Well, today I took the plunge. Literally. I got all 4 kids in the pool by myself. This meant a great deal of groundwork. You know, laying out clothes to change in to ahead of time. Fixing lunches ahead. Laying out towels to protect little feet from a hot deck, strategically placing umbrellas for shade, etc. Then there was the actual clothing change into swimming attire, punctured by Circus Boy #2 missing the potty and peeing all over his clothes and the floor. That was FUN.
The actual pool part was pretty fun, I will say. The big boys are able to swim pretty well now with their floaties. They don’t need to hold on to me, which is fortuante as I only have two arms. I had to hold the little princess in one arm and Circus Boy #3 under my other arm. Circus Boy #3 keeps trying to figure out how his brothers can just go, but he hasn’t figured out he needs to keep his feet out behind him and kick. If he just bobs in the water his little swimmy diaper just floats his fluffy rear up to the surface, he panics and forgets to keep his face out of the water. Anyway, I had one kid under each arm and we hopped around the pool (literally) for a half hour or so, much to everyone’s delight. The little princess was just a bit too small for her ring floaty, but it worked well enough to hold her while I got in and out of the pool, and Circus Boy #3 discovered he could hold on to the side of the pool without his rear floating up away from him. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I would have navigated the pretty rickety ladder with both kids. I’m good, but not that good and 4 ft is a long way to fall with two kids in your arms (that’s the height getting out of the water..).
So it was wildly successful. I was able to let the big boys stay in while I changed the little kids since I had thought ahead and their clothes were right by the door. (Change outside on a towel means no water in the house!) When I was done the big boys climbed out and that’s when things kind of headed down hill.
The plan was to take my pre-made lunches, sit outside and let the big boys eat outside and drip dry (its so hard to get wet swim shirts off, isn’t it?). Well, the big boys got out and naturally yelled “I gotta go potty!” So they had to change or else drip all over the hardwood floors. Not happening. So as they hopped around (gotta go potty, ohh noo, ohh noo, gotta go now!) and tried to peel their wet clothes off, I set out their lunches. They eventually went in and potty-d (in the toilet this time) and got their dry clothes on with minimal goofing around. No biggy. They ate their lunches and all was well. Until….(drum roll)…the WASP. I had just brought the little princess into the house and settled her on the floor with some toys in anticipation of the “I’m done!” dishes, messy hands and faces rush, when I heard “WASP!! Oh, Oh, Oh, RUN.” That would be Circus Boy #1. Who is convinced the mere site of a “sting bug” means that it is headed straight for him with malicious intent. Screen door flies open, in runs Circus Boy #1, carrying lunch box, followed closely by Circus Boy #2, carrying half his lunch box. Then in meanders Circus Boy #3. The only part of his lunch that he carried was spread over him in the form of monstrously peanut buttery hands and bits of sandwich in his unmanageable mane. (Mr. Ringmaster, if you’re reading this, we really need to get his hair cut. He’s starting to use it as a napkin. Seriously. I wonder if that’s where that odor is coming from…I’m only half joking.)
Of course no one closes the door, ironic. So now, in addition to cleaning up the lunch mess outside, I now had to clean the lunch mess dragged about by Circus Boy #3 before I managed to tackle him with half a roll of paper towels, and I had to clean up lunch mess at the dining room table as there was no way Circus Boy #1 could be coaxed back outside and there was no way Circus Boy #2 was going out there if Circus Boy #1 was scared of something. Ah, I love cleaning up messes (sarcasm, please, note the sarcasm). Which is good because I think I spend 95.978% of my time doing that.
I shall think twice before letting them eat outside again. Perhaps next time I will provide the youngest circus boy with a healthy snack while he waits for his brothers to get it together so we can go in for lunch. Live and learn.