Friday, 22 July 2011

Going Off the Deep End

It's a hot week for blogposts!  And since yesterday was the hottest day of the summer (I hope) I decided to take the kids down to the local pool which is conveniently located at the end of our street.

Frick was excited but getting Frack to go to the pool was no easy task.  First, we had to walk past a playground and that was way more attractive to him than any swimming pool.  He screamed for the slide and the swings and I ended up having to carry him kicking and crying the rest of the way to the pool.  The swimming pool itself is outdoors so when we approached and Frack could see it, he was even more determined to resist.  Getting him in there was going to take awhile.  Frick wanted to enjoy the independence of going into the men's change room alone so I told him to meet us out in the water as I led Frack to the family change room.

Inside, Frack all of a sudden decided he needed to poo.  Great.  I spent the next twenty minutes being held prisoner in a locked bathroom by a toddler who insisted he had more poo on the way when he didn't.  About five minutes after he seemed to be finished I began to suspect that this was a delay tactic.  Another five minutes after that I started begging him to let me wipe. I was beginning to get a little worried about Frick waiting for us.   People were starting to pound on the door.  I could hear small children complaining that they needed to pee right now!  It was hot and stuffy in there and no one would dream of putting a window in a bathroom at a public pool, what with all the perverts lurking around.  I think it was when I sank to the floor and began to weep that Frack felt I had had enough and allowed me to clean him up.

Finally we make our way out to the pool where I found a perfectly happy Frick already frolicking in the water without even noticing how long we were gone.  When Frack sees that it is my intention to take him into that pool he clings to my leg for dear life.  The pool is a very large one designed like a beach so you can kind of just wade in where it is very shallow.  The deep end itself is only about five feet and there are signs everywhere warning people not to dive.  I pick up Frack and hold him in my arms as we gradually get into the water.  Frick found a water toy for his brother to play with and eventually Frack warmed up and began loving the water.

Frick spent most of his time playing in the "deep" end while Frack and I splashed around in the shallow areas.  Eventually Frack wanted to go over to where his big brother was having so much fun.  Now, I grew up around swimming pools.  Mummy Dearest is an avid swimmer and took us as kids into every imaginable body of water regardless of our ages or swimming abilities.  I have taken my own kids into pools much deeper than this one and every summer of their lives they go swimming in a seemingly bottomless glacier lake.  So I was taken quite by surprise when I was kicked out of waters only four feet deep while holding my three year old in my arms!

"Miss.  Miss!"

Miss?  Look kid, flattering as that is I am old enough to be your teenage mother so if I do not immediately respond to word "Miss" you can wipe that look of annoyance off your face.  Once, when I was nineteen someone called me "Ma'am" for the first time in my life.  This here felt even weirder than that.  I guess "Miss" is for naughty little rule-breakers like me.  We reserve the more dignified "Ma'am" for the responsible adults who know how to follow the rules.

"Miss, you can't have him here in the deep end.  Get back into the shallow end where it's safer."

I have to admit I was pretty embarrassed.  I cringed as I brought Frack back to the shallow end, the man-boy lifeguard shaking his head in weary disapproval.  But later on I started looking around.  There were signs everywhere: no diving, no running, no food or drinks, no photography (this place sounds like a hell of a lot of fun, right?) but nowhere amongst all these signs and rules did it say a parent couldn't hold their child in water of a certain depth.  Maybe there are rules written down somewhere in a handbook or something.  There certainly were rules about children under 10 not going in the deep end alone (not on signs, in a book) but doesn't the presence of the parent count for anything?  Should I be rethinking all my previous decisions on water safety?

Back in the "safer" shallow end, Frack was able to walk around in the water on his own and as a result he fell down and got a choking snout full of water several times.  Other than that, and despite the best efforts of the pool staff, we were able to have a good time.

When it was time to go Frack and I were somehow ready to leave before Frick.  We waited a good five minutes longer for him when I guessed he most likely got distracted by some other kid and was horsing around.  The change rooms have a sort of vestibule that allows more privacy for the nekkid manbits walking around in there, so I felt no compunction about shouting Frick's name into that vestibule and would he hurry it up, please?

Before I even turn around I can hear the hysterical shouting, "Miss!  You can't go in there!"

Now, I know she's talking to me.  That's right lady, I am totally trying to peek at the boys in there.  Shouting my son's name in there as I stand next to this toddler was only a clever disguise, but you saw right through it!  By now I was tired.  Tired physically from the sun and the heat and the swimming and tired of being made to feel like some kind of criminal by these pool people.  All I had left in me was to give her a glare that said "Hey, that's my kid in there and if I want to shout at him through a door then by God, I was going to do that and I'd just love to see you try and stop me."  Yeah, my face is that eloquent.  Ask my husband.

It seems to me that she might have offered me a little help instead of jumping to pervy conclusions, non?  I guess the public pool is a very dangerous place with people like me on the loose!  Perhaps next time we will beat the heat in the safety of our bathtub.

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