Gary and I chaperoned a 5th grade class field trip for my stepson, Bear, this past week. When we arrived in his classroom, I noticed right away that Bear’s eyes were bloodshot and red-rimmed like he was nursing a hell of a hangover. Startled, I asked, “Why are your eyes all red?”
He told me it was because they had gone swimming at their grandfather’s pool the day before. I grit my teeth but didn’t say anything. Every summer is the same ordeal: Crow’s father, Hitler, has no idea (and doesn’t care) how to maintain a swimming pool, and the chemicals are so off balance, it’s a cesspool of ear infections for the kids, violently green hair, flaking skin, and irritated eyes, because Crow gladly tosses them into the poisonous water just to keep them out of her face.
Correcting the pool chemicals, and actually cleaning the damn thing once in a while, is just crazy talk.
The sheer laziness and selfishness of Crow and her parents are astounding. I would never let the kids swim in filth, but Crow not only permits and encourages it, she considers a dunk in that swamp a bath, and the kids don’t so much as rinse off afterward. Hence, the burning, bright red eyes I saw more than 24 hours after Bear had gotten out of that nasty pool.
Gary and I will stock up on ear drops to clean their clogged ears, lotion for their peeling and dry skin, and baking soda to remove the heavy, dark green cast from the kids’ hair. As usual, compensating for Crow’s belligerent lack of parenting will fall to us. We should be used to it.
I won’t let it ruin our weekend together, though. We have a lot of celebrating to do this weekend: Dove’s belated birthday, academic awards the kids won at school, and of course Gary’s own school accomplishments. I’m proud of the whole gang!
*Dirty swimming pool image courtesy of Crystal Clear Pools, though the resemblance to Hitler’s pool is uncanny!*