9:05am: Try to stuff 12-month old into a swimsuit sized for 12-month-olds. Get one arm in before realizing the lycra will not stretch over baby chub.
9:10am: Try to pull baby out of too-small swimsuit. Get her arm caught in multiple criss-crossing straps.
9:12am: Toddler prances in wearing what she refers to as her “swimming costume” (thanks, Peppa Pig). It consists of a pair of men’s boxers pulled from the laundry hamper, and sunglasses stretched over her chest (“like Ariel!”).
9:18am: Accidentally wedge both of baby’s legs into one swimsuit hole. Pull whole thing off and start over.
9:22am: Hold baby between my knees while I use full body weight to yank up her bathing suit straps.
9:23am: Baby takes a massive dump.
9:29am: Try unsuccessfully to pull baby out of swimsuit without getting poop in her hair.
9:45am: Smear sunscreen over baby’s skin while she thrashes about like a mechanical bull. Get sunscreen on baby but have no time to rub it in because toddler is now climbing naked into stroller.
10:45am: Everyone dressed and ready. Tote bag and diaper bag packed with essentials (towels, snacks, sunscreen, travel-sized bottle of Scotch).
11:30am: Arrive at pool. Spend another ten minutes re-applying sunscreen, donning hats, sunglasses, covering every bit of exposed flesh.
11:33am: Now cover up kids.
11:40am: Claim the last lounge chair in back of pool area.
11:41am: Understand why chair is unclaimed as we sit on it and immediately sink down to the concrete.
12:15pm: Attempt to coax toddler into pool; she inserts one finger and claims it’s too cold. Remind her that it is 95 degrees out and cold water is a good thing. She declares she will only go in pool if I allow her to wear floaties (even though the kiddie pool is only six inches deep).
12:40pm: Toddler claims that water got in her eyes (even though pool is only six inches deep and nowhere near her eyes).
Begins rubbing her eyes. Gets sunscreen in eyes. Cries pasty SPF 55 tears.
12:44pm: Distract toddler by pretending to be a Bubble Guppy. Toddler looks ashamed of me and says “Mommy, Bubble Guppies live in the ocean. This is a pool.” I pretend to be a shark and eat all the Bubble Guppies.
12:50pm: Notice kids’ lips are turning purple. Say it’s time to take a break from pool. Both try to swim away from me: toddler trips and falls in the six inches of water, scrapes knee on bottom of pool. Due to floaties, baby just kind bobs in a circle like a whiny buoy.
12:55pm: Drag two screaming, dripping kids back to broken lounge chair. See diaper bag, but notice tote bag is not on lounge chair.
12:56pm: Remember that tote bag is still in car. Have no towels, first-aid kit, etc. Crap.
1:10pm: Use own t-shirt to dry off kids, remove swim boogers, stop bleeding on toddler’s knee.
1:20pm: Eat healthy pre-packed snack of cut grapes, wheat crackers, apple slices.
1:40pm: Purchase corn dogs and french fries from snack bar, since kids (i.e. me) still seem hungry.
2:00pm: Venture into the bigger pool. Inch in slowly (since the water is downright arctic). Get drenched by some jerky tween doing a cannonball.
2:15pm: Notice that the water around us is turning a pale green. Woman next to me moves her kids into the deeper end.
2:16pm: Lifeguard crouches next to us and politely asks if baby is wearing a swim pamper. Guessing from the fact that diaper is swollen like Jiffy Pop, probably not. Climb out of water in shame.
2:18pm: Diaper is now retaining more water than a PMS-ing sea sponge. Explodes as I remove it, leaving bits of polyethylene fluff everywhere.
2:25pm: Toddler now needs to use the bathroom too. Carry her into public restroom so her feet won’t touch the sludge coating the floor. Smells heavily of chlorine, coconut, and Deet.
2:28pm: Peel off her wet bathing suit. Hold daughter over toilet so she won’t make contact with it. As my arms start to get shaky, she says she no longer has to go.
2:40pm: Finally get her back into her wet, rolled-up swimsuit. Carry both children out of restroom.
2:55pm: Wrap children up in my soggy, bloodstained t-shirt and head back to car. Pass woman entering with her three small children, each slick with sunscreen and Dorito crumbs, sprinting toward the deep end. We nod at each other.
3:10pm: Note that we still have five hours to fill until bedtime. Ask toddler what she’d like to do for the rest of the day.
“Can we go to the beach?”