Community Pools & a Parenting Fail

This morning started out as any other random Saturday morning. Kids all woke up and Dear Hubby suggested we go to the beach with some doughnuts. Sounds awesome, right? I probably should have bothered to check the beach forecast, or — I don’t know — look up at the sky to realize this was not a great idea. We drove the 5 miles to the beach only to be met with tropical storm force winds and 4 foot seas. Yuck.

After the wind blew our doughnuts down the beach, and I was crunching my coffee, I declared that this was no fun. And we all know that if Momma ain’t having fun, then no one is having fun. Dear Hubby pulled an audible on the day and decided to go supervise a fishing tournament – which left me the awesome task of telling the kids we were not going swimming. Yeah, well that wasn’t happening, so I decided to pull an audible myself and take the kids to one of the Broward County water parks. They’re cheap, they’re close, and my kids love to swim. Total Mom Score.

We headed to Castaway Island at TY Park in Hollywood, and for less than $25 we were are swimming and sliding. The place had 3 separate pools — a baby pool, a kids water slide area, and a big adult-kind-of pool –> complete with fake waterfall. Freaking awesome.

Adult pool

I didn’t grow up in Florida. Here most everybody has a pool at their house, and going swimming takes about as much effort as brushing your teeth. I grew up in Maryland, and we had a community pool. It opened on Memorial Day and closed on Labor Day – and I pretty much spent every waking summer moment there until high school. All my friends were there, didn’t need cell phones – just rode my bike to the pool in the morning for Swim Team practice, and rode it home around 3 after a full day of sunning, swimming, and socializing. (And yes, I injured my arm several times during swim team practice. For the record, I had broken my forearm early that year sledding, and was in a cast up to my shoulder for several months. It didn’t heal properly, I remember talks of surgery to fix it, and it was pretty fragile for seemingly ever. Coupled with the fact that I had a bad perm and glasses in 1984, I was the spitting image of Eugene Levy in Splash. Thanks for posting that  awesome memory on Facebook, Jen…)

Me – circa 1984

I was really happy that Matilda was off making friends. I really miss that part about the community pool. She partnered up with a little girl named Marley and were off to the races. This was the kids’ first time at a place with big water slides, so they were a little – um – cautious. Ok, they were big chickens.

Matilda near the slides

I was waiting in line to take Matilda down the slide and was talking to Marley’s dad. She was going by herself, and he confessed that the first time he had to push her a little. I was hoping that Matilda watching Marley go down by herself would inspire her to do it herself. No such luck.

Eventually I got Lane to go down the smaller slides by himself. Matilda was still no dice. I figured that if the other dad could *assist* his daughter to be brave enough to slide by herself, it was up to me – Supermom – to do the same. On the small side-by-side slide where I at least got Matilda to ride next to me and hold my hand, I sat down next to her and pretended that we were going at the same time. Yeah — um not happening. Matilda started screaming and held on to the side of the slide and pulled herself back up. I gave up, and just went to being defeated over-protective mom with scaredy-cat children.

After everyone had calmed down, I convinced them to ride the medium slide. After we all rode it together a few times, I put Lane on by himself and *assisted* him down the slide by himself.

That’s right, I pushed him.

Before I could contort my arm enough to pat myself on the back for being an awesome Mommy bird and helping my children to learn to fly all by themselves – the lifeguard started blowing his whistle to freeze everyone on the slide. Lane was now standing – screaming – in the middle of the drop zone and refused to move. Parents were running from all directions as I was still stuck at the top of the slide. I couldn’t slide down to get him, since I didn’t want to knock him over, and my egress down the stairs was hampered by Matilda clambering to my right thigh and screaming not to leave her at the top. Yep, I was THAT parent.

Everyone eventually calmed down — ok, I bribed them with ice cream — and Mommy was forgiven. No one seems the worse for wear, and since we’ve been home they have told Dear Hubby how much fun they had at the water park. Total. Mommy. Win.

Mommy win.
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