Wednesday, April 3, 2013

10 Rules of the Dreaded Indoor Pool & Water Park

Last week was Spring Break here and we stayed home and tried to find fun things to do that didn't cost too much money. We went and saw some historic stuff, which was awesome. We went to the library, saw friends, played laser tag (Mini dominated because she is a heartless little mercenary), and we saw "The Croods".  You guys, I'm freaking exhausted.

But one thing we did really wore me out. We went swimming. I'm very lucky. I live in a great community where our County Recreation Centers are incrediballs. There is one that is a huge indoor pool and water park, complete with 3 story water slides, tot lots inside the pool (!!), beach slope areas for little kids, lazy rivers, you name it. It's awesome! And for me to take all 3 of my kids there for the day costs $15 total. I've been there many times and usually work hard to go at off hours, when it's not crowded.


There's only one problem. During spring break week, it is the most crowded place on earth. And like a jackass, I went with a bunch of buds. It was so crowded, they stopped letting people in. There was a line out the door. At the rec center, you guys. It was CRAZY and it was nearly as bad as Chuck E Cheese. Almost. 

So of course, I lost my mind and almost had to go to the nervous hospital. Here are ten rules of going to the indoor pool and water park during Spring Break that I developed as a result of my experience last week.

Be prepared to park approximately 6.4 miles away and walk. This was not too bad on our way in. On our way out we froze our buns off as the early spring wind whipped around our pasty white, still damp legs and caused my children to moan about how freeeeezzzzzing they were (notwithstanding the fact that they refused to wear jackets because it's not even winter anymore, mom).

Make some rules to try and safely manage this experience. Explain the rules. Then try to enforce rules. I found myself freaking out as I watched my child immediately race up three flights of concrete stairs with wet feet and then slip and fall as I screamed "NOOOO RUNNNING!!! RULE #1 is NO RUNNING ON THE SLIPPERY STEPS OF DEATH!! GAHHHH!!!!"

It will be so crowded that you will have an immediete panic attack. Children, when wet, all look exactly alike. And there were hundreds of them. It was so crowded that when I called out: "Hawk?!"(not exactly the world's most common name) and about 30 kids were like "Mommy?"


This is the actual pool. But with
hundreds less  people there.
CONSTANT VIGILANCE. Don't chat. Don't look at your phone. Don't do anything except monitor the offspring. Oh do you have to go the bathroom, Lydia? TFB. No potty for you - just try to watch your kids. Those 14 year old lifeguards are outnumbered 156 to 1.

Don't look too closely at the pool water. Or at the bottom of the pool. It's just best that you don't. If your mind begins to think about the microbes seeping out of the water-logged swimmy diaper of the small child to your right, just think about something else. Like Syria. Or filing tax extensions.

Oh dear God, while you are standing on the pavement surrounding the pool: do not look down. You will see clumps of hair that appear to have come from a Sicilian Yeti and shriveled up band aids and long abandoned hair ties and other things that make the bile churn in your belly.

Someone will probably puke in the pool while you're there. This should come as no surprise. Particularly when you consider that birthday parties are being hosted at this facility. Where children's tummies are being filled up with pizza and cupcakes and Cheetoes and then they're released like greyhounds right back into the pool.

Break time! During those few minutes when they clear the pool, I always hope that people will leave in droves. But they never do. With all three kids safely in my vision, this was the only time my heart rate returned to normal. Unfortunately, it was also when I broke some rules and started looking at the pavement and the pool water. DEAR GOD HOW SOON CAN WE LEAVE?

Don't try to take pictures. Just don't. They will not come out and you won't be able to find your kids, let alone make them stand still long enough to take a picture. So if you're on the sidelines, trying to snap a shot of your preschooler going down the slide (with 125 other preschoolers in between you), some mom will invariably think that you're trying to take pictures of her kid in his bathing suit and may possibly give you the death glare or even freak out a little. She's probably suffering from the same "OHMYGODWHATIFTHEREARESEXOFFENDERSHERE?!" syndrome and can only see one of her kids and where the hell did the other one go?

