Swimming is our go-to activity during the winter months. Often, we will go as a family in the evening but from time to time when the kids are crazy and just need to get out of the house, I will take them alone. Don’t get me wrong – it’s crazy and punishing yourself but there are a few things that you can do to make it a little easier on yourself.
Here are some of the ways I make the before + after easier at the pool with two:
Use Family Change Rooms
Contain the kids in the family change room if available. This way, you’re going to be able to get them both dressed without one of them running away. With the family change room, your biggest worry is going to be the wet floor, or the kids opening the door and screaming that your naked to the passerbys that are just trying to put their shoes on. Should you have a kid that likes to point out things like that, choose the door that’s farthest away from the entry to the change room. Trust me.
I put Olivia and Violet’s bathing suit on them before we leave the house. It’s just easier that way. Usually, I will put mine on too. Just don’t forget to pack a bra because you’re wearing your bathing suit, that gets awkward when you go to the play area afterwards. Again, don’t forget the bra. Then, when you get there, all you have to do is switch out the diaper to a swim diaper (for kids that are still wearing diapers) and throw everything in the locker. Home dressing is the only way to dress.
Skip the Extra Towels
One towel. That’s how many towels I will bring with us swimming. Skip the extra towels, you will thank me when you’re heading out of the pool with a heavy bag and a kid in a car seat. It’s not like you’re all going to be getting dressed at the same time anyway, right?
Attach Bikinis Together
Little bathing suits are so adorable, but it’s easy to lose those tiny pieces. Use the clasp or tie the bikini top through one of the leg holes so you don’t lose it the next time you come.
Invest in a Wet Bag
There are lots of great wet bags for cloth diapers. Find one that’s big enough for the few bathing suits you are bringing with you to avoid getting everything else in your bag wet. Especially if you’re like me and bring an oversized purse or bag that you would prefer not to get all wet, swimming with the kids.
Bring Pajamas, or Easy to put back on Clothes
If it’s going to be after four pm when we leave the pool, it’s fair game for pajamas. Bring pajamas to the pool and dress the kids for bedtime when you’re finished swimming. I always try to bring clothes that the kids can put on themselves, easy things, especially shoes that they can put back on, allowing them to ‘help’.
Get the Boots Ready
The family change room floors are always wet, so as soon as we put on the pajamas, the boots are next. There have been many times when the kids have walked around with wet feet, complained, so they’ve learned to stay put on the bench when they are told and immediately after they’re dressed, the boots go on.
Assembly Line Dress the Kids + Bring Snacks
When it comes time to get the kids dressed, assembly line those little people and get the bathing suits off, towel them off and start handing out clothes. Always accept help from the kind grandmas of the change room that will dress your kids for you. Bring a snack to occupy the one that dresses first, and to get them to sit still while you are trying to get yourself dressed.
Embrace the Workout
Chasing after two fearless water kids is insane. The other night, when Jamie took them swimming alone he called me from the car, defeated, after he buckled them in to their car seats. I’m done, he said, never again. You’re constantly running after one, nagging them to play together instead of running off, making sure one doesn’t run into the deep end and running over to the blue side when they said they would go down the red. Embrace the chaos, the workout, the fun, soon they’re not going to want to hang out with you when you’re at the pool.
Tip: avoid the waves. Oh how I hate the waves. If you go to Millennium place, you can go early and avoid the waves for a bit. Check the schedule or call the pool to find out the details.