Monday, July 12, 2010

How to Have a Successful Summer Pool Party with Toddlers in SoCal

One of the benefits of having a pool accessible is you can schedule playdates where your house doesn't get overrun with toddlers. Sometimes it doesn't work out, like last summer when H's birthday pool party was sabotaged by maintenance work to comply with California's new drainage regulations, but this year we've been more lucky. So far this summer we've had three pool parties and each time I think I'm getting the hang of it a little better. My top ten tips so far:

10) Pray for sunshine. For some reason, July hasn't gotten the message that June gloom is over. We're lucky if we have a couple of hours of sunshine a day. It's not right when you live in SoCal and your kids are wearing FLEECE in July.

9) Tell everyone in advance that there is NO EATING in the pool. It's amazing how quickly a chocolate chip cookie will disintegrate once it hits water.

8) Stake out your table when the pool opens. Our complex pool is located conveniently in front of our unit so I can easily get out there at 8 AM to reserve the one table that still has its original glass top.

7) Serve finger foods. No kids will sit there with a dish of macaroni and cheese and eat it with a spoon when they can stuff a chicken nugget in their mouth and jump back into the pool.

6) Get a water table and other toys for kids that don't want to go in the water. Ever since a near-drowning incident (see no. 1 below), R has decided he'd rather play outside the water. For the moment, I'm not pushing it because it means I don't have to put on my swim suit.

5) Apply sunscreen early enough so it will be absorbed otherwise it will get washed off the second they enter the water. It's pretty gross when the hot tub water is no longer clear but oily because of all the sunscreen.

4) Wear a hat if you have black hair, otherwise an hour into the party you will feel light headed and need to sit down.

3) Maintain a sense of humor and use kickboards to shield yourself from kids shooting you with waterguns.

2) At the end of the party, incentivize kids to dry off and put on their clothes by offering treats to those who can get it done. This is a good way to get rid of all the extra favor toys that you end up with at the end of every birthday party.

1) Invite a mom who is a certified lifeguard, ready to jump into the pool in her regular clothes to rescue your son while you are not paying attention. Thank you very much KE!

Hope your summer is going as swimmingly as ours!

1 comment:

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