It was about hour four of of our second day of swimming at the water park when Phoebe said, “Mother, I would like to go home now. Please.”
(For those of you who don’t speak “Phoebe,” I shall translate:
Yanking my bathing suit off my chest = “Mother,”
“Aaaaiiiiyeeeeeeooooooo!” = “I would like to go home now.”
Headbutting my face = “Please.”)
“Well of course, my darling,” I replied. (Not really.) And I began to assemble my clan. “Are we ready to go?”
“NO!!!” Julia and Lucy screamed in unison.
“I think it might be time,” my mom suggested as she watched Phoebe scale my torso and wrap herself around my head. I agreed.
We huddled together, cloaked in towels, to discuss our exit strategy when Dave noticed two lifeguards call a third over to the kiddie pool. They whispered and pointed here, then there. They got down on their knees at the edge of the water and stared hard into its depth.
“Okay,” I said, tucking Phoebe like a football under my arm and teetering toward the leg Lucy had wrapped herself around in protest. “Let’s get out of here.”
“Wait,” Dave shushed. “Something’s going on over there.”
“The kids are pooped-”
“I think someone else did, too.”
“Huh?” I turned with the rest of the family to follow his gaze.
The bravest of the life guards was stretching a latex glove over a trembling hand and sucking in a deep breath. The world seemed to slow down as it entered the water and emerged with a dark object between the thumb and index finger.
Lucy rose to her feet and whispered, “What is it?”
The life guard squinted and grimaced. “CLOSE THE POOL!”
“POOP!” Julia shouted gleefully. (Because you know Julia has been waiting her whole life for a legitimate reason to shout POOP in public.)
“That’s why you should never drink the pool water.”
“Alright, are we ready to leave now?”
This time, the vote was unanimous.