Friday, June 21, 2013

How I Earned 50,000 Mother of the Year Points in One Afternoon

Here in Germany, people rarely have air conditioning in their homes. We don't. Businesses often aren't cooled either. And the worst for me: my car is A/C-less.

So I drive the kids to appointments, to clubs, to their friends. And oh, how I sweat. Because when I "turn on" the 2-55 A/C, the kids complain because it whips their hair around. Yeah, it's pretty much sweat, curse softly, repeat.

Wednesday was the hottest day so far this year: 95° F. The kiddos BEGGED me to take them to the public pool. I really didn't want to. I knew the entire city was going to turn up. But I was trying to be a good mom. Swimming is good for the kids. So is socializing. Suck it up, Mom. Off we went.

First tip off that it was going to be no fun? Driving around for ten minutes trying to find a parking spot. Then we went inside.

actual pool 2000x more crowded
It was the Swimming Pool of Despair. We managed to snag the last shady spot, but the air was blistering hot, so we immediately beelined for the water. Did you ever see Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3? Where the crowded public pool horrifies Greg? The pool in our town was worse. You couldn't walk three steps without running over someone. There was perpetual screaming. And relentless splashing.

My son turned around before he even got two steps in. He said the pool was too loud and scary. I'm with you there, I thought.

But he'd wanted to come, so I coaxed him in. He stood around for a few minutes, his eyes pinched shut against the constant spray. My daughter quickly found friends and had a ball. But twenty minutes later, my son was starving. Since there hadn't been time to pack sandwiches, my husband headed for the concession stand. Forty-five (seriously, 45!) minutes later, he finally reached the front of the line. My son burst into tears because they were running out of food and didn't have what he wanted anymore.  Argh.

I managed to hold out almost three sweaty hours:
-without a book (kind of a stupid experiment on my part)
-despite my glasses getting splashed (yes, you can call me Nerd Mom)
-including enduring multiple mosquito bites

And that's how I decided I earned 50,000 Mother of the Year points.

Today, my daughter asked if we could go back to the pool tomorrow—cringe! She wants her girlfriend to accompany us this time. Turns out, that girl's parents have never taken her to the pool. My daughter feels sorry for her (like she's missed out on this great cultural experience). I'll have to remind her the next time she accuses us of being the worst parents in the world. 

How about you? What horrible thing did you endure for your or any kids?

Photo credit: Evgeni Dinev via


  1. I stumbled upon your blog because you commented on Elana's. Anyway, I love Germany but have never lived there. And I just pushed a stroller a mile or two to the city splash pad in 90 degree weather only to discover my daughter, who loved it last year, is now afraid of it and cried the whole time. At least I didn't have to sit in the sun for 3 hours!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I think you have also clearly earned 50,000 points. The things we do....