17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Neighborhood Swimming Pool

Our summer routine has gone something like this: I get home from work, we eat a quick dinner, and we spend the rest of the evening at the pool. DH joins us at some point in the evening, depending on his work schedule.

Yesterday, our neighborhood pool was closed, so we tried another one. This was our first time at the pool, and apparently it is not very popular because it was completely empty, save two teenaged lifeguards. They were less than pleased to see us as our presence meant they had to turn off their ipods and cell phones and actually do their jobs.

And let’s just say that my boys weren’t winning any awards for good behavior. I spent most of our pool time putting one of them in “time out” for running, or getting another out of the filtration ducts that keep them strangely fascinated. When I had finally settled down with my book, five-year-old Noe plopped down on top of me with his wet little body, completely drenching my clothes and my book. Meanwhile, three-year old Asher had to go potty, and insisted on using the urinal in the men’s bathroom. I obviously couldn’t go in there, so I shouted directions to him from outside the bathroom. He couldn’t reach it, gave up and came running out of the bathroom with his swim trunks around his ankles. I scooped him up like a wet, noisy fish and forced him to sit on a potty in the women’s bathroom before he had an accident.

I’d like to say that this was unusual behavior for them, but unfortunately it’s pretty typical for those last hours just before bedtime.

The two lifeguards looked on with horrified amusement. They whispered back and forth. I could almost hear what they were saying, “What little brats. Why can’t she control her own kids?” I could almost hear them, because those had been my own words when I was their ages.

We stayed until the pool closed, and all walked out together: teenaged lifeguards and mother with the bratty little kids. The teenagers got into their sporty SUVs and cranked up the radio. I loaded the boys into their car seats, and cranked up NPR. As the teenaged lifeguards looked at me in my nine-year-old sedan one last time, I knew their thoughts, “I never want her life.”

And as I watched the teenaged lifeguards speed out of the swimming pool parking lot, their lives so full of angst and unnecessary complication, I whispered with amusement, "I'll gladly keep my own life, thank you."


  • Jen!!! You need to posts stories like this more often. I love your writing and this is hilarious, and so true! I think of that often with teenagers. Especially when I was a substitute teacher a few years back. Ugh! I don't think I would ever want that job again. And you're right... I'd never really want to go back to those younger days either.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 8/08/2008 08:44:00 AM  

  • Well in a sense you're both right... a teenager shouldn't want an adults life and vice versa. That's why they're teenagers and not adults you know? There's something about this sort of rhetoric that kinda gets under my skin...it's like when my brother tells me "when you have more than 1 kid you'll do things differently..." Well I don't have more than 1 kid and I can't force my one-child self to do things the way a two-child or three-child mama would. He also used to tell me "when you're married..." or "when you have a kid..." and really this could go on forever...there will always be someone 'ahead of the game' so to speak, and it's useless to try to be at a stage of life before we're actually there.

    I totally get your point about the self-righteous attitude of teenagers and feeling like they're copping you attitude, which is never cool, but at the same time of course they don't understand because it's not their time to understand. Anyway hope I didn't ruin your post or anything, I'm sure this was just meant as a light-hearted anecdote and I'm getting all serious Sally on you.
    posted by Blogger miggy at 8/08/2008 04:37:00 PM  

  • My point was that I was much like those teenagers back in the day...and could never have imagined that I could be so happy in a life that revolves around my children and sacrificing my time and money to ensure their well-being.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 8/09/2008 08:48:00 AM  

  • Too funny. I was thinking about this just the other day when I was at the grocery store on my own with my girls - 5 and twins that are 2. It's always a nightmare, there's no way around it. I actually try very hard not to take them to the store when I'm by myself but it was a necessity the other day. My first stop was to pick up a box of fruit snacks to keep them happy while we were shopping. I was slightly amused when an hour later I handed the checker an empty box of fruit snacks. She laughed and said "You do what you have you!" I used to see moms in the grocery store with kids eating something obviously picked up during that shopping trip and I thought it was soooo tacky! I have since learned not to be so quick to judge. :)

    And I'm with you - I wouldn't trade what I have now for anything.
    posted by Blogger Tandy at 8/09/2008 06:23:00 PM  

  • Jen,

    I'm with you. Something very similar happened to me a few weeks ago at the beach. I was in the bathroom with my girls and the baby in the bjorn trying to get everyone pottied. It wasn't the smoothest. At the same time, a gaggle of OC teenage girls (with their long hair, flat stomachs and tanned bodies) walked in to check their make-up in the scratched up mirrors. They looked at me with my gaggle of children, my not so flat tummy and disheveled make-up and hair and I swear I heard some snickers. I feel so far away from that time now and I'm glad. My life is full. I am happy.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 8/11/2008 09:37:00 AM  

  • Hey! There is a new LDS Middle Singles weblog and support group! Join us at: http://middlesinglesolution.blogspot.com/

    posted by Blogger Middle at 8/12/2008 01:19:00 PM  

  • I love your stories Jen. I get to laugh and then come away feeling better about my rough days as a mom. We are very lucky to have these "stories" to tell.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 8/12/2008 01:42:00 PM  

  • Its a nice blog posted by you. I was seeking for this type of blog that have a fresh and interesting content. I also have a really nice site where you can find salt chlorinator and pool cleaner for swimming pools within minimum prices. Please have a look on it.

    posted by Blogger Aiden Thomas at 8/27/2009 03:11:00 AM  

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