Evelyn was the only kid that knew how to swim, and since we got the pool, she has improved mightily! Gretchen is quickly catching up! She went from barely dipping her face in the water, to holding her breath and swimming underwater!
We are so proud of her in her determination to learn to swim. Sylvia is content to play with her barbies in the water, letting them do the swimming. We are not pushing her, she'll let us know when she is ready to swim underwater. Peter is doing great in the pool, when he stands, the water comes up to his neck, so he can splash around and bounce. He likes being dunked underwater and comes up smiles.
We love all the happy smiles whenever we break out the camera around the pool.
The pool is easier to maintain than we initially thought. We started out using bleach, about 1/3 of a bottle every couple of days. Worked fine, then the sides of the pool felt a little bit slimy, so we got the proper pool chemicals-- a starter kit that gave us the basics. It included those water test strips and surprisingly, the water was pretty close to perfect when I first tested it. After adding 2 ounces of water treatment to kill the slime, the pool water has been great! We add a little here and there and if we keep doing what we're doing, the starter kit should last the whole summer.
We are diligent in telling the kids not to pee in the pool. They tell us when they gotta go, and we lift them out and they run into the far reaches of the garden and pee. They have to step in a bin of water to rinse their legs and feet before coming back into the water.
I think if we had used the well water, we might have had to use more chemicals to keep the water from turning green. I remember when we had the little kiddie pools, it only took a couple of days before the water turned yucky. Using treated city water was probably a good idea, though most of us got a little sick at first. The kids and I all had the runs for a couple of days after we started using the pool, I suspect from the germs in the water that we were not used to. Andrew seemed ok, but that's probably because he has more contact with outside water than me and the kids do. We are home mostly with our well water to drink and bathe in.
Bottom line, the pool is worth it. It keeps the kids busy, gives them exercise (boy! do they sleep good on the days we hit the pool!), and cools us all down on hot days. We'll probably go to the lake one of these days for something different, to build castles in the sand and so Andrew and I can actually swim instead of sitting in the pool with the kids. Our summer is turning our pretty good-- how about yours?