Pool Desecration: Why We Can't Take The Big Guy Anywhere #47  

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We have a tough time doing anything together as a family. For example, the Middle Child can’t tolerate a lot of noise yet the Big Guy can’t live and breathe without making a lot of noise. When noise happens, particularly whilst watching TV or eating dinner or just hanging out in the same general area, the Middle Child gets very nasty. Meanwhile, the Big Guy can’t tolerate an excess of emotion of any kind, particularly the brand of nastiness at which the Middle Child excels. Indeed, it is imperative that all of us be inordinately even-keeled and soft spoken in order to prevent the Big Guy from spinning off into one emotional extreme or the other. This makes watching TV or even eating dinner together nigh on impossible. You know that whole thing about eating dinner together as a family every night in order to safeguard the welfare of our children? At our house, it has the opposite effect.

In addition, (as if that weren’t enough) the Big Guy needs a very consistent routine, particularly during the witching hour which at our house starts pretty much around 4 P.M. and continues until we can manage to hog-tie, blindfold and gag the three of them and get ‘em into bed. Needless to say, we don’t go out very often, especially not at night, not even individually. The hog-tying is a two person job and as the Spouse and I are fond of one another, we hate to abandon each other at such a time. However, one hot late-summer day, we received an invitation to attend a pool party later that night at the home of a family from church. I wanted to say no, I should have said no, it was on the tip of my tongue to say no, but this family is part of a large extended family, a pillar of the church kind of family, and I felt that we would somehow become social outcasts if I rejected their invitation. Besides, they had just built a large lovely home with an indoor pool and I confess I wanted to see how the other half live.

So we went.

We were the first of about seven or eight families to arrive but the Nice Family have a large number of fun active boys who were all in the pool having a swell time playing King of the Giant Inflatable Octopus. Our Little Guy took one look at the rough play and went right to the hot tub. The Middle Child disdained the boy action as well, despite her emphatic claims that she is not a girly-girl. The Big Guy, however, joined right in the fun. Never mind that he outweighed the biggest boy in the pool by at least 100 pounds and was sadly lacking in coordination, he attempted to fling himself onto the giant octopus with the determination of a beached whale desperate to live. Amazingly, in light of the time of evening and his utter and total failure to become king of the giant octopus (or anything else for that matter) the Big Guy was having a great time and laughing like a drowning hyena (that is, if hyenas laugh while drowning or even come near water except to drink it and so on and so forth). Sad to say, launching ones-self into the air simultaneous to hysterical laughter, uses a lot of stomach muscles, muscles which, in this case, don’t often get that kind of intense work-out. Sadder to say, stomach muscles have everything to do with your, er, stomach and when they contract uncontrollably from unaccustomed usage, they, well, er, contract.

Needless to say, said stomach muscles contracted spectacularly and with perfect timing; in other words, just in time for the rest of the families who had been invited to the party to enter the pool area and have a front row seat to the show we like to call “What The Big Guy Had For Dinner”. Those who were (inevitably) late to the party didn’t miss much as it took The Spouse a full forty five minutes to broom the evidence from the bottom of the pool. Lucky for the other swimmers (who, in fairness, could have been sent flying to their deaths through the Big Guy’s attempts at King-dom rather than merely erupted upon) this nice indoor pool was so ginormous they could retire to the other side while clean-up (gag!) proceeded. Meanwhile, Mr. Nice took the Big Guy to the attached bathroom/steam room/shower, the one that prevented wet dirty kids from tracking dirty wetness through the house, and got him cleaned up. I admired the kindness of Mr. Nice. Still I was willing to bet a pony Mr. Nice, as he hosed down my large son, was thinking the chunk of change he spent on that washroom was worth every penny.

Was it a horribly humiliating traumatic experience? Yes, it was. Did we get over it? Yes, I am proud to say we carried on exactly as if it hadn’t happened. The party went on, people reacted (or didn’t) exactly as I would have wished and I was busy happily contemplating punch and cookies. That was when The Spouse appeared at my elbow, leaned into me the way he does when he is feeling paranoid about being overheard and hissed, “The Big Guy and I are leaving. We’re going to slip out the side door. See ya!”

“But, but,” I spluttered, “what if someone notices? How will I and the Middle Child and the Little Guy get home?!?”

He made no reply, only tossed the cell phone at me and slipped away into the night.

(Why We Can’t Take The Big Guy Anywhere #48)

I knew what The Spouse was thinking, “Here we are, invited to the home of a scion of the church for the very first time, a nice big expensive home with a nice big expensive pool, and my son ralphs all over everything! We can’t take him anywhere! He is 16! When are family activities going to get any better? Will they ever be tolerable? Will we be isolated from the rest of humanity forever?” And then, “I’m hungry (read: tired, humiliated, over-whelmed and exhausted)! I’m going home to get something to eat!” (read: eat, watch TV, sleep and generally self-medicate).

Heck, we coulda done that without leaving the house! We could have avoided the whole sorry mess. Our children could have knocked an entire session off of a long line of therapy sessions AND I wouldn’t have had to feel sorry for the Nice Family who had to endure the desecration of their pool.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 at Thursday, July 31, 2008 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

4 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Dearest Cuz,
I am so very impressed at your ability to find the humor in all things. I think that is one of your finest qualities and I believe that is a quality we ALL need to develop. I know that it is probably less then appealing when it happens but the way I see it, you and the spouse and the big, middle, little guys deserve some time out of the house, so go and do and all will be blessed. It probably gave the nice husband a chance to do some real service, what a blessing. And now they know just how long it takes to clean vomit from the bottom of the pool, this gives us experience. Remember all things will work together for our good. You are a good soul and have been given a great sense of humor and a long suffering nature. You will receive many blessings for having the big guy as part of your family. I just want you to know that I love and appreciate the dear person that you are.
PS I hope this doesn't come across as a lecture, that was not my intent.

July 31, 2008 at 6:23 PM

No, Roxanne, it's all good. I appreciate your thoughts. We do feel very blessed and would gladly do it all again for the privilege of having him in our home. BUT, yes, a sense of humor is vital. My motto is--Cry and die, laugh and live. I wanna live.

July 31, 2008 at 7:00 PM

WOW, I'm laughing so hard I'm having a hard time writing. Well, to tell the truth, I don't write all that well...not like you or Roxanne. I think you and hubby need a little break...is there someone in the family who could watch the Big Guy once in a while so you can re group....away from home?
I agree with Roxanne, she should just add my name to her comments.

August 2, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Thanks for the comment, Debbie! Yay, I made someone laugh! As to your suggestion, my family are disinclined to acquiece to a request that involves overflowing toilets and violent oral eruptions on top of a rather lengthy car drive out here from there. In fact, most people are. I'm afraid the Big Guy is a blessing for just us. Personally, I think they are missing out . . .

August 2, 2008 at 11:20 AM

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