Monday, June 23, 2008


So about once a week or so we've been spending the afternoon at the pool of some friends of ours.

Dylan loves it. He sits in a floater with a little shelf around it, and he'll stay in there as long as we want him to. He'll take his bottle in there and even eat in there.

Ethan has slowly warmed up to the idea of putting on a Body Glove wet suit looking thing and hopping around in the shallow end where he can touch the bottom and not have to actually float or swim.

Aidan, however, has for the most part been violently opposed to anything having to do with swimming.

The first time we went, Dave went with us. Aidan was skeptical of this vast body of water - so much bigger than his bathtub! - but I thought perhaps if Dave could hold him, he might get used to the idea. But by the time I put his Nemo arm floaties on, seated him in a floatie ring, and handed him off to Dave, he was in hysterics. We quickly returned him to terra firma and after standing next to another friend who was sunning herself in a lounger, and staring moodily at the pool for a few minutes, he left her side to happily potter about the yard for the rest of our visit.

The next week, our hostess invited us back while Dave was at work. When Aidan realized where we were, it was all I could do to get him through the gate into the yard. He finally calmed down enough to listen to me telling him that, "I PROMISE you don't have to go in the pool. No pool," and he spent most of the day in the house with our hostess's mom, helping (?) her with some housework.

Yesterday we were invited back yet again, as part of a larger group from church, and Dave came along as well. Later that afternoon I was surprised to see Aidan standing near the pool, since he had been so averse to even coming onto the concrete surrounding it. Not long after that, I looked up to see Dave carrying a perfectly happy and content, yet still fully clothed, Aidan into the water. He dipped his toes in, and let him lean down and splash with his hand. Next thing I knew, he had him stripped to his diaper and bouncing on the top step. I couldn't believe how rapidly he had progressed. Overjoyed, I quickly changed him into a swim diaper and then a floatie suit offered by our host, gathered him into my arms, and carried him into the pool with me.

He LOVED it. It was wonderful. He was so very brave, and I was so proud.

Finally, he'd had his fill. He was bored and wanted out, and as my arms were getting tired I was more than happy to oblige.

The rest of the afternoon was blissfully uneventful and relaxing. As it got later, we all started getting out and drying off, everyone taking turns going in and out of the house changing back in to our regular clothes. I had just come out, and was peeling off Ethan's floatie suit, my back to the pool, when somehow (this part is blurry - I can't remember who was shouting what) I realized that Aidan had fallen in.

Yes. Aidan, poor little phobic Aidan, had fallen into the pool that he had JUST learned to love.

I was later told he was leaning over, trying to fill and drink water from a little toy bucket. At the time, however, I knew nothing of how it happened, and my mind had erased everything to make room for the all-encompassing, overwhelming fact that my baby was in the pool. It even erased the fact that he had on a floatie suit. Once I had my brain back, I remembered this fact and realized my level of panic could probably have been dialed back a notch or two. But at that one sickening moment all I knew was, A) Aidan fell in!, and B) I don't see him (was a floating lounger in the way? I have no idea. I just remember I couldn't see him)!

I raced for the water, and I have a vague recollection of yelling, over and over, "OH, NO! OH, NO!! OH, NO!" Another mom beat me there, and, fully clothed, jumped right in and swam to him. I got to the edge just as she reached him, and she handed him to me, and I took him to a patio chair and we sat down. Both of us were crying.

Poor Aidan still doesn't quite put any sentences together, so the most dramatic account he could cobble together was to sob, "Pool!" and then point to his hair (it got wet!) and to his open mouth (he got water in his mouth!).

I cried with him a while, and finally we both calmed down. Actually he was a bit more resilient than I, I think. I stayed shaken for quite a long while after that, and I couldn't stop thanking the other mom for jumping in to rescue him.

My shirt and my jeans were soaked, yet there was suddenly talk being bandied about of going to dinner. Our hostess (and WHAT a hostess!) lent me a pair of pants and a shirt to wear and off we went, the boys still in their swim trunks and damp t-shirts and Dylan in a diaper and a tank top.

And that was that and all's well that ends well. He's told us the dramatic story a few times since then ("Pool!" (hair! mouth!)), but he's fine.

Poor, poor little man. I wonder what he'll do next time we go back to the pool. Will we be back at square one, or will he realize it was just an accident and the pool can still be fun?


Jamie said...

Poor Aidan. I'm glad he is ok. That must have been a very scary moment.

I bet he'll get over his fear quickly. He sounds like quite the trooper.

And so do you...for planning on going again!

Kerrie said...

Oh Ami!! You are an excellent storyteller. I'm sitting here totally in tears. What awesome friends you have too! I hope Aidan goes back in the pool next time. :-)

Writing Sisu said...

Yikes! That's scary. I'm glad he's okay.