“There’s no water in it!” Axel said as we approached the park, having dropped off our knives to be sharpened at the Farmer’s Market, much too his excitement. Our knives and my tweezers, which to Axel’s surprise, the knife guy had been more than willing to sharpen.

“What? No water? Yeah, right,” I said. I was not falling for that one.

But as we approached, it was, indeed waterless.

Little L was all suited up in her flowery blue swimskirt and turtleneck.

A sign on the pool stated the obvious: “POOL CLOSED.” To ease the potential tantrums of parents and kids alike, it listed the addresses of two nearby pools.

Disappointed and hot, we convinced Little L that swinging would be a good substitute to swimming. Then we stopped back into our lobby for some refreshing water from the gym and I asked Little L if she wanted to try another pool.

“Nother poo-wew,” she responded.

She and I set out on our own this time. Axel was content with his sharpened knives. “I’ll start getting lunch ready,” he said with a big smile as he pressed the button to take the elevator upstairs.

As we approached the second pool, a tiny doubt entered the back of my mind. A bystander at the park said that the wading pool near his house hadn’t opened yet because it was next to a school and school had just ended yesterday. This pool, too, was next to a school…

But why would they have listed Holmes Pool if it weren’t open?

Yet, as we approached, I didn’t see sparkles or waves.

“Let’s see if this one has water in it, Little L!” I was having flashbacks to the Great California Park Search.

Again, the pool was empty. I sighed. “Oh, that’s so silly!” I said, trying to show Little L that we could both take this all in stride. Life doesn’t always give you water in your wading pool, right?

But even worse than disappointed, I was hot. If you’ve ever been outside with me on a day above 80, you know I get very crabby when I’m hot.

“We’ll figure something out,” I told Little L. “Let’s go home and talk to Daddy.” We needed to get my phone to look up nearby pools and grab the car keys – I was NOT walking to another pool in this heat.

Little L was probably hot too. Or just disappointed. Or impatient. She was fussing as we approached our building.

“Will Daddy wonder why we’re home so soon? We should say, ‘You won’t believe this!'”

I unlocked the door.

“You’re home!” Axel said.

“You won’t believe–“

“The pool was closed!” Axel deduced. “And get this – we didn’t get your tweezers back with the knives.”

“Ah. So we have to go back to the Farmer’s Market too.”

I started searching the Minneapolis Parks website. Turns out there’s a whole page where they let you know pools’ statuses – both pools we tried today appeared as yellow dots on the map.

At least we’re not a red dot! But a 3:1 ration of green to yellow? I see why they created this website!

“Let’s just give her a bath,” Axel said.

“But I told her we’d go to the pool!” I say. I am nothing if not a woman of my word.

“She’ll love it.”

“Little L, you want a bath?” Axel called to her.

“Baby take baff!” she scampered into the bathroom, still dressed in her swim turtleneck.

“I’ll give her a bath while you go pick up the tweezers,” Axel said.

I sighed and refilled my water bottle. Then I changed out of my swimsuit, because wearing a swimsuit is actually quite hot when you don’t have the cooling effects of the water to combat it.

“Maybe I’ll take a post-it note and put it on the sign at the park.”

It may be the nearest pool, but it sure isn’t the one with the most water!

30 minutes later, I was back home, sweaty and crabby. But I had my tweezers and I had done my civic duty.

I could hear Little L laughing in the tub.

With any luck, we would find an open pool another day, or our yellow dots on the map would turn neon green. Until then, I was tired and sweaty from all of this pool-searching.

Maybe I could take a bath. But would the tub be open? I’d learn my lesson. I got out my phone and made sure the bathtub was marked with a green dot before walking the extra 20 feet to the bathroom.