Girlhood. Momhood. Lifehood.
Insights on navigating the craziness of life with young kids one — “large coffee with skim please” — day at a time.

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The Pool is Now Open

June 18th, 2008

Today I set out to buy a baby pool for the kids. Just a simple, old-fashioned, round, plastic baby pool. The kind you haul out from the storage shed on a hot afternoon, fill up in five minutes, and flip over to empty. Quick, easy. Hours of water fun.

I thought I’d be able to scoot over to the nearest Target and just pluck one off the sidewalk, like when I was a kid. They even sold them at the Winn Dixie back then. I remember they’d be stacked next to the potted plants and shopping carts like bright beacons of summer, begging to be thrown into the back of our Ford van and brought home to our backyard.

Much to my dismay though, in 2008 it ain’t so easy to find an old-school baby pool. I had to call and web search every super store and toy store within a 20-mile radius, where twice I was urged to buy the fancy inflatable kind instead.

Geez. And it’s not that they were sold out, they didn’t even carry them. My search for the unplugged, unfancy, unembellished, uninflated swim experience was not going as planned. One cheerful salesperson actually suggested that I just buy a big storage tote and use that.

“Really!?” I asked her.

“Oh yeah,” she said. “My grandson loves it. It’s like his own little swimming pool.”

I pictured myself donning sunglasses and sipping on a giant iced coffee, lounging on our front stoop while each of my children sat in their own personal multi-gallon storage tote, their little heads peeking over the side. With no room to splash, they’d just sit and marinate in a few inches of water surrounded by rubber starfish and frogs, wearing snorkeling masks.

“Moooom, I’m bored. I can’t move!”

“Oh honey, just pretend you’re in a very small boat!”

And of course I’d have to shout out to each neighbor who cruised by with raised eyebrows, “Hey, don’t judge! They don’t sell plain baby pools anymore! It’s a creative solution!”

But alas, when I was finally about to throw in the ol’ beach towel today, I made one more phone call and BINGO. Walmart. 14 miles away…

“Yes, we have pools, they’re right out front.”

Right out front! Just as I’d pictured!

I hopped in the car, and headed north to complete my summer mission impossible. Twenty-some-odd minutes later I pulled into the parking lot and scanned the entryway. But no sign of large plastic. My heart started to sink.

Oh no, she was mistaken, they were sold out, or worse…I’d accidentally called a Wal-Mart in Delaware.

But as I parked and walked closer to the automatic doors, there they were, tucked off to the side… yellow, blue, purple!!! I was giddy. Only $8.44 for my sought-after piece of summer nostalgia! As I started to sort through the stack to get down to the blue one, one of the clerks noticed me and called over,

“Hey, you know we have inflatable ones inside if you want one of those instead.”

“No thanks,” I said beaming, “These are perfect.”

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