Mom Bans Kid from Her Pool After Neighbors Send Her Over Daily & She Pooped in It

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Little girl swimming
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Growing up, I was always in awe of the people who had a pool. You mean to tell me they could swimming whenever they want? As jealous as I was, it was understood that I had to be invited to use someone else's pool. I couldn't just run over in my one-piece swimsuit and hope for the best. Unfortunately, one woman's neighbors aren't quite so considerate. Instead, they've been allowing their granddaughter to run over and use her pool every day. At first, it wasn't a problem, but now the mom really doesn't want the neighbors in her pool because the girl pooped in the water.

  • The problem started earlier this summer when her neighbors got custody of their granddaughter.

    It all came out in a letter to the Care and Feeding advice column. As the Letter Writer (LW) explained, one morning her neighbor's granddaughter showed up at her door, swimsuit on, and asked if she could swim.

    "I allowed her to hop in with my kids one day, and she used the potty in the pool," the LW lamented.

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  • Since the Pool Potty incident the parent has a firm "family only" policy in regards with who can use the pool.

    But without fail, EVERY day her neighbors have sent their granddaughter over to swim.

    "My own kids have only been able to swim six times in six weeks at this point because this kid is always here," the LW continued. "If I send her home, her grandparents sit on the porch with her and watch my kids swim."

  • Her husband thinks she's being unfair and "I should just include the kid."

    But it's not just fear of cleaning poo from the pool that's holding her back.

    "I also feel that it is unfair of these virtual strangers to expect me to babysit, lifeguard, and clean up after their grandchild every day. If we are being honest, my own children have been home for well over 115 days in a row, and I am so over the constant child care that I don't want to watch yet one more kid, swimming pool or not," the LW explained.

    So is she overreacting or does she really owe it to her neighbors to let their grandchild swim in their pool?

  • People in the comments thought she shouldn't feel bad for not inviting the girl to swim.


    "Why is the pool LW not citing the [current health situation]?" one person wondered. "If their kids have been home for 115 days, they're obviously still taking social distancing seriously. So I don't understand why it's even a question that they'll have people that they aren't close to over at all."

    "I'm remembering years ago when my then-husband and I had just moved into a rental townhouse complex with our 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter," someone else shared. "I was outside with my kids and met the mother of a little boy a year older than my boy. We had the usual small talk, and so it came out that I was not working at the time. The other woman's face lit up and she said 'Oh! A snow day mom!' I smiled, shook my head, and said 'No, not actually.' You got to nip these things in the bud. I thought her presumption was pretty outrageous."

    Someone else thought the LW needs to take this seriously:

    "I'd send the neighbors a registered letter stating that they and their grandchildren are not to use your pool, ever, full stop," the person wrote. "You need to build a paper trail in case they keep sending her over or heaven forfend, something happens to the grandkid."

  • A few people thought the LW could be more empathetic.


    "[This] reminded me of how cruel the world can be to young kids," a commenter chimed in. "This one is probably less than 4 or 5, they're stuck with their grandparents for the summer (probably because of some messed-up situation), they can literally SEE a pool with other kids playing in it. They go over once, they mess up, now their grandparents are probably telling them 'You can't go swim because you ---- in the pool,' and they sit on the porch with the old people feeling lousy."
    "Children are very good at assimilating negative narratives," someone else pointed out. "Who knows what this child has taken from the fact that she's not with her parents anymore, is in a strange house with her grandparents, and now is forbidden to play with the kids next door or swim in their pool?  It could be a deeply negative experience for her."

  • But according to columnist Nicole Cliffe, the LW doesn't need to cave to her neighbors.

    Without a doubt, this is a terrible situation that their granddaughter is in, but that doesn't mean that they aren't already taking advantage of the LW, she wrote.

    "My sympathy for these grandparents, who I am sure did not envision having to take custody of a child during a pandemic, dried up very quickly when I read that they just keep sending her over every day, putting you in the position of being the bad guy for wanting to enjoy the quiet use of your own property," Cliffe explained.

    So the LW should be nice to their granddaughter, but firmly walk her back to her own house and tell her that their pool is "not available."

    "If they want to sit on their porch and guilt-trip you all day with their eyes, that's on them," she added.

    If her husband really thinks she's being unfair, he can be on lifeguard duty -- or clean up if the girl has another accident.

    "I also strongly urge you to get a locking pool cover, as pools are frequently considered 'attractive nuisances' in many places, and no one wants the unfathomable tragedy of a neighbor's child coming to harm on their property," she advised. 

    And really and truly, it's not the LW's fault. 

    "You are not an ogre for not wanting a kid who is not potty-trained using your pool," Cliffe added, "nor for not wanting to have to perp-walk some poor child off your property every morning."

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