Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vigilant Parenting 101

Disclaimer: No children were harmed in the blogging of these incidents. We do not take water safety lightly in this household. We have a security fence around our pool and the kids are NEVER allowed on the pool side without one of us right there with them. They are NEVER unsupervised under any circumstance in which they might have access to the pool. This post is meant to be a lighthearted commentary on one of those every-day occurrences that happen as we fumble our way through parenting. If you think you might be offended by my making light of what could have been a very serious situation, and are tempted to leave a comment about our parental inadequacies, please do not read any further. Otherwise, stick around. Hey, if this could happen to us, with all of the points that we have toward "Parents of the Year," then maybe you're not doing so bad yourself!

This photo is the aftermath of Dylan falling in the pool a couple of weeks ago. Yep, he did. Now before you go thinking that we are really bad parents for letting our kid get close enough to the pool to 1) fall in in the first place and 2) when that water had to be sub 60 degrees, let me relate how the event unfolded. First, I would like to say that I was in the kitchen making dinner when this happened. While I would never say that it happened on Scott's watch so he is totally to blame, he was outside with the kids at the time and, well, it happened on his watch. Just sayin'.

Dylan had thrown the ball over the pool fence and he went with Scott to retrieve it. Scott was with him the whole time, I SWEAR! Not that I actually saw it happen, because I wasn't on kid duty so I can just tell you what was told to me. I know it wouldn't be admissible in court. Anyway, at some point during the ball retrieval mission on the forbidden side of the pool fence, Scott's back was toward Dylan because Sadie was having an absolute conniption fit on the other side of the fence about the fact that she was left alone over there. So Scott was in the process of trying to comfort her, or encourage Dylan to hurry up so that everyone could be on the same side of the fence again and the tantrum would be alleviated, or something that apparently required his back to be toward Dylan. And then he heard the SPLASH. Of course, he was there in an instant and pulled Dylan out in a matter of seconds and everything was okay. (Until I saw them through the kitchen window standing by the edge of the pool, Dylan dripping wet, and figured out what was happening. Sadie was then not the only one throwing a fit and we may have had to call 911 at some point but not about the near-drowning.)

To Dylan's credit (according to sources, anyway) by the time Scott made it to the pool's edge to pull him out, he had turned around to face the side, his head was above water, and his fingers were centimeters from grasping the edge and pulling himself out. And he didn't even cry! If we had been testing his water-coping skills, he would have passed. I told you we aren't doing so bad after all!

To give Scott some credit, I think the incident that did happen on my watch a couple of days later may have been just a little bit worse, were it not so side-splittingly funny. It was bath time, I had the water running in the tub while I was getting Sadie undressed in her room down the hall from the bathroom. (I know, bad Mom, not supervising in the immediate vicinity while the tub is filling up. I kind of had it coming.) I heard Dylan yell "I haaaaave to peeeeeeee!" From the sound of his voice, I could tell that he was running toward the bathroom. Then I heard the splash. And the instantaneous sobbing. As I rounded the corner from Sadie's room, I saw that no, he didn't fall into the slowly filling bathtub. Instead, I saw him standing in front of the toilet, his head and shoulders dripping wet, as he cried, "Mommy, I fell in the potty!"

Yeah, I think we're a little beyond child proofing around here. It's time for some idiot proofing.


Newt said...

Oh dear! Well you sound pretty vigilant to me. Kids fall in the potty? Oh dear, this parenting thing might be harder than I was led to believe.

Anonymous said...

niiice! hate it when I go head first in the toilet :)