Friday, June 13, 2008

In Quest of The Kiddie Pool

Today I decided to get Garrett a decent kiddie pool. He had one that my mom supplied last summer but it's seems to have gotten so small. I think it has something to do with the fact that my son has gotten so big. It was a blow up pool and it worked great last summer. This summer I decided we needed something slightly more permanent, something I didn't need to blow up every time I wanted to put Garrett in it.

I drove to the WalMart by my house (five minutes away) and I found the hard plastic kind that I was looking for. However, for ten extra dollars I could get one with a slide. I figured this would be ten dollars well spent. They were out of the one with the slide. I asked if they could check to see if the other WalMart by my house (ten minutes away) or the other WalMart by my house (twelve minutes away) had them in stock. The girl who was helping me couldn't find the item number so she told me to go to Customer Service and ask them to call over to the other locations. I did so but not before Garrett had a near death--or at least near major injury--experience.*

Me: Hi, you are out of the hard plastic kiddie pools with the slide and the person who was helping me told me to ask you to call the one at Jordan Landing to see if they have them in stock.

Customer Service Girl: I can't do that unless you have the item number.

Me: She couldn't find it.

Customer Service Girl: Then I can't help you. I'm sorry.

Me: You can't call them and ask?

Customer Service Girl: No. I'm sorry.

Me: So I have to drive over there to check and see if they have them?

Customer Service Girl: Yes. Sorry.

This is the point that I turn and walk away completely floored and knowing full well that if I can pick up the phone and call them, she can pick up the phone and call them. In the car I called my husband and had him look up the numbers for the other locations. I stopped at Target to see if they had them. Nope. They had decided not to carry the hard pools this season. I stopped at the house and got bungee cords. This is very important and will play an exciting role as the drama unfolds. I was on hold with the WalMart at Jordan Landing for over ten minutes before the guy helping me came back on the line and said, "We have one in stock. It does have a big hole in it though." At this point there is a long pause as he, apparently, waits to see if I still want it. What I said aloud was, "Um. Well okay. I, uh, don't want it then." What I thought was I don't want it for its decorative value you pinhead. I want it for my kid to swim in. I'm pretty sure a big hole kind of defeats the purpose. I mean, I don't know, I only swam competitively for ten years of my life so I'm not really the expert on the whole concept of a pool but I have a sneaking suspicion it needs to have the capacity to hold water.

So I turned my car in the direction of the other WalMart and called them. Again with the on hold thing. Oh and also a guy tried to cut me off and, when he wasn't successful, he laid on his horn and flapped his hands in my direction. There may have been a middle finger. I'm not sure. I know that my blood was already on boil mode and it was just about all I could do to keep my own fingers in check. But then, in the Pastor's Wife Handbook, rule number one is Thou Shalt Not Flip People Off. So I didn't. Finally I got ahold of the other WalMart and they had them in pink, blue, and yellow. Trouble was I wasn't sure where this WalMart is. I called Troy and had him Mapquest it. Mapquest wouldn't work. So I drove to the one I thought it might be. It wasn't. They did, however, have two blue kiddie pools with a slide in stock. They were outside in the garden section covered in bird poop, dirt and feathers but they had them. Here is where the real fun begins.

I kid you not, this pool is about five feet across and, given the fact that it's mostly a circle (the slide makes its dimensions weird) it is pretty darn big. And I had a cart. And a kid. I should have left it there and gone back with Troy but I was so over trying to find my son this stupid pool that it was going home with me if it was the last thing I ever did. By the time I got out to the parking lot Garrett was crying because I had put the pool on top of him in the cart (he was sitting in the back part and it was over him like a fort) and it, apparently, scared the bejeepers out of him. Thankfully a very nice woman offered to watch the pool while I found the car (it was lost) and put Garrett in it. I drove the car back to the pool and began the task of bungee cording it to the roof. It must have been quite laughable, me on the back of the car, trying my best to look like I knew what I was doing. I finally got it affixed to my roof and I started driving through the parking lot. I rolled down my window, reached my hand out and pulled on the side of the pool. It seemed alright. I started driving faster. I heard thumping. I reached my arm out and I could no longer feel the pool. Uh oh.

I had put the pool bottom side up. Wind was passing underneath. What we had here was a sort of kiddie pool airplane, hovering just above the car. Luckily the bungee cords were keeping said aircraft from taking off on its own flight pattern. I pulled over and grabbed ahold of it with my left hand. Thanks to those ten years of competitive swimming and two years of toting around a child, my biceps are in working order. I held it firm the rest of the way home, if I went over 25 mph the pool caught air and ripped out of my hand. If I stayed below 25 I felt relatively sure that it wouldn't blow off the roof causing a major wreck. I prayed. A lot.

After Garrett went down for a nap I spent about an hour building it (it has a railing next to the slide) and cleaning it out. Then I filled it with water and it was ready for Garrett. Beck has this basic working knowledge of what belongs to Garrett and he usually doesn't bug Garrett's stuff. (There was that one time with the crocodile but generally speaking he's pretty decent.) He looked it over and then plopped down next to it. However, Holly, the Labrador retriever we are dogsitting for a few days, did not quite understand the order of things and she took to the pool like a moth to a flame. So, within moments the pool was swimming with dog hair and dirt. I didn't have the heart to tell her to get out, she was just too darn adorable.

Later, Garrett got to get in his new pool--dirty as it was. I don't think he minded the dog hair. You can decide for yourselves.
I mean, I think he looks pretty happy. Ignore the cloudy dog water.

*As I was surveying bathing suits with built in life jackets, I turned my back on my son who was in the back of the cart. I know, I know, shame on me for putting him there. As I turned back to ask him a question I saw him reaching for a toy on the other side of the aisle. He had already pitched completely over the side and was plummeting head first for the concrete floor. I dove into the side of the cart and grabbed the heel of his right foot, catching him just before he slammed into the ground. He started sobbing and I literally held him so tight and kind of scolded him and told him how much it scared me.


  1. THERE'S A HANDBOOK!? Nobody told me, nobody gave me a copy! oh my gosh, I can only fathom the many , MANY things I did wrong while I was a pastor's wife!

    oh man

  2. josh always puts tristan in the back of the cart and i never ever do. now i have a real life horror story to tell him if he tries it again. those pictures are priceless.

  3. Gotta love Walmart customer "service". Garrett looks SO happy in his new pool :)

  4. Holding the pool with one hand while driving reminds me of the time I tried to fit a way too big dog house into the back of the Honda Civic. Didn't really work.

    Next time I see you, I want to read the 'Pastor's Wife Handbook.'

  5. This is one of the funniest things I've ever read.

  6. I was googling kiddie pools because I wanted to see what was out there as I hate the current pool we have, and I stumbled upon your blog post. Thanks for the laugh! I once had the same airplane effect when I attempted to strap a screen door on the roof of my Subaru!

  7. I have to tell you, I stumbled on to this post googling kiddie pool. Before this post I was bound determined to stop and get a pool for my son and not wait on my husband for I'm totally waiting! Hilarious post, and I know I'm two years too late, but those pics are adorable!

  8. Hi! I saw the walmart pool slides outside Walmart yesterday and am debating getting one, but here in Olympia, WA we don't have a ton of sunny days and I need one that drains easy. Does this have a drain plug or do you have to lift the whole pool to drain it? I know this post is old.... but I'm sure the pool is pretty much the same. Thanks for your post... it was hilarious and relate-able! Dawn

  9. Yes. It has a drain. It can be a little difficult to pop the plug out but it does come with one. Thanks for reading!