It’s that time. The weather is warming up, the beach is calling and the community pools are opening. My kids spent the last seven months staring wistfully at our pool knowing it was way too cold to enjoy. Now they run to the gate excited every afternoon to get jump in. When we bought a house with a pool, I pictured casual afternoons spent by the pool watching my happy children swim. I didn’t think about all the things they would need to make that happen. Over the years I’ve gotten it down to a pretty good system, but if this is your first (or second, or seventh) summer spent at the beach of the pool and you feel like you still don’t have it all down yet, don’t worry. The Salty Mamas have got you – and your kids – covered with these must haves for a day at the pool!
There’s this thing that happens where someone can’t picture doing what you’re about to do. Like when teachers take twenty kids on a field trip to the zoo, or when a mother announces she is going to have five preteen girls come to her daughter’s sleepover. It doesn’t matter whether or not they are actually qualified to do it, SOMEONE out there is going to be unable to picture themselves doing the same thing. And instead of thinking, “wow, maybe she is uniquely qualified to manage this situation,” their brain tells them, “she can’t do that! It’s dangerous!”
Take, for example, the other day when I decided that I was going to take my kids to the beach. My kids are on the littler side, 4 and 1 1/2, so it was not going to be without its challenges. But I live in a beach city, so it’s not the ordeal you might imagine. We were going for an hour and a half. My friends were going. I had packed everything and we were in the car and ready to go.
Ah, the Fourth of July. We celebrate our freedom. We eat hot dogs and hamburgers and watch fireworks displays. If we’re lucky, some of us go to the beach or the lake or a pool, and we visit with our friends and family and neighbors, and we soak up what it means to be an American.
Unless you’re a certain brand of mother, who lives in a certain kind of neighborhood, who has kids with certain expectations.
Let’s talk about those cheap summer movies for a minute.
On the one hand, you’ve got the glory of being the cool mom for a second. You took your kids to the movies! It’s air conditioned! The kids are happy, they’re enthralled, they’re living the dream. This experience was MADE for little kids, so you don’t have to worry if they’re wiggly, or chatty, or if they shout/sing along with the chorus to the movie’s theme song. Because there is a concert of 50 other lispy little voices telling Poppy to get back up again, too. Kids are dancing, kids are laughing boisterously, moms are sneak-opening cans of Cherry Coke (I’m looking at you, Christine) and relaxing back into their soft, squishy chairs for what almost passes as a break.
Those concessions, y’all. You pay $1 for the movie, and $16.50 for one ounce of popcorn. This has got to be the whole point of the $1 movie experience from the theater’s perspective, cause you know they have to be making a profit somewhere, and it ain’t from my pocket change.
Now, if you have somehow managed to make it into the movies without your kids knowing the concession stand exists, or they are content with your smuggled in snacks, or your kids are just so lovely they take no for an answer, we salute you. We applaud you. We envy you.
If someone (I’m looking at you, Daddy) has ruined the movies forever with a kids’ snack pack that has been upgraded to include an Icee AND a full size candy? We are so sorry. We feel you. We are here for you.
So when you get to the front of the concession line, because you’re gonna get them SOMETHING , because AVOIDING TANTRUMS, don’t try to ask for a large Icee split into three cups, because I’m here to tell you, they won’t do it.
Order a large Icee and three water cups, hold the water. Then get to work, mama. You’ve got a movie to see and that Icee ain’t gonna split itself.