A swimming pool is definitely the best/worst kid activity of the summer. For every drop of enjoyment a pool provides, there is an equal and opposite negative reaction (just ask Isaac Newton).
There is no better way to cool off and feel refreshed in the summer than flopping that beach bod you planned to acquire over the winter into an 83-degree shimmering oasis with your little ones. At the same time, a day at the swimming pool requires a near-constant reapplication of sunscreen on kids. Doing this three or four times without getting sunscreen in their eyes is tough – it’s bound to happen at least once and it’s not pretty when it does.
Goggles, snorkels and pool noodles are all great toys. Too bad it only takes about seven minutes before the lenses pop out, a straps breaks or someone bites a hole in the noodle foam.
If you’re a parent cutting corners (and who isn’t in the summer?), a dip in the pool sometimes substitutes for a nightly shower or bath. Too bad that this practice can result in an unwanted green tint in your child’s hair if done too many times.
The worst pool scenario? Watch the kids that drink lemonade and soda all afternoon and never leave the pool to go to the bathroom. Now that’s gross.
Even though a swimming pool is equal parts fun and danger, and that for every smile, there is a slick spot on the pool deck, and for every perfect dive, a shot in the eyes with a squirt gun, it’s important to remember to enjoy the pool. Enjoy the summer. Manage the hard parts. And always remember, all of this stuff beats a cold winter.
A version of this first appeared on Indy’s Child.