Whirlpool Sploosh Ball Wars – Therapy in Action

We have a round pool. An above ground round pool. It is much, much, much fun. We’ve had these kind of stanchion pools for years now – and having a pool available in the Tucson’s summer heat is most desirable.

One of the ‘things’ we like to do in our round pool is creating a whirlpool. Basically, it’s just running or jumping around the perimeter of the pool until you create a whirlpool. It’s even better when we pull the ladder into the middle of the pool, so no one ends up with a huge bruise on their body from ramming into the ladder – because we can accomplish that bruise running into the filter nozzles.

When sploosh or splash balls started becoming popular, we added them to the chaos of whirlpooling.  Then we started the phenomena of “Sploosh Ball Wars” – which is basically hurling sploosh balls at each other whilst constantly moving around the whirlpool. You have to be 1/4 to 1/2 way away from the person being bombed and no nasty, intentional hits to the face. However, unintentional face hits are totally legal and laughter is allowed. Nothing is done in meanness – it’s all in good fun and makes for great exercise.  I guarantee that you will have an 8:30PM sleeping kid if you engage in at least 60 minutes of “Sploosh Ball Wars”.

But that’s not what I’m really writing about today- what I want to discuss is something interesting that came out of my 11 year old son’s mouth (as opposed to some of the crazy stuff he often says). As we were moving beaning each other with Sploosh Balls yesterday, he said “Mom, this is probably really good therapy”.  And after thinking about it – I think I agree.

We have gotten to the point in our relationship where we tend to argue a bit – and my son is starting to approach his pre-teen-angst-years and puberty, and is very frustrated that we boss him around. He feels cheated that he cannot boss us around (well, duh, that’s the point!). So we are going to see if semi-daily/daily rounds of Sploosh Ball Wars improves our relationship.  I think he’s on to something – there is nothing quite like getting to bean each other (with love and laughter) with Sploosh Balls and getting a lot of good exercise to drain one of negative feelings. Every time we engage in this fun game, we leave the pool with really great attitudes. We feel relaxed and chummy towards each other and I’ve noticed that we do argue less and listen to each other more.  Last night, after Sploosh Ball Wars, my son was a bit snippy with me because he was angry at his father – but he came up to me (all on his own) and apologized with a big kiss and then told his father he was sorry and explained his frustrations (in a written letter – which is awesome). Son and father worked it out and the evening was very pleasant for all.

So that is the experiment this summer – to see if Sploosh Ball Wars will help ease the road of 11 year old male puberty.  I suggest a good pair of sturdy sunglasses, about 20 Sploosh Balls and some noodles. That should put you on the road to summer fun. Oh yes, and a pool – a round pool.

I will report periodically throughout the summer on our Sploosh Ball War Therapy.

Can this treat pre-teen angst and puberty?  I'm banking on it!

Can this treat pre-teen angst and puberty? I’m banking on it!



This is an addendum – My heart is heavy as I have just read that Rik Mayall has passed away. He is one of my favorite British comedians and was just amazing on The Young Ones.

Rick: Honestly, I don’t know why I bother sometimes.
Vyvyan: I don’t know why you bother ever.
– The Young Ones


About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Childhood, Children, coping mechanisms, Family, Health, Humor, Mental Health, Parenting, Philosophy, Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Whirlpool Sploosh Ball Wars – Therapy in Action

  1. Pingback: Whirlpool Sploosh Ball Wars Update | The Mercenary Researcher

  2. rossmurray1 says:

    We did whirlpools until we learned it was bad for the lining. #killjoy
    Sorry to hear about Rick Mayall.

    • Gee Rosemary – thanks 🙂

      Luckily these pools last a few seasons then just kind of peter out on their own (Arizona sun) – so far we’ve not had any problems – at one time we’d have 6 adults whirlpooling like mad drunkards (which is what most of the crew were) -that was definitely a stress – but those were the good ol’ days when our kid was just wee…and in bed by 6PM.

  3. It’s not warm enough here for that sort of pool, but there are a few of us who are campaigning for a hot tub when we build the new Priory. Maybe that way we could play this game – but I reckon we won’t get that hot tub.

    • So you might have to settle for chocolate? I could see having sploosh ball wars with people that you live with in close confinement might be VERY therapeutic. I hope you get your own hot tub!

      I am tickled that I have a nun reader – I think you’re the first 🙂
      I’m currently doing research on Benedictine monastic orders in the 1300s – so I’m even more tickled!

      • The fictional series called the Cadfael books are actually pretty accurate about Benedictine life in the 1200’s. OHP are in the Benedictine tradition too, which is pretty cool. You can find the rule of St Benedict online, and it’s still lived out pretty much like that (with some modifications for modernisation) today.

  4. Great idea – but watch the noodles. I foolishly told my then 12-year old son to hit me in the head as hard as he could with one of those noodles. I mean – it was a stupid sponge right? My ear rang for a week after that. And I still can’t see a noodle without cowering in fear behind the nearest door.

  5. This is jim-dandy for the summer but you’re going to have to come up with a tension-releasing exercise for the winter months. Love the whirlpool idea. I’d like to try it after smoking a big fatty.

    Speaking of smoking fatties…I remember The Young Ones from my crazy, misspent youth. I’d forgotten all about them until I read this post. R.I.P.

  6. Amy Reese says:

    My son is 11, too. I know how you feel! I’m not ready for it either. We play the Sploosh balls too. It’s a lot fun and totally see how it would be therapeutic.

  7. Sounds like marvelous parental therapy to me.

  8. I’m content and exhausted just thinking about it. It’s such an amazing gesture that he wrote an apology letter, especially being an 11 year old! Do you think it’s too soon to ask my kids to write me letters of apology? Their inability to read may be a hindrance but I don’t care if it’s gibberish. It’s the thought that counts. 😉

  9. That does sound like good therapy. As my eldest pawn often says “You’re not my friend.” and I always reply “No I’m not, I’m your parent.” This may be just the thing we need.

    • My kid says that too – but I think being able to just hurl balls at a parent (and at the kid!) has a lot of mental benefits – as long as it’s done in love. And we laugh so hard when the ball skips in the water and wacks up.

      I know in the 70s using fluffy pillows and such to beat up on a loved one was popular in therapy 🙂

      This is updated for the new century!

  10. NotAPunkRocker says:

    How much do you charge per session? You know, if someone were to wander over and need such therapy 😉

  11. El Guapo says:

    One of the fun parts of the whirlpool game is then trying to walk against it. Invariably, someone will slip and then get pulled along with the water flow.

  12. jmlindy422 says:

    Grrr. Forgot to follow the post. So, clicking the follow button now.

  13. jmlindy422 says:

    Terrific! Might I convince you to repost this on Crazy Good Parent in July? I am planning a month of our children’s voices and this fits perfectly. I will send you an invitation to become an author and then you would input the post. I would reblog, but I would like the entire post to appear on the Crazy Good Parent site. Does that sound ok to you? If so, send me your email info to crazygoodparent@comcast.net. Thanks!

  14. Paul says:

    Umm, if I remember my hydrodynamics, when you create whirlpools, doesn’t the water rise around the edges – enough to leave the pool? And, yes it is my experience that serious exercise increases positive attitude (provided the exercise is seen as “fun”) in preteens and teens – I didn’t use a pool though , used a 10foot tramploline instead. Hoping the whirlpool activity works for you!

    • Our pool isn’t filled to the rim – so there’s room for the water to move up a bit – also we’re not making enough of a whirlpool to cause it suction in the middle of the pool.

      I think being able to bean Mom and Dad is a lot of the therapy!

Divulge your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s