After years of the blow up kiddie pools turned mosquito resorts on our back deck, we decided this year to upgrade and buy one of those large above ground jobbers. Not the ginormous, build a deck around and invite the school basketball team for a swim size but large enough that it came with a pump and cover. The Coconuts were over the moon excited about it.
We brought it home on a Sunday and tortured them for 4 more days because, impulsive people that we were, we didn’t have three consecutive hours during a normal week to put the blasted thing up. Additionally, we had to find or create a level spot in our back yard first. Did I mention you could probably get in some good down hill skiing in our back yard? Between the grade and the constant soil erosion from the tsunami that comes through every time it rains, it would take a tractor to get it level. But after days of guilt, sad eyes, and incessant questioning of our parenting skills, my hubby sucked it up, pulled out a dirt rake and began to at least attempt to level an area. After about 30 minutes with said rake, level, and TLAR method (That Looks About Right) he declared it so and announced we were ready for the set up. I suspect it had more to do with the blisters forming on his hands from trying to push around the dirt that was as hard as concrete but whatever! I couldn’t stand any more sad eyes from our children.
After dumping out all the pieces and parts, I felt my resolve start to waiver. Until that is, I looked up on the deck to see all three Coconuts dressed in their swimsuits, complete with goggles and bath toys. I knew retreat was not an option at this point and that they would probably not allow us back into the house unless we got this done. So onward we marched.
My husband opened up the pathetic excuse for directions and read, “plan to have 3 people present for pool assembly.” We knew we were in for it. The directions looked as though they were written by someone with a PHD who was not used to giving instructions to those of us with only normal intelligence. The illustrations came off of a cave wall somewhere, I am sure. Thankfully the hubby has an uncanny ability to look at 5000 pieces and parts and visualize where they are supposed to go. We did, at one point, break out the hammer, although it was not listed as one of the tools necessary for this project.
Things were going along very smoothly considering we were trying to put together something from Wal-Mart with 3 Coconuts repeatedly asking if we were “almost done”. That is until the sun started to go down and we suddenly were swarmed by millions of blood sucking creatures. Ah yes, central Texas in the summer. Hubby ran for the repellant as I uselessly began swatting and flailing body parts. So now covered in sweat, bug spray, and dead mosquitos we had smashed into our skin, we pressed onward. I am certain we looked like something out of a war zone. My eyes stung from sweat and I was filthy. I had smashed a finger, stubbed a toe, had to repent several times over due to the curses to Sam Walton and all of his family members that rose up on my tongue…but we finished it!!! It was standing and looked fairly level and stable. I grabbed the instructions to see what was next.
“Fill bottom with approx. 1 inch of water. Turn off water and smooth out wrinkles in bottom liner.” Said the instructions. Simple right? We were about to find out how uneven our little lagoon was. I jumped into the pool to start the process. I started by trying to smooth out the bottom of the pool with my feet. Quickly realizing that was getting me no where fast I got down on my hands and knees to push out the wrinkles. I soon discovered that what I was doing was the equivalent of bench pressing dead weight while doing squats. Did I mention that I don’t go to the gym? Additionally one side of the pool was becoming deep enough for possibly a good cannon ball while the other was sadly, dry. The bottom of the pool was slippery and several times my hands and knees slipped and I would land face and stomach down in the water. Did I mention I was fully clothed? I’ll admit, I was ready to storm into the house never to return to the backyard again. Looking up on the deck, however, I saw Coconut #1 giving water safety instructions to the younger two. Complete with “What It Looks Like When You Are Drowning” actions. How could I disappoint them?
So we did it! I managed to somehow get the bottom smooth…yes it is slightly unlevel but we tell the kids it has a deep end and a shallow end. Yes it was a battle but we emerged victorious, albeit eaten up by bugs. Was it worth it?? Your darn tooting it was worth it! Every joyful shriek, splash, peal of laughter that comes from the back yard is my repayment. Not to mention every phone call I make in peace now is worth feeling like I’d spent the day before with a personal trainer Nazi. And most of all nothing beats just splashing around with the Coconuts on a hot day as they try to drown each other and me.