We just spent a week at a huge lake house my parents rented in the Poconos. My whole family convened there and we did a bunch of outdoorsy stuff. It was fun. But the owners had been "mum" on the fact that the place was right smack dab next to a public beach.
No biggie. It was just a little rinky dink sandy area, my parents were the only ones whose bedroom windows faced the beach, and some random pot-smoking rubble rousers kept them up all night just once, so it wasn't that bad.
One morning, my mom and I decided to take Darby for her First Time On a Beach, and of course I spent half an hour packing all of her beach necessities for an escapade that was basically in our front yard.
On the beach, we found the typical sign prohibiting dogs, glass, horseplay, and ... diapers.
'Yuck,' I thought. 'What kind of weirdo would actually toss a dirty diaper into a lake?'
Just then, my mom chimed in with a concern about the goose poop she had been seeing everywhere, as it pertained to Darby's health and hygiene.
"But I don't see any right now, and look at those scrape marks in the sand. Maybe the lifeguards cleaned it."
She asked one of them.
"Oh yeah," the girl replied. "We have to get here early to scrape up all the goose poop from the beach. It's gross."
My mom smiled, said, "Oh, that's good," and then whispered, "That's still kind of gross because they basically just smeared it everywhere."
After we spread the blanket and undressed Darby, the lifeguard, who had been staring at us, called out,
"There's no diapers allowed, just so you know."
"Ok!" I replied, thinking, 'She obviously thinks I'm that kind of lake weirdo.'
She continued to stare and then said, "No, I mean, she can't go in the water with a diaper on."
"Even a swim diaper?" I wondered.
After a pause, my mom offered the only logical solution to the problem. "Oh, then we'll just take it off, Allie. We'll just take it off, is that ok?" she asked the girl.
"Ha. No. If she's not potty trained, she can't go in the water."
We both stared at her. Then I looked around at the only other people in the murky lake water: a seven year old boy and his grandfather. I remembered something my husband had once told me about seven year old boys and any body of water, and replied with a forced chuckle,
"Haha, you do know that every 'potty trained' child in this lake is peeing in the water at this exact moment, right? I mean, some potty trained adults probably are."
She straight up ignored me.
So we decided to try and keep Darby's butt from touching the water. I told my mom that the water was probably cold and Darby wouldn't even want to go in very far.
Wrong. The water was delightful and Darby wanted to sit down and play in it really bad. But she couldn't. Because if she did, a little of her pee might seep through a diaper and her bathing suit and pollute an enormous lake full of goose poop, fish pee, little seven year old boy pee and the fungus that I was stepping all over.
I'm sorry, but dumbest. rule. ever.
It was impossible to keep her from sitting down and polluting the entire neighborhood, so we took her out and started to pack up.
"Now..." my mom began in a sly voice, "we're staying in that house," she announced to the lifeguard, pointing to our place, which was literally ten steps away. It has its own waterfront area which isn't as nice and sandy, so that's why we came here. But ... what would happen if we took her in the water over there?"
"Well, technically, I can't enforce our rules on private property. I mean, it's a community-wide rule ... but ... I wouldn't be able to do anything. Just don't tell anyone I said that."
I felt bad for the lifeguard because she obviously thought it was a dumb rule too.
"Awesome, thanks!" we responded, and promptly walked under some branches to our yard, where we took her into the lake.
My brother came outside, and he and my mom held her in the water (it was too rocky and deep on our side for baby wading) while Greg and I walked under the little buoy to the public side for some couple time.
After a few minutes, I looked over, noticed Darby's butt fully emerged and yelled, "Eww, that is disgusting!" at my mom, who laughed and mouthed, "Shhh!"
As I was explaining the diaper drama to Greg, I noticed a moderately sized flock of geese moseying their way toward my brother and Darby.
"But hey, look! It's those super sanitary animals that are totally allowed to poop everywhere!" I observed.
So Darby ended up doing more of this on our lake house vacation:
There was a community pool, which of course did not allow diapers. But there was a baby pool too, and Darby loved it. (Seriously, if the baby pool hadn't allowed diapers I would have called shenanigans on them.)
You should have seen me though, the first time we took her there. There were a bunch of older kids jumping in and running around the baby pool for some sort of kicks, and I was all, "Hey! They have the big pool and an entire lake. They better get out of this six foot wide baby pool right this second so my daughter can play safely in the only water she's allowed in!"
Yeah, I mentioned here that I became the mom who used to annoy me, the second after I gave birth. No shame.