How to take a toddler to the pool in just a few, easy steps

How to take a toddler to the pool in just a few, easy steps

1. Tell toddler you will be going to the pool if they finish their lunch.

2. Immediately regret this decision as the toddler now spends the rest of lunch time saying, “Pool? We go pool? Pool now?”

3. Repeat the phrase “After you eat” so many times you’re thinking it would look nice as a tattoo.

4. Threaten toddler with no pool ever again if they do not finish EVERY BITE OF THAT TOAST.

5. Remove toddler from high chair. Throw the toast they didn’t eat in the garbage can. Realize you no longer have principles or resolve.

6. Look for sunscreen. It should be on the shelf. It’s not on the shelf. Maybe it’s in the bathroom. It’s not in the bathroom. Maybe under the couch. Not under the couch.

7. Oh, look – the toddler has it.

8. Try to rub suncreen all over toddler. Mutter things under your breath like, “We are NOT doing this again until Daddy is home to help.”

9. Realize toddler is now covered in fuzz, hair, and crumbs from rolling around on the carpet after being slathered in sunscreen. Decide not to care. The pool is basically like a bath, right?

10. Pick out a swimsuit for the toddler.

11. Pick a different one.

12. Pick a different one.

13. Pick a different one.

14. Put chosen suit on toddler.

15. Repeat step 14 for the next 12 minutes. Wonder how this suit got so impossibly hard to put on since the last time the toddler wore it.

16. Realize the suit is from last year. Pick a different one.

17. After finally dressing the toddler in his swimsuit, gather all accessories: pool float, pool key, extra hat, extra sunglasses, extra sunscreen, extra vodka, extra goldfish, extra towels.

18. Remember you have another child.

19. Put aside guilt in order to slather and dress the other child.

20. Yell for toddler after you realize he has escaped to parts unknown.

21. Swear to toddler you will put him in his crib for the rest of his life if he does not get out of the kitchen RIGHT NOW.

22. Convince toddler to go out to the car. Think about how much you want a nap as you wrangle the toddler, baby, and 473078402 additional items into your car.

23. Tell yourself you are going to stay at the pool for at least an hour. It’s a beautiful day and you are determined to tire these children out for bedtime.

24. Drive to pool. Contemplate driving into the pool.

25. Unload items.

26. Unbuckle toddler and tell him to stay right there as you unbuckle the baby.

27. Watch toddler ignore you as he heads for the pool gate.

28. Grab the baby and crap-ton of stuff and race toddler to the gate. Feel good about winning but then feel bad that you feel good about winning a foot race with a toddler.

29. Walk toddler to pool steps.

30. Convince toddler that this pool is not an agent of Satan sent to destroy all mankind, but is in fact the same pool that he has been asking to go to for the last hour.

31. Insert toddler into pool float against his will.

32. Insert baby into pool float, also against the toddler’s will.

33. Get into the pool and push the floats around, making high-pitched noises intended to convince the toddler that this is fun.

34. Spend seven minutes in the pool avoiding the glances of others noticing your crying child and his terrible mother who forced him into the pool.

35. Give up.

36. Remove toddler and baby from the pool.

37. Dry everyone off. Change toddler’s clothes. Change baby’s clothes.

38. Wrangle toddler, baby, and pool accessories that have somehow increased back into the car. Buckle everyone in.

39. Listen to toddler cry. Ask what’s wrong.

40. Bang head into steering wheel repeatedly upon hearing the answer, “I want pool!!!!”

Repeat as needed.

See? It’s easy.

“I can’t believe you forgot about me. Again.”
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The Best Policy

The Best Policy

As I have mentioned probably 470328320 times, I am on Facebook a lot. A. Lot. I love Facebook. I sing love songs to it and whisper sweet nothings in its ear.

No, no, the last two aren’t true.

When you get down to it, Facebook is basically a way to announce to the world what you want them to know about you in that moment. It might be what you’re doing for the weekend, what your kids are crying about, or, inexplicably, pictures of your dinner. It allows you to post your thoughts and opinions on literally everything. That can get tedious but I think we can all agree that it is an effective form of communication, if not always the most personal.

Of course, this also means that you are going to see posts that you disagree with. Sometimes just a little, sometimes vehemently. That’s right. I said vehemently. And when that happens, you have two choices: make a comment or move on.

A few years ago, if I saw something I didn’t like. I always commented. Always. I have been told that I can be a little too quick to react without thinking to a lot of situations, (hard to believe, right?? RIGHT????) so my comments were not always the most polite. I would get involved in debates that lasted all day, sometimes not even totally sure why I was debating but confident in my right-ness about the situation. Is “right-ness” a word? Spell-check didn’t flag it. But it also didn’t flag “spell-check.” Hmm. Is my spell-check even on? What is it doing, watching TV? Get it together, spell-check.

