The Floaties of Yesteryear

We’ve made a last-minute decision to spend our Memorial Day weekend in Palm Springs, which means one glorious thing. POOL TIME. I can’t fully express the excitement I am feeling about spending the next three days lying by a pool, but it’s safe to say I’ve broken out the African Anteater Ritual a couple of times this morning.

Pools are hard to come by in a beach community, mainly due to the fact that there is this large mass of water called an “ocean” within walking distance. The ocean. Yes, it’s beautiful and serene and what not, but it’s also a pain in the ass. Just the beach packing ritual alone is enough to make me talk in tongues, not to mention the damp sand that Wito enjoys eating by the fistful. I have sand issues. I admit it.

But, pools! POOLS! Backyard pools beckon you with promises of instant access to a bathroom! A nearby refrigerator filled with snacks! No sand! A towel and sunblock is all you need, my friends.

In a nutshell, the pool is spontaneous and easy to enjoy. The beach causes certain people to lose their shit in an alley.

This morning, I made a quick (ha!) trip (ha!) to Target (ha!) to purchase some sort of flotation device for Wito. Now, in a typical Whoorl Planning Situation, I would have conducted the proper research in a timely fashion, but as you see, we are leaving in less than 24 hours and Target was my best option.

After spending 45 minutes in Aisle 26, I came to an enlightening conclusion. Parents only have two options when it comes to toddler pool safety.

1. Toddler experiences hours of pool fun, but is forced to wear a contraption that looks like Dora the Explorer puked all over it.


2. Toddler is quarantined in an oversized Pack-n-Play thirty yards from the pool because the parents refuse to dress him in a Cookie Monster Wears Hawaiian Shirts And Eats Coconuts life jacket.

What happened to the plain yellow floaties we wore as kids? Oh yeah, that’s right, they now cause cancer, early stimulation of estrogen receptors, a huge lisp, etc.

Oh, and the whole Swim Level thing? I spent upwards of 20 minutes reading the backs of multi-colored packages about all of the Very Important Swim Stages. Is Wito a 1? 2? A? C439?

Listen, I just want my child to maintain a proper level of oxygen in his lungs for the next three days, but of course, I caved and bought a couple of options. I couldn’t help it, I was having trouble reading the fine print due to my acute blindness from the heinous patterns everywhere.

FYI – I am leaning towards the Swim Sweater. (3 Million Sold! 3 Milliones vendidas! 3 Millions vendus! More like, HOW COULD YOU GO WRONG, IDIOT PARENT?)

  1. Jora

    May 23, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Yay! Get out of this miserable weather and ring the summer in right! Where in Palm Springs do you stay? So many great options now-a-days.

  2. Annika

    May 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Swim whats, now? We just hold Sammy in the pool. I had no idea it was so complicated!

    But I don’t WANT to hold him. (You know what I mean, not the WHOLE time.) And YES, bring back the uncomplicated floaties!!

  3. amy

    May 23, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    oh i totally remember those yellow floatie suits we stepped into. i think ours were blue.
    i sure hope the weather is better in the desert. rain=frowns( , bitchy, gloomy mood

    Sunny and high 70’s, low 80’s. WOO! (The weather is totally weird here today, huh?)

  4. sunny

    May 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    if you are driving there Wito may go nuts with the wind turbines along the high way. My son calls them “roundy rounds” and talks about them ALL the time. Have fun!

    He LOVES the “white fans”!

  5. slynnro

    May 23, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    The name Swim Sweater icks me out to a really ridiculous degree. I’m sorry.

  6. Sizzle

    May 23, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Swim Sweater? Couldn’t they have come up with a better name. I mean who in the hell would wear a sweater in a pool!?

    Enjoy the pool time!

  7. 180/360

    May 23, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    I just had to go through the experience of buying floaties for my children. We got the Swim Steps Little Swimr flotation device from Target.

    I’ve used something similar to the Swim Sweater in the past, but my children are at the age they now need to learn how to swim. So far- so good. Several people recommended them to me.

  8. Gretchen

    May 23, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    The old school floaties do still exist. Finding them can be a crap shoot but I have a pair of solid orange ones for my kids and before that we had a pair of solid yellow ones (now popped). Of course my sons sucks at using them so I still have to be right next to him keeping him upright. Kinda defeats the purpose, dunnit? UGH, perhaps the hideous prints are worth not having to actively help your children while they swim. Supervision you say? Whatever…totally overrated.

  9. Jennifer

    May 23, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    That Swim Sweater looks pretty nitfy! Shame about the unfortunate name though…

    I don’t have any children and can’t understand why EVERYTHING has to be covered in cartoon characters. Is it considered smart advertising? Is it because children will wail and cry if their diapers are Dora-less? BRING BACK THE PLAIN ORANGE FLOATIES!

  10. Katherine

    May 23, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    It’s gray and rainy in Palm Springs right now – my fingers are crossed for you getting some wonderful desert heat while you’re here!

  11. rebecca

    May 23, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    African Anteater Ritual.. HEEEE! I was talking to someone the other day who had never seen Can’t Buy Me Love. I pretty much instantly decided we couldn’t be friends anymore.

  12. Angella

    May 23, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Swim Sweater does sound a little lame. Like something my Dad would wear. But if it works???

    For our kids, we always use the floaties that are for sitting in, and I usually get them at the Dollar Store. They HATE any kind of flotation “clothing”. I tried buying those little body suits with chest that float and there was a whole lot of screaming and crying going on. By them too.

    A rubber (heh) ring with a seat always seems to be a hit. Then you just let them float next to you, and you can tow them around the pool.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  13. bethany actually

    May 23, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I have found the plain-jane floaties the past two years at Wal-Mart and Walgreens both. Good luck!

  14. jonb

    May 23, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Are swim sweaters dry-clean only?

  15. Jennifer

    May 24, 2008 at 5:25 am

    Go slumming at Walmart or the sports/hunting department…a plethora of plain floatation devices, or devicicos, if you will. (I have no idea if devicicos is actually Spanish, or not.) Also while there, you can find worms and camo, which SURELY you need in Palm Springs, right?