Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Welcome to the Ool

A childhood friend of mine was lucky enough to have a pool in her backyard growing up.  Her family used to have a sign that said "Welcome to Our Ool.  Please notice there is no "P" in it.  We would like to keep it that way."  I thought this was hysterical.

Last night I went with a friend to her kids' swim lessons.  My friend gets in the pool first with her one year old for a mommy and baby group session while I sit by the side of the pool and watch her 4-year old in the shallow end.  All children must be supervised at all times, so I diligently keep my eyes on the girl while I quickly drift off to day-dreaming  about the good all days when I used to life guard at the Hazlet pool club....

I hated it.  Constantly scouring the deep end for sinking bodies and always either blowing the whistle or thinking that I should blow the whistle, but ya know I just blew the whistle like 5 minutes ago and I don't want to be that no-fun lifeguard that's constantly yelling at kids, and maybe I'd blow it if my boss was around, but these kids aren't really doing anything that unsafe. But I did just blow my whistle at that bratty kid for doing that, so I should also blow it at the good kid who did the same thing, just to be fair.  I hate blowing whistles!   Some kids were just bastards though.  You'd whistle at them for jumping in where they weren't supposed to and they'd think it's funny.  Then every time you're in that stand they'd come back and jump in in the exact same spot, just to see it you'd blow your whistle again.  Jerks.

Stop running.  Don't jump in the pool.  Don't hang on the lane lines.  Don't swing on the railing.  Don't dunk your friend.  Don't push your friend in.  Stop splashing.  No toys.  Gosh, the pool was no fun...

The pool still is no fun.  All these negative, bossy, "safety" commands are all I can think of as I sit by the edge of this pool with no responsibility for anyone besides this well behaved 4 year old.   Speaking of which, where is my 4-year old?  Phew. there.  Fine.

If I did have a whistle though, there is definitely one kid who would get it. He is running up and down the handicap ramp, knocking over toddlers, splashing babies, throwing toys.  One well-behaved little girl is sitting on the steps playing nicely to herself with a little doll.  This terror goes up behind her with a watering can and just slowly, and steadily empties it on her head.  She nudges and dodges the water stream like she is trying to brush a fly away, but she is so into her doll that she is completely oblivious that this boy is being a brat behind her. I am appalled.  Where are this boy's parents?!  Then he fills up the watering can and does it again.  Are you serious? Where are the little girl's parents?!  Should I stop this?

I look around and notice that all the parents are sitting in groups, chatting it up, laughing, totally oblivious as to what their children are up to.   This is happy hour for them.   They're not worried about their kids. This is their weekly social meet-up.  Sure enough, the kid who could not get any worse, suddenly requires his mother's assistance.  The bratty boy starts screaming at the top of his lungs "MOM, I GOTTA GO POOOOOOOOP!!!!!!   MOOOOOOOOOM, I GOTTA GO POOP!!!"

No one is responding.  No adult even seems to notice at all that this boy exists.  He screams this same lovely phrase 3 or 4 more times and I'm thinking 'would it be completely inappropriate for me to just drag this kid to the bathroom myself?!'  Should I just start walking around to these chatty parent groups and start asking "Hey so is that your kid over there?  I think you might want to take him to the restroom."?!

Finally the mom sees him screaming, and at this point he is wailing and crying uncontrollably.  She runs him out of the pool to the bathroom.  No one else stirs.   

Once the unconscientious couple are out of the pool area, I get up and look over the edge of the pool where the little boy was screaming about needing to poop.  And yes, there it was, breaking apart in the tumultuous current of the kiddie pool area surrounded by curious little children was this boy's freshly laid turd, a historically welcomed sign in the life guard world that it's time to get some chicken rings (yes, we had chicken nuggets shaped like rings) and hang out in the first aid office for a whistle-free 60 minute break while the maintenance team went scooping and chlorine shocking.... Pool closed. 

Perhaps it's time this pool club gets their own sign:  Welcome to the "L"...


Anonymous said...

D-A-N-G! Very well written!

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