Pool poos a step too far, even for a parent
Being a parent is gross.
But it’s not normally until I am around non-parents or people who have been out of the little kid game for a while that I reminded of just how many disgusting things I am involved with on a daily basis.
Summer holidays have also served as a decent reminder of just how truly complacent I have become towards all things unclean.
Half-eaten barbecue food spat out by a kid? No worries, I’ll eat that up.
Oh, you dropped it on the ground too? Not to worry, I’ll just get extra protein from the dirt. Five-second rule, and all that.
The tell-tale pre-spew burp gurgle? You bet I’ll put my hands out to catch that vomit with a reaction time of a half-decent cricket wicketkeeper.
Bit of poo on my hands when your wriggly child decides to practise their wrestling moves mid nappy change? That’s fine, I’ll wash it off later.
My usually squiffy tummy doesn’t so much as flutter now when dealing with various bodily fluids of my kids.
But there’s still something that I have never really felt comfortable with, and sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who ever really thinks about it. Public swimming pools. Maybe it’s because it’s not my children’s bodily fluids that we’re dealing with, but every time I see or think of a children’s swimming pool, all I think of is number ones and twos. Litres of wees pooling together while kids splash around in it, occasionally dodging the ‘code brown’ floater.
The thought of it makes me break out into a cold sweat.
Every time I mention it to others though, the response is always that there are so many chemicals in the pools, ‘neutralises’ the nasties.
That doesn’t make it OK for me. If anything, that grosses me out even further, knowing the full extent of how many chemicals must be required to deal with such high quantities of unwanted ones and twos.
So, it was with no great sur- it prise that this week I read statistics around this exact topic under the brilliant headline of ‘Poo and vomit close Christchurch’s public pools hundreds of times’.
Some clever and slightly grossminded journalist – after my own heart - requested figures from the council that revealed just how many times council-run pools had to be closed due to poo and vomit scenarios. I’ll save you the read and just say this: lots.
I appreciate that the Christchurch City Council is trying to put steps in place to limit these scenarios, which includes asking parents and children to use the toilets before entering the water.
But the cruel reality of it all is that nothing is going to work. Anyone who has had any interactions with a toddler knows that asking them if they want to go to the toilet when you are conveniently standing beside one will almost never result in them using the facilities.
So for now, I have magically avoided taking a dip with the kids while surrounded by other little feral, nappy-clad bums in public pools.
But I know the day will come when I have to put aside the obvious filth of the situation and get in there for the sake of my children’s happiness.
Just don’t expect me to be happy about it. Or put my head
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