This is What Summer is All About

Real Mom of O'Fallon makes the best of a bad situation.

One of the best parts of summer is swimming.  On a hot, humid St. Louis summer day, there is nothing better than jumping in pool to cool off and have fun. 

As a kid, I would spend hours at the pool.  I’d play Marco Polo, dive for quarters spend hours just floating on a raft.  Even as an adult, I still enjoy going to the pool every chance I get.  Especially since most pools offer attractions such as a lazy river and waterslides, going to the pool is even more fun than I remember as a kid. 

When I take my boys to the pool, we get there as soon as it opens and stay until dinner time.  We usually go to the pool at least twice a week all summer long.   To say that it is our favorite summer activity would be an understatement!  Well, as I write this, I am very sad to report that we haven’t been able to go to the pool in almost a month. 

We took a quick trip to Texas earlier this month and stayed with family that has a pool.  We were all in heaven!  We swam morning, noon and night.  It was so much fun!  Unfortunately, all of that fun came with a downside.  Along with a suitcase full of dirty clothes, we brought home with us Swimmer’s Ear.  Within a day of returning home, both of my boys had the nasty and extremely painful ear infection. 

I myself have never had Swimmer’s Ear, but judging from the way my boys were acting I have a feeling it is very painful.  Our treatment of the nasty infection included antibiotic ear drops and absolutely no swimming for seven days.  It was like a death sentence for the boys.  No pool!  What were we going to do?

After a couple of days of ear drops, the boys were feeling better and we all needed to get out of the house.  All they wanted to do was go to the pool, but that was out of the question.  They were sad and in need of major cheering up.  So, I planned a “surprise day” for them.  I wouldn’t tell them what we were doing, but just told them to get in the car. 

After reading Patti Barrata’s  article on O'Fallon Patch, I decided to take them strawberry picking at .  It ended up being so much fun, although a bit hot.  After we picked 12 pounds of berries, we headed over to the to cool off in the air conditioning and joined the  

One of the perks of the program is free bowling.  Brunswick Lanes XL is offering one free game of bowling each day of the summer for participants of the reading program.  Little did I know at the time that the free bowling was going to come in handy later this month! 

Our last stop of the surprise day was .  Since the Cardinals scored six runs the day before, all 20 ounce drinks were only $.25.  The $.25 slushies were another huge hit with the boys.  I am amazed at how spending only $.50 could put such big smiles on two very sad little boys.   The frowns were gone and so was the sadness over not being able to swim.   My youngest son Andrew said it best, “This is what summer is all about!” 

I wish the column could end on a completely positive note, but alas, that would be too easy!  After another trip to the doctor, the Swimmer’s Ear is still not gone.  We were sentenced to another 10 days of no swimming.  Hopefully the second time is a charm and we are able to return to the pool next week.  In the meantime, we are going to be doing a lot of bowling and drinking a lot of slushies!

Patti Baratta June 25, 2011 at 01:21 PM
Love it! When my kids were younger, we used to do the pool several times a week. I remember a couple summers when the weather did not cooperate with us like I hoped and our pool use was curtailed. One of our favorite things to do was go to the library and pick out some books. We would come home and spend hours on the couch snuggled up with me reading chapter after chapter to them. That lasted until a couple of years ago as my kids became teens.
Patti Baratta June 25, 2011 at 01:28 PM
Swimmer's Ear: As with any "medical advice," check with your pediatrician, but here it what mine recommended years ago... When my kids were little we dropped a bit of rubbing alcohol (I saturated a tissue, then squeezed it but a dropper works well) into each ear, ensuring it hits the canal. Have them tip their head back over to the side to "drain" and and the pool water will evaporate (or drain out) with the alcohol. Plus the alcohol will kill any nasty germs lurking in there. No swimmers ear. No earache. No "I think there is water stuck in my ear."
Trish Feldt June 25, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Thanks Patti! We too were told by the doctor to do the alcohol trick after swimming, we just need to get the initial infection cleared up first! We go for a recheck Monday to see if we have the green light to swim. Crossing our fingers...


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