So what was I saying? Oh, right – the right-ness. I would get angry and I would argue and argue until Daniel either took away my computer or one of my fingers went numb. Darn carpal tunnel. It wasn’t pretty.

After a while, I realized that I probably wasn’t helping anyone by shouting my thoughts as loud as I could. I certainly wasn’t showing people the love of Christ. So I decided to stop getting involved with arguments and debates on Facebook. It just wasn’t worth it.

And at first, that went really well. It was freeing to just scroll past controversial posts without feeling like I had to say something. I didn’t need to yell at people or tell them why they were wrong. I could just let them be.

But it didn’t take long for that to feel wrong, too. Not because I missed the angry debates or wanted to stir the pot, but because it seemed like the coward’s way out. I had gone from sharing everything to sharing nothing. No opinions, no disagreements, no nothin’. I was able to be everyone’s friend because no one knew what I really thought. It seemed like a wonderful idea, but it just didn’t feel right.

See, I got it wrong both times. I didn’t need to get angry and shout. I didn’t need to pretend like I had no opinions. I just needed to be honest.

We live in a time where people are afraid to be honest, I think. I know I am. I put too much stock in what others think of me. I care too much if my friends agree with the choices I make. It’s not something I recommend but I also think every person in the world experiences that in some form or fashion. The need to be accepted is deeply ingrained in each of us. And in order to gain and then keep that acceptance, we change ourselves. We see something we know is wrong and we keep scrolling. We see a friend hurting and we don’t reach out. We see a post that we know is harmless but we decide to lash out at the person anyway. All in the name of not rocking the boat or showing others how knowledgeable we are.

But – pardon the language, Mom – that’s crap. It is. Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what my friends think of me. I don’t serve my friends. I don’t serve Facebook. I serve my Heavenly Father and no one else. That’s it.

God does not call us to be liked. He does not call us to be popular. He does not call us to have 3279 Facebook friends. He calls us to follow Him in everything that we do. And if we agree to do that, we also understand that there will be days where our opinion is unpopular. But whether God’s Word is popular has never been the reason to share it. We share it because it is God’s Word.

So I have decided that honesty is the best policy. I don’t need to shout. I don’t need to hide. I don’t have to be profound or funny or likable. I just need to tell the truth, God’s truth.

I’m not saying to get involved in every post you see on Facebook. I’m not saying to stop voicing your opinions. I just want us to think about why we are giving our opinions. Is it because you want to tell the truth, or because you want to win? Are you ignoring an issue because you know that your opinion is well-known, or because you don’t want to upset anyone? Ask yourself why you are saying what you are saying, and I think you’ll have a clear answer on what to do next.

Honesty can extend to our real lives, too. I know, I know; I am speaking of life outside of Facebook. Tell your friends. But being honest is important in all situations. There are some gray areas – for instance, you probably don’t need to tell your friend that her new hair cut is so bad you want to watch a Britney Spears music video just to get the image of her new bangs out of your head. But if your friend has broccoli in her teeth before church, help a sister out. And ask why she has broccoli for breakfast because that’s a little unusual.

More importantly, if a friend comes to you for counsel, be a friend. Be honest with them. Show them love and understanding, but above all, tell them the truth. Don’t do them the disservice of skirting around your opinions or berating them for their choices. If someone asks you what you think about an issue, tell them. You don’t have to put them down or be afraid to voice your thoughts. Just be honest. Just tell the truth. And if someone is honest with you, do them the courtesy of not taking it out on them. Know that your friends and family love you, and that sometimes telling you the truth is the best thing they have ever done for you, and the hardest thing they have ever done for you. Be honest with yourself when you are struggling over the next step to take. Be honest with yourself when you know that what you are doing isn’t right, and be honest with yourself when you have to make a hard choice that makes you unpopular.

I am a Christian. I know some people don’t like Christians. I know some people do. It doesn’t matter. It’s just the truth. I believe what the Bible says. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe that God is holy and that His Word is holy. And I know that we live in confusing times where we wrestle with ourselves over what to think about so many things. We know what God says, but we worry about what our friends think, what our family thinks. But we don’t need to. We don’t need to have an internal battle with ourselves. We don’t need to yell. We don’t need to be silent. We just need to tell the truth.

Be kind to one another. Show compassion for your fellow man. And remember that honesty is still the best policy. It can be hard and it can be lonely. But we can rest in the promise of God’s truth and know that in a world where everything is constantly changing, God’s truth never does.