Monday, July 14, 2008

Men vs. Women

The Chalupka girls were in a bit of a quandary today. After a busy afternoon of shopping for birthday gifts for some cousins, clothes for back to school, and a few groceries for tonight's dinner (enchiladas), Maria was practically bursting at the seams to get into "the little pool." This is how she refers to our 8' x 3' wading pool complete with an inflatable rim and an actual pump system. You know the type. You probably own one. These blue orbs have surfaced all over suburbia like a mutant strain of crabgrass heralding "we are a family with small children who can't afford a real pool."

While Maria was busy getting ready to take the plunge, Caroline was wading in the pool inspecting the debris that had settled to the bottom. The leaves and sticks, while an eyesore, were not enough to curb her enthusiasm for swimming. The large spiders sprawled out on the bottom, looking very much alive and menacing to our arachniphobic eyes, were a bit more problematic. Before Maria could dip even a single toe into the pool, Caroline was out and dried off, declaring that the pool was unsafe until the spiders could be properly disposed of. I'm quite sure that if she'd had access to a roll of yellow crime scene tape, she would have officially quarantined off the entire pool area. I couldn't disagree with her. This was, of course, more than even the most easy going of six-year-olds could handle and Maria promptly burst into tears.

In my younger and more rigid days of mothering, I probably would have told her to just suck it up. Life's rough, kid. Time and experience, however, have taught me that it's o.k. to be sensitive to a child's disappointments. This doesn't make you less of a disciplinarian. It just makes you a little more human. So we filled the tub with cool water and in she went swimming, bathing suit and all. She didn't play for long, but it was enough.

All that remained was to devise a plan to remove our uninvited pool guests. This off course had to be a strictly hands-off method which did not require me to actually get into the pool or spend an extended amount of time the middle of summer. No ideas were forthcoming. Out of desperation, I asked Don a question that I'm now embarrassed to repeat. But, I'll tell you anyway. I asked him if we could use the shop vac to vacuum the bottom of the pool. It is, after all, a wet/dry vac. I'm sure it took every bit of restraint in his weary body not to say something to the effect of "are you an idiot?" But he didn't. He just shook his head and said no. Then he left the room.

Meanwhile, Alex had caught wind of the continuing spiders in the pool crisis. And, seeing as he has a soft spot for crying little sisters, he quietly slipped outside. He returned several minutes later and, in true Alex fashion, matter-of-factly informed me that the spiders were gone. Amazed and in awe, I inquired how he had performed this feat of wonder. He stared at me dumfounded, coincidently the very same look his dad had given me only moments earlier, and stated "uh, with a stick and my hands." Continuing my dimwitted line of questioning, I then asked him if the spiders were still alive. He just shook his head and said no. Then he left the room.

There you have it friends. Just one of the many examples demonstrating the difference between men and women.

Simply stated: I think using the pool cover is a good idea from here on out.


Benjamin said...

I think I'm in the "suck it up" category of handling things. By the way, the white on pink is a little hard on the eyes. But maybe I'm just getting old. =P

Emily Bertholic said...

Ha Ha! I'm not big on the spiders, either. But at least it wasn't a drowned rat like I used to occassionally find in the pool vacuum we had in our pool growing up. Eww! And did anyone tell you that last week the Offermans found a very long black snake coiled up in their air conditioner unit? EWW!