Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Swim with a View and A Swim with Too Many Ridiculous Rules (Not the in the Same Place)

So, ten minutes from our house is this great outdoor pool.  It is pretty cheap at 9 Euros for our family (minus Brian since he's always at work.)  There's another place that is bigger with a giant slide that costs nearly 20 Euros for us.  That is because it has a million indoor and outdoor pools, two big slides, several diving boards, and the big kicker some pools are heated.  The pool close to our house is not heated, so it was pretty cold when we went swimming there for the first time this summer.  The kids mostly (exceptions were Genna and Bobby) only lasted an hour or so.  Bobby was saying he was cold every once in a while, but he didn't quite want to get out.

As I am sitting in the baby pool watching Judah and Bobby play, I realized what a beautiful view it had.  The immediate next thought though was, "I'd trade the view for my friends back at the pool in Maryland in a heartbeat to keep me company."  I have tried to get friends here to come to the pool, but so far no one has taken me up on the offer.  It is just pretty boring to sit and watch kids play for hours without friends or at least being able to read.  One day I'll have only swimmers, and I can read by the pool.

Amazing, right?
After they were too cold to stay in the pool, one at a time, they dried off and went to the little playground inside the pool area.  They all walked by the snack bar and priced things for me for another time.  Looks like we could get lunch there for all of us and still be close to spending the same as just entrance to the other pool.

Two days later, we tried out yet a third pool.  It is an American pool with an entrance fee the same as the pool close to our house, but they were running a special for summer passes for thirty-five dollars.  That's a great deal so I figured since this is indoor only, we could come here when our other pool plans get rained out if nothing else and still come out on top.  I am telling you all this because I was hesitant at first even with the great deal because I have been to this pool last time we lived here only twice because the rules just killed me.  Last time it was "Waste your money on swim diapers, and put them on your kids even though they are potty trained, just because they are not four years old yet."  I detest blanket rules based on age instead of individuals.  I know some people don't hold up their part of the bargain and use their brains when making choices, but why should we all be punished?  Really!

This time it was the same old stuff, blanket rules based on age.  This time it was all about Drew.  Drew is almost six years old, in September to be exact.  He can swim all over the place and down to the bottom of the pool.  He went with his big siblings down the slide right away several times.  It even drops them into shallow water where he can stand.  I had the two little guys with me.  The lifeguard caught him and said that he had to stay within arms reach of his mom and could only go down the slide with an adult.  I went over to talk to the lifeguard and he confirmed this.  I informed him that he could take a swim test, but the lifeguard said that he had to be 6 years old in order to take the test and qualify to get a wrist band.  And no his siblings couldn't take him down the slide either unless they are 18 years old.  He apologized and tried to reassure me that I can take two kids on the slide at the same time (since I was holding Bob at the time.)  I asked him, "What about three?  That one's mine too."  He gave me a sympathetic look like, "You got me there," and went on his merry way.  

After swimming, Bob stayed all wrapped up like that while I packed up our stuff.

Somebody was not happy to leave.
In the end, the guards didn't complain if I couldn't touch all three of my under 6 kids at all times, but no more slide.  Right before we left, I took Bobby over to the kiddie wading pool and had Hannah supervise him while I took Judah and Drew down the big slide.  I guess there were enough moms sitting in the wading pool for the lifeguards not to notice a 12 year old watching a baby.  Now I am a total rule follower, but when you make it impossible for me to follow all the rules, that's when some rules have to bend.  I feel like these kinds of rules are large family discrimination.  Come on!  You try to keep three kids in arm's reach with only two arms, especially when one thinks he's a big kid and knows how to swim.  (By the way, that's why I drove him to swim lessons twice a week all year long!  I wanted to only have to be in arm's reach of two kids this summer because otherwise it's just really not fun.)  Maybe if I was an octopus or had a sheep dog with me it would be a possibility.

This I know:  It will only be a rainy day pool.

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