How to Induce a Heart Attack in Three Easy Steps:
1. Take toddler to swimming pool.
2. Glance away.
3. Turn back around to see toddler tumbling, head-first, into said pool.
Don't worry. William's okay.
But I'm sure you want to hear the story, or else you wouldn't be here, right?
Karen and I took our three children to the Traceside pool this morning, after a mean old park ranger told her that we couldn't participate in a local nature program because we hadn't made advance reservations. Grumble grumble. Anyway, the kids were ready to frolic outside, so we just moved the frolicking to the swimming pool.
William so loves the baby pool that he rarely, if ever, tries to run off. He never wants to do anything to endanger his chances of getting to come back. So he behaved nicely, played happily with Colin and Olivia, and didn't put up too much of a fuss when we decided the kids had had enough sand and surf for the day.
So while Karen and I were gathering up all our stuff, William was still engrossed with crouching at the edge of the baby pool and playing with a few of the pool toys that someone else had brought. He was so engrossed that he leaned over too far and...sploosh! He dropped like the top-heavy toddler that he is, but quickly started to roll over and surface. And thank God for Karen, because she darted right there and pulled him out. The water's not deep at all, and he was already coming up out of it, but still, I'm glad she was right there.
William, poor little guy, sputtered through all the water streaming down this face and through his eyelashes and stuck out that lower lip. He cried a few freaked-out tears, but he recovered pretty quickly, considering how shocked he must have been that he had just completely and unintentionally submerged himself, head-first, in the pool. I tried to carry him back into the pool with me, sort of a "get right back up on the horse" type of thing. I don't know if it worked or not, but it was just my instinct, once I knew he was okay.
All afternoon, William kept opening his eyes very wide and saying, "I fell in pool," like it was a big piece of news that only he was privileged enough to disclose. Sort of like when he threw up last week and then kept announcing, in a hilariously serious voice, "Food came out my mouth!" It's all in the delivery, I guess. "I fell in pool, Daddy," he told David when David got home from work this evening. Luckily, David, who'd already heard the story, was savvy enough to not overreact to this little nugget. He said something very mild and non-overreacty* like, "Oh you did, did you?" And he asked William if he breathed in any water when he fell in, and William shook his head, seriously and definitively, as if he were the specialist called in to consult with the primary doctor and had All the Answers, "Noooo."
Hmmm. I wonder how long he'll remember that he fell in the pool? Will he be telling all the ladies at church and his teachers at school how he fell in the pool, and will everyone then wonder if they should call child protective services? Is a social worker (other than Diane, I mean) going to show up at my door and conduct an evaluation? Do we need to go on the lam, or will that make things worse? (Where exactly is the lam, anyway, and how does one go on it?) He's fine, everyone, really! He ate about a hundred pretzels this afternoon and corrected my singing of the ABC song. He requested peach after peach after peach at dinnertime, and he ran his typical joyful naked laps before bathtime with absolutely no problems whatsoever.
Anyway, I've mostly recovered, too. I don't think I will need any long-term therapy to fully recover, but I will not rule out the possibilty of a stray nightmare or two. Or a hundred.
*Yes, I just made that word up. But you knew what it meant, didn't you? Uh huh.