The locker room. Wear shoes. And gloves. And a biohazard suit. Maybe just don't go in there. Especially don't go in there right after the lifeguards tell everyone that someone just puked in the pool. Because that locker room will become a seething mass of naked, wet, angry, disgusting humanity that you do not want to be a part of. Trust your Auntie Lydia. Just drive home wet and shower there.

Of course, there's what happens next. I get out of there and get home, with the kids still chattering about how much fun they had and I immediately develop Indoor Pool & Water Park amnesia. So that next year, I'm sure to decide it's a great idea to go do it all again.

(c)Herding Turtles 2009 - 2013

21 comments:

  1. Heading to the indoor water park tomorrow for our last week of Spring Break - children vomit at the pool??? Lordy, I hope not tomorrow!

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  2. You know it's bad when they clear the pool.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my shiny porcelain pig! I totally agree with that. I'm not even a mom yet and I know the truth of that.

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  3. This place is right around the corner from my house. The kids love it. But I would never take them on spring break, you are brave!

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  4. This is the same anxiety I get at Costco....how will I survive this?! Thanks for the tips!

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    1. OMG I love Costco. I have to limit myself to once a week only visits. You should see how stupid I get when the coupon book comes in the mail:)
      HC

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  5. Took my daughter and nephew there last week, and someone pooped in the pool. We were all evacuated for a "code brown" situation.

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  6. I'm in MN. We still have snow cover. The waterpark seemed like a great idea for a weekend activity. Right up until the snack bar burned something and set off the fire alarm. And I couldn't find the one child I had at the park. Luckily he had tried to go to the same place we went when the "safety break" had occurred 30 minutes earlier.

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  7. Water Park of America has "kid friendly" hot tubs! NO EFFING WAY!!!!! Kids got really pissed at me when I wouldn't let them go in. Until I reminded them, "What's the first thing you want to do when your body hits warm water?!?!?" Then they got it. Off to the body surfing ride where the kids take bets with each other on which of the older girls are going to have their handkerchiefs, er, bathing suits ripped off when they wipe out.

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  8. I was 1000% done with the idea of public pool as soon as I read swimmy diapers. The hair/bandaid comment almost made me barf. For real. Nope nope nope.

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  9. We just went to the pool two days ago. My 10 year old beauty got a bloody nose inside her snorkeling mask (the kind that cover the nostrils). She walked up to me with the snorkeling mask full of bloody water and I almost wretched. Then she took the mask off IN THE POOL so then the moms around me almost wretched, too. It was in her hair, all over her face, you get the picture. Awesomesauce.

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    Replies
    1. OMG I just about hurled. EW. EWEWEWEWEW.

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    2. I totally just peed my pants. That was funny!



      kansascitymomma.blogspot.com

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    3. I just peed my pants. That was FUNNY!

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  10. We live about an hour away from Disneyland. It's so easy to get up there - even the carpool lane just takes you straight there (SEPARATE DISNEYLAND EXIT FOR CARPOOLERS!) And I always want to go.

    When we do go, though, I don't have much fun. We just trudge around, dodging people, hurtling over strollers, waiting in lines, and the cost makes me think of our Lego PS3 games - when the coins flip up the screen to the big account balance in the sky? That account is Disney Co., and the floor of the video game is our wallet.

    Somehow, though, it all just melts away once the blisters heal and whenever we have a little extra time and money we're like - Disneyland!

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  11. We went to Kalahari, a huge indoor waterpark in Ohio, the past 2 years and it is so effing stressful. Also, it was my kid that puked in the pool o__O She is a cough barfer and she choked on some water. Not embarrassing at all!

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  12. At first I was like, "Wow, I am so jealous of Lydia and her rec centers. Up here it's a big open gym with like five old volleyballs rolling around." And then I read your article and I was like, "Hooray for Lydia! She is brave and strong stomached and a way better mom than me!" and I meant it. I feel like I should send you some hand sanitizer and a T-box.

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  13. Yep, you pretty much summed it up.

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  14. i often feel i should probably have a biohazard suit on. and, considering my winter weight gain, i'm all for wearing one over my bathing suit.

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  15. So glad I found this great information, thanks

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  16. Peculiar article, exactly what I needed.

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    ReplyDelete

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