Last summer was easy. Miss Pie was still little, so I simply timed pool visits for when she was due to nap, popped her in the troller, draped a muslin cloth over the stroller, then frolicked in the water with the Faery.
This summer, not so easy. You see, I've never been one of those mothers that willingly visits the pool with several small children in tow. Not without backup in the form of another adult. I find it all too hard, because of my aforementioned laziness. I also factor in that Miss Pie is one of Those Toddlers who has no fear. She's a climber. She wants to investigate everything and she's not a fan of holding hands. Water safety is not a concept which concerns her.
This past week, I've been a little braver. My motivation has come in the form of hot weather, and the knowledge that a bit of water play does tend to make the kids sleep harder.
I thought I'd found a rhythm for managing both girls alone at the pool, but an incident happened yesterday. One which had me reaching for vodka the instant J walked in the door after work.
(I'm not even much of a vodka drinker, but we had no wine. Vodka it was.)
Yep, you guessed it. This incident involved poo. The non-solid variety, and a swim nappy which failed to contain it.
We'd been in the pool for less than five minutes when it happened.
Before you could say 'Shit, shit, SHIT!', I had scooped Miss Pie out of the pool.
There were only a couple of teenaged boys in the pool, and they would have heard me yelling for the Faery to get out, and why. They seemed non-plussed and stayed in. I glanced at the water and saw that the 'stuff' had dispersed. There was nothing that I could see to retrieve, so what did I do about it?
Don't go judging. You try holding a slippery, wriggling toddler - with crap oozing out of her nappy - and then you can judge. Besides, that's what chlorine is for, right?
I plonked her into our red Radio Flyer wagon, and - the three of us dripping wet - made our way back to our apartment. Then I realised... I really didn't want to get all that water (and poo juice) on our carpet, so I raced inside and grabbed a nappy and box of wipes.
Then I took us back to the pool and into the ladies loo. My mistake. That was where the true horror occurred. The tiled floor was slippery for Miss Pie, and as I peeled off her bathing suit, I discovered she had well and truly outdone herself. Under the lycra, seven kinds of evil had spread across her body, waiting for me to clean... and she did not want to stand still.
On those slippery tiles.
Slipping and sliding. Poo falling everywhere.
It was hell.
It was five o'clock by the time we returned home, so I immediately ran a bath, dumped both girls in, and instructed the Faery to watch... because I can be so good with my parenting like that.
Then, in need of some sympathetic cooing, I fired up Facebook and posted a new status:
"A swimming nappy plus bathing suit is no match for a toddler doing a #3 in the pool. Such horror. I need vodka. And a shower."
Over the course of the evening, many sympathetic comments arrived, soothing my soul - along with vodka and foot rubs from J. Yeah, I sure milked it.
One childless friend enquired as to what a number three is, and I educated him.
(I fear that I've scared off my newly-married friend from starting a family)
What got me, though, was that some friends hit the 'like' button. Really? Really? They liked that I got shit all over me? Surely that's grounds for deletion.
I had a fairly sleepless night last night -
I did learn a lesson... that's something, right? That lesson is this. If I'm going to attempt taking small children to the pool, singlehandedly, then at least be prepared for the worst: keep the fridge well-stocked with wine.
If you 'like' my story, please leave a cooingly sympathetic comment below. Or just any comment will do, because comments make my day.