Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pool Party Fun with a side of Real Mom Life

Pool Party Fun - What it's really like to take four kids to a pool party!

Nothing screams Summer quite like a pool party! There's just something so perfect about spending the entire day at the pool with good friends. Even with a million kids, it's still fun, and by the end of the day, everybody is tired and content!

Swimming

Over the weekend, we celebrated a very special friend's recent high school graduation by gathering for an afternoon of fun, food and swimming! The weather was beautiful in Pittsburgh, and the kids stayed in the pool until the sun began to set. It was the perfect Summer day!

Pool Party

That being said, pool parties are not what they used to be. My days of relaxing poolside are long gone, but as a mom, I still thoroughly enjoy days at the pool with my kids. It's what Summer is all about!

Down Syndrome Awareness

The Lucky Few

Brothers

But what's it REALLY like to take four kids to a pool party? Well, it goes a little something like this:

Swimming

The Prep:

  • Start getting ready six hours before you have to leave, because even if you think it will be plenty of time, you will still be late. 
  • Gather up the 50,000 necessities that you will need to take along. 
  • Argue with the almost 6 year old over why she can't wear the 3T bikini that she has been hoarding in her dresser drawer. Finally, just give up, let her wear it, and secretly plot to make it disappear after laundry day.
  • Change 3 year old into swim diaper, trunks, and rash guard, only to have him completely undress himself 5 minutes later. Because getting completely naked to pee on the potty is what we have to do. Redress him, have it happen again 10 minutes later, and just give up and let him run around naked until it's time to go. 
  • Chug a huge cup of coffee, because, well...pool day with four kids.
  • Tell the 10 and 12 year old to change into their suits and get everything they need for a day of swimming. Remind them three more times before it gets done, then check their bags to make sure they followed through. 
  • Glare at the husband every time you pass through the living room because he's calmly scrolling through Facebook, all ready to go, while you run around in a panic. 
  • Realize the party started 10 minutes ago.
  • Forget that you have to wrap up the 6 year old's finger, because she CUT HER FINGERTIP OFF, but have no idea how to do it. Press & Seal to the rescue. (Just FYI: It really worked!)
  • Realize you are now 20 minutes late to the party. 
  • Get changed into your own suit as quickly as possible, and frantically cram enough towels for a family of 6 into a huge bag that's still much too small for all the necessities. 
  • Stare down the husband who finally walks into the room and comments on how much stuff you have and how you don't need to take it all. Remind him that YOU are the one who takes the kids to the pool, all alone, each week, so you know exactly what is needed, then toss one of the two bags in his direction. Listen to the sound of laughter echoing down the hallway.
  • Herd the not so little crew down to the car, strap the younger ones into their seats, load up the car and realize your 8 seat SUV is still too small, climb in, and...realize you forgot something.
  • Race into the house and back, jump in the car, and head out. You are now 30 minutes late. (You should have started preparing 7 hours in advance!)

The Pool Party:

  • Unload the kids, unload the car, and claim a large spot for all the stuff that seems to have multiplied in the car.
  • Catch the 3 year old before he jumps into the pool without a swim vest.
  • Wrangle 4 kids so you can make sure they are fully protected from the sun. Sunscreen times 6 is not an easy task. Chase after 3 year old approximately 20 times during the process. 
  • Spend the next 6 hours keeping 3 year old from falling in the pool or escaping through the open gate, reapplying sunscreen, meeting demands, keeping a watchful eye on the pool, and swimming with the youngest
  • Attempt to sit with your friends, but stand up every 2 minutes to chase the mini tornado.
  • Get your kids food, get yourself food, take a bite, get your kids something, take a bite, get your kids something, take a bite, and so on.
  • Divide and conquer with your husband, but to be perfectly honest, it's more of a 75/25 split.
  • Make a mental note to buy your unbelievably active 3 year old a child leash for your trip to the beach next month, because this just isn't going to cut it!
  • Bathroom breaks every 5 minutes, in wet suits, which is SO much fun.
  • Get splashed in the face or squirted with a pool toy approximately 20,000 times.
  • Hear "Mom, look at this!" every 5 seconds.
  • Fish my sleeping 5 year old, who fell asleep on a raft, out of the pool. Brace yourself for the anger. (We were spared.)
  • Tell the big kids "just five more minutes" at least five times, because they are having so much fun and you don't want it to end.
  • Try to gather up the unbelievable amount of gear while keeping the 3 year old from running off. 
  • Trudge to the car with a bag on your back, a bag on one shoulder, safety vests on the other arm and the 3 year old slipping off your hip.
  • Get everybody and everything loaded into the car as quick as possible because everybody is exhausted!

The After:

  • Arrive home and carry two sleeping kids up to their beds. (The best part of swimming all day is easy bedtime!)
  • Do a load of laundry, because 30 lbs of wet towels and swimsuits can't wait all week.
  • Hang up the safety vests to dry and unpack the bags while everybody else showers.
  • FINALLY get your own shower.
  • Collapse on the couch, completely exhausted after a day of running after kids in the hot sun.

Despite the chaos we had a fun day! It's easy to watch Dylan, Lexie and Lily at the pool. Liam, on the other hand, needs full attention. He never stops moving!  One day I will be able to sit and relax again. But for now, I'll be happily chasing after the Toddler Tornado while cheering on Dylan, Lexie and Lily! 

Down syndrome

Down syndrome

Swimming

Down syndrome

The Lucky Few

The Lucky Few

Swimming

Pool Party

Pool Party

The Lucky Few

Down syndrome

The Lucky Few

Motherhood

Down syndrome

Even though it sounds like taking four kids to the pool is a total nightmare, it's really not that bad. It's just a lot of prep and constant busyness, just like anything else in life. We're actually heading back to the pool today, and this time, it will be just me versus four! Summer is passing by far too quickly, and we're trying to get in as many pool days as possible before they're gone!

Summertime


What are your tricks to make trips to the pool more relaxing?


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16 comments:

  1. Now I need a nap, lol! There is something about the pool though. We just can't get enough.

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  2. Oh my gosh, this post was great! I'm exhausted after just visiting a hotel pool with only two kids. You're amazing...and brave...and awesome!

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  3. Amen to an easy bedtime after a pool day! The kids have been taking swim lessons these last couple of weeks and bedtime has been SO much easier!

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  4. I hate getting my own bathing suit on and wet because undressing myself and the kids afterwards is too hard!

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  5. I know how much work it is!! just taking my Niece to the pool at ours complex take a lot of time and stuff!! SO MANY stuff, but really useful

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  6. Looks like you guys are totally enjoying your summer! We love our pool. too!

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  7. Hahahaha the prep steps were making me LOL! So true!! It's a lot of work to take the kids swimming but they love it so of course we do it!

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    Replies
    1. It was funny how many people messaged me to tell me they could relate to the husband part. Haha!!!

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