Our routine for the wading pool is as follows:
Park the stroller at the bench near our friends. Little Red takes of shirt and shoes and gets into the pool. I undress Boy Blue and put him in the pool. Then I go back to get Aiden and sit on the side of the pool.
Today, however, as I went back to get Aiden I watched Jack give Boy Blue a hug. Boy Blue lost his balance and suddenly I was screaming as I ran the six steps back to the pool, “JACK! Stop holding him under!!!”
I scooped my scared baby out of the water and held him for a long time, neither wanting to let go. He cried a little, to let me know he could breathe and did not swallow any water, and then he just held me quietly. I moved him a few times to make sure he was okay, and I held on to him as fiercely as he was to me. I knew he was fine. I knew he had only been under water for five seconds. But we were both pretty freaked out.
After a while he started to feel better, and I sat poolside with both babies on my lap. Then Aiden on my lap and Boy Blue beside me. Then he finally went off to play. Finally, 40 minutes after we arrived at the pool he was squealing and splashing like normal. He even played with Jack, his dear friend who had meant no harm, much to the relief of Jack’s stressed-out mother. All was forgiven.
He’s napping now, as though nothing had happened. I’ve checked on him twice already. Everyone is fine, although I am a bit rattled. I think naptime calls for some self-medicating chocolate today. As I pulled him out of the water I also surfaced a whole host of thoughts and emotions I hadn’t ever considered before. I don’t think I will ever forget seeing my baby’s eyes staring at me, startled and scared, an inch under the surface of the water. I’m going to need some time to work through this one, I think.