Welcome to the Cirque du Pool Noodles

Load the kidlets into your SUV and come on down to this lovely resort. Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just a childless curmudgeon who decided a peaceful respite might get me closer to Cape Sanity. Silly man. You probably won’t even notice me sitting near the pool bar with my Kindle and SPF 1000. Why would you?

Ah, here you are, finally. Welcome!

I watch your clan as you approach with a human swarm of strollers, bags, children, cheese snacks, and flotation devices. You blend in perfectly with the rest of the entertainment:

  • Infants with chubby legs and wide-rimmed hats who can’t wait to be dunked into the pool so they can relieve themselves therein … kind of like their grandparents.
  • Two-year-olds coated in white glop who run around the pool like drunks in an obstacle course while you tell them (twelve times this hour) to “stop running or else.”
  • The four-year-old boy crying as you drag him around by one arm because he wants to leave and will cry when you try to leave because he wants to stay.
  • Six-year-old girls with blue lips and crooked goggles who cling to the side of the pool and ask you to watch.
  • The six-year-old son your husband decides to toss around the pool like a javelin. Don’t worry, it’s not technically abuse, regardless of the horror you see in your offspring’s face as he flails through the air into a belly flop and lung full of chlorine. What’s the harm in a few emotional and physical scars? They build character.
  • Eight-year-old boys who you have armed with pool noodles–especially the clever, new ones that they can fill with water and shoot at people who don’t want to get wet. Neat-o!
  • Ten-year-old girls who are bored.
  • Teenagers who pick their zits and check their phones incessantly.

Don’t infer from my sunglasses, earbuds, and the line of beers under my chair that I don’t enjoy your little circus. It reminds me of why I had my man-ovaries disconnected. You’re a natural ring leader; I’m not cut out for the job. I’d be sedating the circus midgets and locking them in the room so I could burn in peace.

I see you’ve inspired a woman who proudly parades her baby bump around the pool with a bikini tucked beneath the flesh-colored medicine ball with an out-y. Her children would certainly not act like yours. They’ll behave.

Well, that was a fun weekend. Let’s do it again real soon. If you ever need a babysitter, you know who not to call.

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Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.


  1. I am a mother – but when on vacation, I always try to choose a kid free zone. I should add that I don’t like other people’s children, especially misbehaving animals I see about on a daily basis.

    Don’t feel bad for being a childless curmudgeon. Some of us WITH children fall into that category!

  2. I have raised four, and they were simply not allowed to misbehave in public places. No screaming in church, no running around restaurants. Do it, we go home. No threats, no compromises, just get in the car. Done.

    So, Phil, I am with you, on the sidelines, sans beer (I’m a Mojito girl, take note). Or better yet, as far from the kid zones as possible.

    Have to say, for a non-parent you have captured each age group with a keen eye. The four-year-old who wants to leave and then cries because he wants to stay. Perfection!

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