Saturday, July 19, 2008

poop and pools

What is it about poop in pools and children?  I'm not talking about tossing a Babe Ruth in the pool to watch everyone scatter.  That's for older kids to do.  I'm talking about little ones in diapers (or not in diapers) who can't  take the time to get out of the pool and go do their business.
But what if they're potty trained?  Maybe it makes a difference, but I just don't know.  Apparently, our son likes to poop under water.  I'm sure this will make potty training difficult in his case, unless I actually let him sit IN the toilet instead of ON the toilet.  Hmmmm.... food for thought....
I should have been clued in last summer when at Mawmaw and Pawpaw's house, the kids were playing in a kiddie pool and on a slip-and-slide.  Being the ever-prepared parent that I am, it never occurred to me to pack swim clothes to go to visit for the weekend.  They don't have a pool, or a neighborhood pool, nor are they at the beach, so why would  they need swimwear?  I forgot that they do have running water and a yard - and that's all children need for playing in the summer.  So when Little Man's regular diaper practically soaked up the little plastic pool, we decided to take it off.   Then he proceeded to poop in said pool (after we added more water, of course).  
Isn't that such a cute picture?  He's gonna hate me on prom night and at rehearsal dinner, but I digress....  Had he been our first child, intense cleaning and scrubbing with all kinds of child-safe cleaners (like that Arm n' Hammer magic sponge!) would ensue and the back yard and kiddie pool would have been quarantined for a week.  However, being much more laid back with the second child, we just hosed him off, dumped out and flipped over the pool and sent everyone to the slip-n-slide.
I thought that was it.  I thought wrong.
This summer, every time - and I do mean EVERY time - we have gone to the pool, and once out on the lake with a friend - There has been poop involved and it's usually Little Man (thankfully, the boat incident was his buddy WB, I was beginning to think it was just my kid).  And I don't mean that nice solid poop that's easily cleaned up.  I mean that not-so-solid, running down the leg, takes an entire box of wipes to even start, kind of poop.  And since we're at a pool, with other people using the pool, we must be considerate and break out the child-safe cleaners.  A hose simply won't do.
The first incident this summer happened at a neighborhood pool with friends who supplied me with many wipes.  At least there was a changing table, but I made Little Man stand on it while I attempted to clean him up.   Truly it was disgusting.  For those of you who aren't parents yet, just wait.  You'd be surprised at what you'll do for your children.  After I wiped him down, I stood him in the tiniest sink known to man to try and wash him.  Unlike the YMCA pool where something similar happened last summer (again!  poop in pools - I'm sensing a pattern here), this pool didn't have a locker room where I could hold him under a shower.  Just a tiny bathroom, without ventilation, and a tiny sink mounted to the wall, without a counter.
He did the same thing at the same pool the second time we went.  This time, I was a little more prepared - I brought wipes with me.  Thankfully, it wasn't quite as messy.
He did the same thing yesterday at a different pool (beautiful pool, by the way, I want this one in my back yard).  Only here's the thing.  I caught him making that "stance" so I knew he had to go.  Since we're working on potty training, I thought this was a perfect chance to get him to poop in the toilet.  So we go to the bathroom.   I explain (to a two year-old) that we can't poop in the pool.  I'm sure he understood.  We go and he sits on the toilet and he does nothing.  What is it about pooping in the toilet that freaks kids out?  I'm sure there are people who can't go a day without pooping and it feels great when they do (did I really just type that?).  I explain again that he needs to poop in the toilet, not the pool.  I think he understood.  He said he was done, so I put his only swim diaper back on (usually I bring two because of our history of soiling at least one at the pool) and we head back to swim.
He didn't understand.  
A few minutes later, as he walks by, I smell it.  Off we go, back to the bathroom, this time for cleaning.  There's no changing table, so I do all the clean-up I can with him standing on the floor.  Didn't have wipes (you'd think I'd learn) so I used what I could find.  He wasn't happy that I told him no more swimming because he pooped in the pool (and because I didn't have another swim diaper) so we put a regular diaper on and headed out.  He looked great walking around in a diaper and his sandals.  What a look for my little man.  
I don't think we'll be invited to any more pools this summer, without at least asking if he's had his poop for the day.  We should stick to back yards where I can just hose him off and be done with it....

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