Paddling Pool Panic
The four-year-old leaps onto our bed at 6am fully dressed in shorts, T-shirt, flip-flops and sunglasses.
“Can we get the paddling pool out today?” he shrieks.
My husband and I let out a simultaneous groan.
The kids won’t let it go and finally my husband drags himself off to the shed accompanied by three excited squealing children.
The Baby squeals too because everyone else is and commando crawls after them at an impressive rate.
My husband disappears amongst old deckchairs covered in cobwebs and numerous unused garden tools.
Eventually he drags out a great mound of PVC and shakes the spiders out onto the grass, much to the children’s delight. A quick squirt with the hose and it looks as good as new.
As if prompted by the sight of a paddling pool, the sun comes out and it gradually gets hotter. With the pump nozzle pressed firmly against the PVC my husband begins the gruelling task of pumping accompanied by a gaggle of children desperately eager to lend a hand.
Ten minutes later and the pool lies deflated in a heap on the grass. My husband’s brow is dripping but he picks up his pumping pace furiously and shouts, “COME ON!” I head in the direction of the kitchen muttering something about cold drinks under my breath.
An almighty roar erupts behind me.
My husband hurls the paddling pool and pump across the hedge into the field and marches off leaving four stunned children behind him.
After a cool drink and a cold shower he reappears. He climbs over the hedge and hauls the paddling pool back into the garden. I carefully read out the instruction leaflet. Gradually the sides inflate and the yellow sunshine smiley face pops up to greet us, or rather congratulate us.
Once full with cold water from the garden hose (all part of the overall experience) the children tear off their clothes and begin to frolic.
Five minutes later the sun goes in and the children wander inside to watch television leaving a trail of wet grass behind them.
Meanwhile, in true British summer fashion, the heaven’s open and the paddling pool sits deserted on the lawn with only a water-loving Black Labrador to keep it company.