Today I had another involuntary day off with Claire. Grace needed today and last Friday off for family reasons. Kit took Friday off and went to the zoo and did errands with Claire. Today was my turn. The day started off with a good sign. Claire’s first words this morning when I got her out of her crib were “Wow! Awesome!” Sadly, the day would not live up to those bold expectations.
The first task of the day was to go to Target to return some lake supplies that we did not end up needing at the lake this weekend. As we pulled into the parking lot, just as Claire said “Target!”, I realized I had the unused toddler life preserver with me, but not the unused sunglasses. I would come back another time when I had everything I needed to return.
Returning home, I began the hour-long process of getting ready to go to the pool. This process involves dressing Claire in her bathing suit and water shoes, dressing myself in my bathing suit and water shoes while keeping an eye on Claire, applying sunscreen to both of us, collecting together all the necessary water supplies such as towels, cups to play with, a kickboard, change of clothes, snacks and drinks, shutting the bedroom door so Muffin does not pee on our bed, and finally getting out the door and into the car. Damn, I forgot my cell phone. And Claire’s hat. Back in the car.
We finally made it to the Garden Hills Pool, at 10:45, just 15 minutes after opening time. Claire enthusiastically said, “Pool!” as we drove up. We parked and walked up to the pool…And nobody was around. Literally nobody. The pool was closed. No hours were posted, it was just closed. I had to explain this to Claire, saying “Sorry, no people. Closed.” Claire calmly repeated back “no people” as I loaded her back in the car. She cried a bit when she realized we really we not going to the pool any more, but she calmed down pretty quickly.
Determined to swim now that we were both all greased up ready to go, I went to plan B. I was not going to spend my day off not swimming! Chastain Park was not too far away, and I knew it had a public pool. So we drove up Peachtree and Roswell roads to the other pool, Claire glumly but calmly repeating, “Closed. No people.” We parked, unloaded, and walked up to the pool…The closed pool. Claire offered, “Sorry, no people.” The pool was closed until 4:00 in the afternoon. These beautiful pools are wasted just sitting there on such a hot, sunny day!
Plan C is to find a playground to get Claire’s mind off of today’s fiasco so far. After all, this was a park, and I hoped to avoid getting back in the car, which I would have considered a mortal failure at this point. The nice fellow at the nearby tennis center told us that there is a playground a little way down the road. So Claire and I walked a few blocks down Wieuca Road in 98 degree heat in our swimsuits and water shoes to the goddamn playground. We stopped along the way to sip on the Poweraid (“juice”, as Claire calls it) that I had bought at the tennis center, and to enjoy the views of the golf course and baseball fields. Most of the goddamn playground was roasting in the near-noon sun, and the swings and slides were too hot to use, especially in a tiny nylon bathing suit. Claire did manage to have some fun, though, generally running and climbing around and just looking at the other, mostly older, kids. I was personally somewhat out of place among the Buckhead nanny set, but it was fun to hang out for a while. We cooled off over lunch at Moe’s with a “kadeeya” and finally headed home to listen to music, dance, read, nap, and take it easy.
Even though today did not live up to the “Wow! Awesome!” expectations, it was still a fine day, and I even learned a few things along the way.
- Atlanta’s pools are not open on Mondays…or something.
- Chastain Park offers some nice views of the Buckhead skyline across the golf course.
- Poweraid is a fine, refreshing beverage, even when quite tepid.
- Some nannies seem impatient or bored with the kids they are watching.
- Any day with Claire can be fun even if it is totally screwed up.