Thursday, 24 July 2008

Note to self # 795...

a) Before you collect your children from a hot morning at summer school and promise them a dip in the paddling pool when they get home - check that you actually have one.

b) When making an unscheduled trip to Homebase to purchase a paddling pool, don't bother to ask customer services for the measurements to make sure it will fit on your tiny terrace. They won't have them. And at least 3 people will try to queue jump whilst you are trying to persuade them to find out, convinced that their need for sprockets, loo seats, and a particularly putrid shade of paint are far more important than that of a mummy dealing with two mildly irritated small children who are desparate for a cooling dip in their own palatial Thomas the Tank Engine pool...

c) Always remember to take a lead or similar for Boy #2, to whom DIY stores are places of great wonder, majesty, and a perfect opportunity to get lost.

d) Do not offer said paddling pool experience the day after taking the children to visit a friend in Leafy Surrey who has her own swimming pool. Even a 4 year old can see the difference (though, thank God, mine was too polite to comment on it).


  1. What is it about B&Q? If ever hubby mentions he's going there, my 5-year-old nearly knocks him over with the speed he tries to get in the car! Is it a man thing or is it all those long, wide aisles?
    And don't even get me started on paddling pools. I had three last summer - every one of them broken. I've told them that if the sun ever comes out this year they will have to settle for a large bucket

  2. I get exactly the same reaction about DIY stores. I love Home Depot and when I get near lumber I positively tremble and get weak in the knees.

    I've no clue why really - but I'm sure The Man wishes he had a lead for me every time we get into one of those places.

  3. Yes, we promised a paddling pool day recently only to find that last year's model contained a large hole.

    Mind you, think I have put Littleboy 1 off paddling by suggesting he paddled in an ice cold Norwegian river. It really freaked him out and now he won't go near water....

  4. I was very disappointed when I found out that you couldn't travel far in a paddling pool. When you lied down in it, that was it, that's as far as you went. And all the other kids peed in it, you could tell by the look on their faces. Well, at least you couldn't drown in it and give your mother a heart attack.

  5. Shirl informed us she'd bounght the girls a paddling pool when we visited her one summer. She and the geezer (wotcha!) spent almost an hour outside blowing it up and filling it with water, then blowing it up and filling it with water.
    Now, I had just two children then, but even they couldn't fit into the 'paddling pool'.
    It was a miniature dinghy with a puncture...I kid you not.

  6. I'm glad it isn't just me who is surrounded by neighbours with all the mod cons...we haven't even got around to buying the requisite trampoline yet...a paddling pool (as yet without punctures) we do have. Height of luxury. Oh yes.

  7. Do many people in Britain have swimming pools? When we lived there only the very, very rich had in Canada they are a pretty common thing, though we don't have one...

    Gill from Canada

    by the way diy stores is a man's thing in my experience!!!

  8. While not wanting to sound boastful, we have two swimming pools here in France. They are absolute and complete pains in the bum and I dream of filling them in - or at least having a team of barechested, taut stomached young men do it for me. Swap you your paddling pool any day! VLiF

  9. i like your offer of a paddle without the pool! that's the sort of coordinated organisation i can sympathise with. on balance, my vote now goes for the bucket solution - partly from the fact that once up, the paddle pool never came down till October, by which time the water was green and the lawn was dead.

  10. Tara, I just don't know what it is about DIY stores - maybe some kind of dog whistle type thing that only men and devoted home improvers can hear, who knows?

    Is that true, Aims?

    VG, oh, you're good...

    Irene, it depends on the pool, of course. I have one girlfriend who insists on calling theirs 'the ool' because there's no 'p' in pool...

    Frog, does Shirl ever get nominated for prizes for this type of behaviour?

    HT - no trampoline? Gasp? How can you hold your head up in a neighbourhood with gardens big enough to have one? (Do I sound jealous? I am...)

    Gill, thanks for the visit, and I think pools are still the preserve of the fairly wealthy or the extremely hardy. Unfortunately, I'm neither...

    VLiF, thanks for the comment and I'm sorry but I can't muster up a huge amount of sympathy - though of course if you do ever get round to hiring the team of bare-chested young men, let me know and I'll pop over for a cuppa...

    Grit, a bucket! Why didn't I think of that? Of course, now our paddling pool is up, they only want to use of for 10 minutes before they get out.


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