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.