"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chlorine-Induced Apologies

I wanted one of these soooooo badly last year, but times were lean so I made do with two wading pools and four sprinklers and waited until the end-of-season clearance to snag one for $30. The children have been riding my rear asking politely in their sweet, musical voices when it would be ready since the first crocus appeared in February. Finally, this weekend our Neighbor took a Kubota ride down and leveled the designated Pool Spot. Which turned out to be a much bigger deal than I had envisioned. Specifically, my mind had blocked out the small detail of Where Would the Dirt Go? So, instead of cleaning the rental, I helped with the leveling. Then, instead of cleaning the rental, I spent the ENTIRE afternoon in the blazing sun trying to understand Filter Assembly Directions.

The children have a lot of experience by now with Mom and Dad working on Projects, and the know to leave a wide amount of space between them and us, and they know it's a bad time to ask for snacks. But they were so excited, and three of them kept hugging me and telling me thank-you for putting the pool up and it was so darling and sweet and every. single. time I'd forget completely what I was thinking and had to stare at the directions for another five minutes to remember.

And you'll notice I said three of the children. Somewhere in there Princess hit a snag. She was trying to ride her (large) bike on our (small and crowded with stuff) patio, and snarling at anybody or anything that happened to be in her way. She had already been warned, so I directed her to ride her bike not on the patio. On any of the other three acres. As this was obviously unacceptable, she threw down her bike and stomped around, nearby enough to be sure she was irritating someone, anyone. I asked her what her plan was, and she growled, "nothing!" so I told her to go get a card. She stomped inside, stomped back out, stomped up to the swing set, and stood in front of a swing. Which quickly filled with another child's body. Ok, ok, the Cuddle Bear definitely did it on purpose. For the reaction. I never said she was pure of heart.

Things started to get ugly. I didn't overreact, but I was not feeling filled with patience, and Princess escalated. She got stuck on "swings," couldn't flex, and began yelling at me. I'm mean, apparently, and also only try to make things hard for her. Plus I'm ugly.

The pool got done (mostly. In the interest of your precious time, I will leave out the Chemical Saga, only to mention: WHAT is a skimmer, WHERE the heck is it on this thing, and EXACTLY where do you put the stinkin' balance granules if one does not exist on the blue form of hideousness one purchased???), and the sucking up began. I finally, with no reserves of good feeling left, leaned into her and said in a low, low voice:

"You said mean and hurtful things to me while I was trying to do something nice for you and your brother and sisters. I strongly suggest not asking me for stuff until you fix my hurt feelings." And walked away. I did actually see her reel back, out of the corner of my eye.

Not long after, she came up to me and said, looking in my eyes, "Mom? I'm really sorry I said that stuff. I'm sorry I made you feel bad."



I guess the heatstroke payed off.


  1. Pools and kids..cant live with them, cant live without lol.... the sucking up kills me...and I say pretty much what you said to Princess, I don't always get a sorry.... but the sorry's I do get are fairly precious as they are so far and few between

  2. Um, so, did you go swimming? Or at least float around in there a little? We had one of those pools, it was great. Only we had no working outside plug, so had a super long cord threaded thru some doors..... it was no good.

    Have fun in there!