My husband is a duck. Or a seal. Or some sort of water-loving creature. My seven-year old is as well. The nine month old seems to be following in their footsteps….er….paddling along behind them. I don swimsuits quite frequently because my family loves it. I had plenty of swimming lessons growing up so I am a passable swimmer. I just would prefer the hot tub and a good book. My family wore me down and we just bought a swimming pool. It’s a simple above ground pool but promises to be a prominent part of our summer plans.
Last night our Friday night date involved putting together the swimming pool. It came in a very large box. My favorite part of the whole process is the box. It’s currently sitting in our family room being utilized by the seven-year old as a cave. She’s tucked in with a whole stack of books. I made her day when I let her eat her dinner in it.
When the resident chef and I first got married we owned a futon, a hand me down bed and an old desk we got at a work garage sale. One of our first big purchases was a dinning room table and chairs. We had to put them together. We argued and stomped and growled and some of the chairs still wobble a bit. We do directions a lot better than we first got married. Fourteen years of practice and frequent trips to IKEA will do that.
Last night we let the seven-year old help. The baby was taking a nap. She knows how to crawl now. This is not helpful. Cute but not helpful so timing the great pool put together party with a nap was critical. The three of us successfully read the directions, removed all the packaging and snapped the edges together. My husband stood inside and held up the walls of the pool while the seven-year old and I attached all the footings. We stood back and felt a great sense of accomplishment because we didn’t argue a bit. Praised the seven-year old for her help. Then we realized that two of us were outside the pool and one of us was not. The ladder was still in pieces. Oops.
Part of me wanted to hold him hostage. I threatened to leave him there until morning. The seven-year old grinned. I realized that dinner wasn’t complete yet and the competent cook in our family was trapped in an empty pool. I found the directions for the ladder. The resident chef hunkered in for a long wait.
I love this little girl. We worked well together. We rescued the sheepish chef. The seven-year old retreated to play in her box. I sat and fed the baby and watched my spouse finish our dinner. Chicken Stroganoff. This wasn’t the Friday night date with roses and romance. It was better.