Friday, June 3, 2011

Laurel Oak, Part One: The Pool

Well, we did it. We bought our first family pool pass today. Goodbye, $70. Hello, Summer Fun! Up until this summer, we've always just frequented the free wading pools with our water wimps of children, with an occasional trip to the big pool. But, with a five and a six year old now, those "baby" pools just weren't going to cut it anymore.

The kids have been talking about the pool at Laurel Oak for months now. The snow-covered water slides have been taunting them ever since January, when we moved to a part of town where we pass Laurel Oak in order to get to Grandma Loulou and Papa Ronnie's house. But after an exhausting visit to that pool with three little kidlets last summer, I decided that the maximum child to adult ratio for this family at Laurel Oak was going to be 2:1. It is a wonderful pool, with the zero depth entry, the grassy hillsides for sunbathing and the sand area for playing during 10-minute breaks. But for me, there are way too many visual obstructions, with the water slides and the shape of the pool, to keep track of more than two children at a time. Ranging in age from 2-6 years old, the three oldest are completely mobile and relatively independent, but not really old enough to roam free yet at a packed public pool.

And packed it was, until 3pm. When 10-minute break was called at 2:50, three separate daycares began gathering their children. Between them all, it must have been at least 65-70 children. It was like a whole different pool after 3 o'clock. Those kids weren't doing anything other than being kids, but that's just a lot of bodies to leave at once. So, if you don't love crowded pools, it might be best to wait until the 2:50pm 10-minute break.

And speaking of 10-minute break, here's what Fletcher thought of the first one.

He didn't think it was so bad, once I showed him the sand play area. The boys even found a neighborhood pal to play with.

And what do you know? It didn't take Little Miss Social long to find a friend either! Gracey is one of the kids' little neighborhood buddies from our Little House on Prairie.

So far, Baby G has not been lovin' the chilly water. She has been perfectly content to stay in my arms or the stroller while I chat with the grown-ups around her.

As I mentioned in the title of this post, today was only Laurel Oak "Part One." It was my intention, as I was looking at maps and activities and planning trips to each park, to make a day of Laurel Oak on a Monday or Wednesday. That way, we could attend Tot Lot in the morning, eat a picnic lunch and enjoy the playground, and then hit the pool at 1 o'clock, when it opened. Well, I'm learning that flexibility is going to be an important part of this little adventure. Bill works next Monday and I didn't want to make these children to wait until next Wednesday. I already told you, they've been waiting since January!

I will, however, take them to Tot Lot and the playground without any backup assistance, so sometime next week, we will try "Part Two: The Playground."

And the rating for the Laurel Oak Pool? 16 enthusiastic thumbs up! Don't forget, you have to account for a dad this time, plus Kristi and Gracey wanted "in" on the vote. What a great way to spend a hot June afternoon!

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