Posted by: canthold | August 2, 2007

Pool Rules

I’m a rule follower. If a rule says not to do something, you can be pretty sure that I’m not going to do it. My husband is the opposite. He’s unafraid of choosing when to follow the rules based on when they make sense to him.

Because I’m a rule follower, I’m also a rule setter. I make rules for my kids to give them predictability and so they know what I expect from them beforehand. If they break a rule, they know they crossed a boundary. It works for me as a parent and my kids seem okay with it. My husband thinks I can be a little excessive.

My rules for the swimming pool are:

  1. No Pooping or Peeing in the Pool
  2. No Drowning
  3. Get Out When Mommy Says

My original rule was no peeing in the pool, but the girls added the no pooping rule. This was a natural progression from the No Pooping In The Bathtub Rule that I had when they were younger. (I made the rule because I had to. That’s all I’m saying.)

The No Drowning rule might seem pretty obvious, but it’s because I wanted them to know that their safety was one of the most important things that I cared about. And it seems to be working.

Getting out when I say to is to keep from having arguments. They’ve tested me on this and were punished by my not wanting to take them the next day. When I want to get out, I want to be done. Up until just recently, I had to be right in there with them, and I get cold. Besides that, we used to go to the pool after six and it got kind of cold and windy so hanging out on the side wasn’t an attractive option. I needed it and it has served me well.

Today we stopped off at the local ice cream shop to get cones. This was my oldest daughter’s well-earned reward for reading to a certain level on a chart we made. I copied the idea from a friend to help motivate my daughter and it’s been working nicely. After ice cream, we went to the pool to swim.

No swimming today.

Apparently, a baby had pooped in the big pool. Apparently, his mother didn’t convey the same rules to him as I do to my kids. Then again, he was just a baby. My kids were cool about it. They seemed to understand. All the way home, we talked about the various poop accidents we’d seen or they’d done. Very pleasant conversation, let me tell you.

As foolish as I feel sometimes for all my rules (or as foolish as my husband makes me feel) I kind of patted myself on the back. It wasn’t my kid that pooped in the pool. We have a rule for that. And then we saw a deer in our yard, curled up for a nap. And the lovely summer day lazed on…

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