Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Beginning of Summer... Setting up the Pool

I decided to set up the pool for the kids.  We don't have anything fancy, just a large ring set pool.  It is 16 foot in diameter and 42 inches deep.  Last year I noticed the pool was leaning, a lot, on the right side.  It resulted in the pool not being as deep as it could be and one side looked like it had been squashed.  Not cute.  Not as much fun.  Not to mention it looked like an idiot set it up.

Not our pool or our backyard, but very similar to last year's disaster
This year I was going to do it differently.  (This seems to be the theme of my life.) I went to Lowe's and bought several 50 pound bags of sand.  Let me just insert here that 50 pounds is a lot heavier than you think it is going to be.  The salesperson assured me that someone would help me load it into my van and he trotted off to help a skinny, young thing, leaving me and my four children to fend for ourselves.  My 6 year old son, who thinks he is He-Man, pushed the flat bed cart to the checkout. He was really proud of himself because he "only ran into Mommy two times!"  Yeah.....


After checking out, I realized, all the extra workers, who were previously loitering around the area, had mysteriously disappeared. Not wanting to appear weak, or have my ankles crushed again, I pushed the cart out to the van and opened the back hatch.  I instructed my 12 year old to get everyone in the van, buckle the youngest into her carseat and start the van, while I - otherwise known as Wonder Woman She-Ra, loaded the bags of sand.  I casually leaned over and put my hands under the first bag.

UMPHHH! I heaved the heavy bag into the back.  Go. Me.  I am actually She-Ra.  I am *the* Princess of Power. I am ah-maze-ing.  Who needs help?  Not me.  I slap my hands together and suddenly wished for chewing tobacco gum, so I could spit as I hitched up my pants.  I go back for the second bag.  It was a bit heavier than the first... but, reminded that I was, in that moment, the epitomy of awesomeness, I put my back into and heaved it into the van, right next to the first one.

My Secret Superhero Identity
I quickly realized my error.  I put my back into it. I sorta figured the popping noises probably were not a sign that this was going to end well for me.  The voice of my husband was resounding inside my head and he sounded a lot like a nagging personal trainer, "Lift with your legs! Lift with your legs!"  This time, I squatted down.  Somehow or another, I got a 100 pound bag of sand, stuffed into a 50 pound bag.  I am sure of it.  I told myself that I could do it, out loud, and people in the parking lot surely thought I was NUTS.  I wrestled the bag into the van.

Somehow or another, I managed to repeat the process 4 more times.  Woot!  The effort it took to haul *myself* into the van after all the sand was loaded was monumental.  My back hurt, my leg hurt, my knee hurt and my kids had started arguing, so my head hurt.  I threatened them, "So help me, if you all don't stop your fighting I will take all the sand back into the store and not set up the pool."  They all stopped the fighting, but my 12 year old looked at me like, "Right, Mom.... I am sure you are going to unload all this sand..."  She wisely said nothing.

I drove home and realized that somehow, I was going to have to unload the sand from the van and dump it out into the spot where we wanted the pool, and somehow see that the pool was going to sit level.  The "can do attitude" I had when I first thought about doing this had somewhat dissipated. But, the kids were all excited now and I could not disappoint them.  I turned the van off and hauled myself out.

Somehow or another, I managed to unload 3 bags of sand and emptied them onto the area of the yard that needed to be level.  That brought me to my next dilemma, how was I to know if it was level?  I smoothed out the sand and stood back to eyeball my work.  Looked fine to me!  Time to put down the tarp.

The tarp is a square.  I have 4 kids.  One kid for each corner.  We stretched it out, each kid stood on their corner to hold it down and I went to wrestle the pool out of the storage bin and dragged it over to the middle of the tarp.  Then I unfolded it.  I would be embarrassed to admit how many times I spoke with annoyance and irritation through gritted teeth at my kids, who where having trouble standing still on their respective corner... So, I won't admit to anything.... I certainly don't admit that I threatened, no less than 50 times, to sell the pool on craigslist, scoop up all the sand and take it back to the store, and not have a pool this year. *whistles*

After a half hour, I had the pool unfolded and stretched out.  The children all but disappeared. We (me, myself, and I) poured bleach into the pool and scrubbed it really well.  Every now and then a child would come and half-heartedly swipe at the dirty spots with a scrub brush.  Then I started the water and began to fill the pool.

My actual pool in my actual back yard with my actual water hose and raised beds.
Suddenly, out of no where , four children appeared, in swimsuits and goggles.....

They spend HOURS out there... HOURS... in a lopsided pool... eyeballing to see if it is level?  It doesn't work...

Oh and one more thing.

Always, ALWAYS check to make sure the pool is close enough to the house to plug the pump in.  Or, at the very least, make sure it is far enough away that you don't have to have an extension cord because you missed it by 6 inches.

What do you do to signify the start of summer?

post signature

No comments: