts, the timeline of events went something like this:


1.    Happy, excited parents get ready to take 2 year-olds, who liked the pool last year, for their first swim of the season.

2.       Parents load said 2 year-olds into the stroller and stroll over to their clubhouse.

3.       Children are chatting, talking about the pool and swimming.

4.       Children are divided up, one per parent, and ushered into separate dressing rooms.

5.       Parent 2 hears shrieks and screams coming from other dressing room as Parent 1 attempts to wrangle Child 1 into his one-piece floaty swimsuit doo-whopper.

6.       Parent 2 tries to wrangle Child 2 into the other one-piece floaty swimsuit doo-whopper and hears eerily similar shrieks and screams in the process.

7.       Flustered parents make their way out to the pool, dragging tear-stained Children.

8.       The scene: A father and his two happy sons frolic in the perfectly blue water and two willowy women of leisure recline with chunky sunglasses, discussing yoga and wine-tastings.

9.       Parents, thinking the children will calm when they enter the water, quickly enter the water, Parent 1 by way of jumping in and taking Child 1 in his arms, Parent 2 by carefully walking into the water from the shallow end.

10.   Childrens' bodies stiffen.

11.   High pitch shrieks of terror reverberate off the white pool deck.

12.   Parents talk calmly, exchanging panicked glances with each other, trying to comfort and soothe the monstrous creatures writhing in their arms.

13.   Foreign exchange student lifeguard shifts uneasily in her chair.

14.   Happy young boy swimmers offer Screamers their kickboards, hiding their shock at the sound level reached.

15.   Women raise waxed eyebrows.

16.   Parents return Screaming Monsters to the deck.

17.   Parent 1 jumps in the water, showing Screamers that he is fine, that he is having fun, that nothing bad is happening to him.

18.   Screamers start gagging they are crying so hard, “Daddy get out!”

19.   Daddy gets out.

20.   Screamers huddle together for comfort, still shrieking, but calming slowly.

21.   Parents agree they cannot continue to torture their fellow swimmers and must leave.

22.   Parent 2 points out a spider on the edge of the pool on the way out.

23.   Both Children stop fussing and bend over to see the spider.

24.   Spider goes into water.

25.   Children don’t want to leave the spider and start screaming again.

26.   Parents haul Screamers out.

27.   Lifeguard chuckles awkwardly in Polish.

28.    Parents exit clubhouse and stuff children, now calm, into the stroller, still in their one-piece floaty swimsuit doo-whoppers.

29.   Children look at each other and say, “Fun pool.”

30.   War ends, Children having defeated Parents.


For Pool War II, which was a good solid month and a half after Pool War I, the parents were much more prepared for possible reactions and sought to minimize all reactions beforehand.

Children were shown a slideshow of pictures of themselves enjoying the water last summer as little 1 year-olds. This time the destination was a backyard and the pool was a blow-up pool with water maybe a foot and a half deep. There was temperature control. There was a lot of talking about the pool being a big bathtub. There were several toys to play with in the pool. The stage was set.

Upon time to enter the screaming began anew. Just as loud. Just as dramatic. Just as violent. It was neighborhood noise pollution in its most natural form. This time we did have a photographer on hand and so it is with pleasure that I present to you Pool War II, as a photo story.

Children watch slideshow of water fun last year

Brilliantly fun little pool

Drama increases as Children pace, wailing

After shrieking does not subside, Parent 2 enters pool fully clothed



I do not deserve this.

Okay, this actually feels kind of good.

Child 2 humors Parent 1 with shark face

Fun toys!

Can I slide down the tail?

No, but the car can!

I'm still not sure, but I think the Parents won Pool War II. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, those of you whose kids are normal like the pool, count yourselves blessed.


  1. Dawn, next time, place pool directly underneath ceiling fan. I bet they wouldn't want to get out.:-)

    Here's the million dollar question, are you going to go again?


  2. That's a great idea, Aimee! I'd only be nervous about the mesmerizing fan lulling them to sleep. Yes, we'll take them again. We have to!!!

  3. My favorite part was the spider. I can just envision the chaos (temporarily) ceasing when they peer down at the spider, only to have the little thing plunge into the water and the chaos begin again! Whew!

  4. Robin, I loved the irony of the spider part too. What was even funnier was that after a library search for books about swimming (in an attempt to cure the pool wars) we came across the book Tuck in the Pool. In the story, Tuck brings his rubber toy spider named Snyder to the pool for luck. It was perfect. No word on whether or not the book helped...

    Thanks for reading my blog! I love yours.


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