Monday, July 12, 2010

Making a Splash

I totally get the need for adult-only swim times at public pools, and for separate adult and kiddy pools at private clubs. Adults generally go to a pool to relax, unplug, and cool down--and maybe get a little exercise. (Some of us also like to read.) Kids show up at a pool for a big, fat recess prepared to splash and scream and, alas, annoy the hell out of adults like me who go to the pool to relax, unplug and cool down.

Adults require an area equivalent to their circumferences. They can stand at the edge or the center of the pool and barely move and still accomplish their goals for being there. Children, on the other hand, have constantly changing area requirements. They need the space between themselves and their playmates, which is also the path of the trajectory of their pool projectiles. They are constantly moving and splashing and unaware of needing to share the pool with others.

Yet, despite these differences in space requirements, there is usually enough pool to accommodate both adults and children. And it could even be a pleasant experience for both groups of pool users if the adults in the pool were the ones with the children. Unfortunately, mostly, the adults in the pool are the ones without children, and the parents of the children who are splashing and screaming are usually outside the pool, on the deck (trying to get their quiet time by staying out of the water—go figure) shouting empty threats at their ill-behaved children.

Now it’s not the splashing and screaming that is bad behavior, per se. It is a pool after all. Rather, it’s the lack of regard for other people with whom they need to share the pool. And mostly, the parents are to blame.

“Watch it! Be careful. Don’t splash the nice lady.” [splash] “I said be careful. Don’t splash the nice lady.” [splash][…] “If you don’t stop splashing I will take you out and take you home.”[splash]”I said, stop splashing!”

“What did I say about screaming?” [screech][scream] “I told you to stop screaming. If I have to tell you one more time!” [scream][scream] [scream]. “Okay, I am serious! Stop screaming or we are going home!” [scream]”One more time and you will get a time out!” [scream]

Exactly.

Good luck to these parents when their kids get to high school. Moreover, good luck to my colleagues who will have these kids in high school, and who may be trying to relax by a pool after a long year of teaching them…

1 comment:

Tam said...

Amen...from a parent who is in the pool with her kids and feels the same way about all the other parents whose children I end up monitoring.

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