Here’s what I have learnt about pool etiquette since having children…..
Always ensure that you make the rules known at the very beginning of the holiday. No running, keep your hat on, keep the noise down, don’t go near the water without a grown up etc. This way the kids know exactly how to wind you up from the start.
Your kids will shout “I’m drowning! I’m drowning!” at intervals whilst in the pool. Except of course if they are drowning. In which case they are probably going to be completely silent.
You need to understand that since they were born, your children have been developing a frankly Pavlovian response to the sight of you climbing out of the pool and completely drying yourself off. At this point they will insist on wanting to get in the pool despite you trying to coax them in for the last 15 minutes as they hid under a sunlounger reading a leaflet for Peppa Pig World that they found in the airport.
Even if the toddler has already done a poo, do not under any circumstances assume that he will not do another. He will. Just when you have let him roam free without a swim nappy for 5 minutes.
Unless you are a masochist never buy a lilo/rubber ring/inflatable crocodile for your kids to share. The rest of your holiday will be spent separating fighting children demanding their turn.
Don’t bother bringing your kids to the loo before you go to the pool. Invariably one of them will insist on needing a wee as soon as you get to the pool despite having already been 1 minute ago.
Always bring plenty of books to the pool. These are very useful for swiping at rogue wasps, weighing down towels and looking at longingly while you are in the pool pretending to enjoy being splashed for the 23rd time.
Eat plenty of seafood on holiday. That way you can insist on leaving the pool because of your dodgy tummy. While in reality you are hiding in the loo reading The Rosie Effect.
Don’t bother purchasing a cute towel poncho with frog eyes on a hood for your kids. Because if you do they will insist on needing a big towel and use yours anyway so you have to make do with a tiny absorbent amphibian.
All snacks are banned at the pool. If you break this rule then you will spend the rest of the day rescuing sticky, crying children from the ‘scary bumble bees’.
You can tell your children not to wee in the pool. You can tell them that the pool has special dye so if they do wee the water goes bright pink and everyone can see. With the state of your own pelvic floor muscles you better hope this is not true.
If you try to ‘rest your eyes’ at all or even blink for slightly longer than necessary, one of your children will almost drown. Fact. They will utterly freak out for around 6 seconds then ask to go back in the pool, while you will be traumatized for the rest of the afternoon. Maybe the rest of the holiday. Perhaps the rest of your life.
Today’s earworm: ‘Summer Breeze’ – The Isley Brothers
Last night’s different dinner score: 4 (of course, we’re on holiday!)