swimming in the shallow end: toddlers at the pool

As summer draws to a close (I MEAN! What even happened??) I’ve gleaned a few bits of wisdom about taking a little person to the pool.  If you have a toddler, plan on having a toddler, or see a mom actually trying to drown herself in the shallow end (she has a toddler) the following may be helpful…

adult swim: You'll face your biggest resistance with this little trick the lifeguards pull. I recommend pre-season training.  Set your kid up with a brand new toy until he is playing gleefully.  At the height of joy run up, blow a whistle in his face, rip him away and scream "ADULT SWIM!!" Sit him a few feet away forcing him to look on while a few of your neighbors roughhouse with the new toy. Repeat this daily, often and at random intervals. That's the closest you'll get to conceptually explaining adult swim to a 2 year old.

swim diapers are inverse diapers: If you are new to swim diapers, you may find yourself thinking, “AMAZING! BRILLIANT! Why didn’t I think of these?” However, there is a serious malfunction that still needs to be resolved.  While these contraptions DO keep water out of the diaper, they do NOT keep liquid IN.  So, let’s say you are talking to, I don’t know, an old high school crush at your neighborhood pool while holding a swim diapered child.  You may find yourself with a warm stream running down your own leg.  And that would be really, really awkward.  A friend told me.

potty fascination: Most toddlers have entered the realm of “potty” world.  While they may not be using it, they WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY.  Also? Have you noticed how loud toddlers are?  I’m convinced the insides of those hot little mouths are formed exactly like megaphones, because, wow.  So, in the event that you need to use the restroom during your trip to the pool, prepare for ALL OF THE guests to be fully informed of all the happenings.  It goes a little something like this:

“Mama go tee tee? Mama tee tee in the potty? Mama poo poo? Mama just go tee tee? HOOOORAAAAYYYY Mama! Mama tee teed! Time for treat! Yayy Mama!!!!! YAYYYYYYYY”

Just go ahead and check your shame at the door.

discipline: You will find the need to institute your discipline policy throughout the summer when your little angel acts out.  Navigating a screaming, puddle-jumper-ed, slippery, sunscreen-ed lunatic out of a body of water to the closest lounge chair takes a little practice.  Again, I recommend pre-season training.

no strings of any kind: IF your current swimsuit has strings on it that are functional in ANY WAY (read: are not backed up with clasps, brackets or industrial steel) girl, don’t do it.  You will be climbed and clawed at in ways you cannot imagine.  Standing in the shallow end with only one triangle up is NOT the way you want things to play out.  We aren’t in Panama City anymore, Toto.

werk It: Swim with your babies.  Really.  I know how hard it is to overcome body issues ESPECIALLY at a public pool.  Personally, I’d rather face a firing squad across enemy lines.  But I’ll tell you this. I have paraded myself ALL OVER our pool this summer and it’s been amazing! I remember my family members that played in the pool with me, and the ones who wouldn’t think about getting near the water.  Years from now, your child will not say, “Hey Mom, I really wish you had been seven pounds lighter that summer I was two.”  But they will cherish the fact that you were present and joyful with them.  Especially if your bathing suit doesn’t fall off while all their friends are watching.