Life as a mom who has her hands full
Today, I had a rather irritating encounter at our local pool. First let me start by saying that our pool is a small community swimming pool…a neighborhood subdivision pool with a maximum of 15 people there at any one time. The children usually play and splash together, making great friendships along the way. When I go to the swimming pool I try to abide by 2 simple rules that I consider COMMON SENSE. But today, I realized that I may be one of the only ones who still plays by the pool rules!
Don’ bring any toys to the pool that you wouldn’t mind sharing with the other kids that are there. If you are going to bring toys to the pool, don’t just bring one..try and bring several water toys, floats and buckets. While I certainly don’t recommend toting the contents of your garage to the local pool everytime you want to swim, try and bring several items that other children might find fun! That way, when your little Johnny starts to play with a diving stick, there are a few others you can throw in the pool for the 5 other kids that suddenly want to play “diving”. It is inevitable that what one child does, they will all want to do. You will be happy that you brought enough to share because the time will come when little Johnny wants the neighbor’s water gun. Share and Share alike…that is what community pools are for. If another small child (under the age of 10) wants to play with a toy that you brought. SHARE! If at all possible, let him. It is easier to for little Johnny to learn how to share when he sees you doing it. Now there are exceptions to every rule, you can’t give away his favorite toy for example. And certainly if a child is abusing or mistreating your toys, you have every right to ask for them back. But be nice and remember that kids don’t really have much tact. They might ask to play with a toy, but in all honesty, most children under the age of 5 will just start playing with it. Don’t freak out, they are children!!
Don’t be the mother at the pool that never brings any toys for her children and expects them to mooch off of all the other kids. There is such a thing as pushing the limits. You should show up to a neighborhood pool with several toys in tote, and a few floats. That way, you have toys to share with other children when your children want to play with theirs.
So getting back to my story…we were at the neighborhood pool and a mother entered with her 2 children. They immediately got out their diving sticks and threw them into the water. Aidan, my 4 year old, swam to pick one up. He dove down, scooped it up and brought it back to the little boy. The little boy beamed with excitement..he had found a playmate. Then his mother piped in..” That’s his diving stick, give it back”. Aidan seemed confused, that is what he was doing. He thought they were there for everyone to play with together…like we had done with all of our toys. Dejected and upset, he picked up a float ring and asked the mother it belonged to if he could borrow it. I watched in amazement as she rolled her eyes at him and turned the other way. “Never mind Aidan,” I grumbled as I scooped him up and dried him off. He was being so polite, how could these GROWN-UPS treat him like this?
Since when did we ( as a community) get so wrapped up in our materialistic possessions? Instead of teaching their children a sense of community, those mothers cared more about protecting their “pool toys”. Instead of teaching them sharing by example, all the children in the pool learned that what’s mine is mine. Look beyond the $5.99 you spent on diving sticks…it is not worth it.
Diving Sticks: $5.99
Pool Buckets: $3.99
Pool Kick board: $7.99
Pool Floats: $5.99
Teaching your children that neighborhood sharing is important: PRICELESS!
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