December 23, 2013 by Dadinator
A swimming expedition.
Yesterday was a day.
Yes I know all days are days, but not all days are yesterday. Let me explain.
The day began as they do, with a patent failure for breakfast. This was a great blow to my sense of manhood as I am usually a sure thing for breakfast. Pancakes, fried anything, porridge, french toast, haloumi and more; I am your man. Usually. Yesterday I tried to make quinoa porridge. I followed the recipe, even checked the pack the quinoa came in to make sure there weren’t any odd eccentricities. I ended up with a purple goop that had a bitter aftertaste because Quinoa contains saponin. Soponin protects the seed from hungry birds by making it taste shit. Well played seed. Humans can fix it by rinsing it with water, as a quick post-breakfast googling showed me. It was a critical step I failed to take. Was it an ill omen for the day? Read on.
But I brushed that off and moved on.
The Mamanator had set herself an intimidating list of tasks to complete that day. In light of this she asked me to cart The Lad off to somewhere and do something with him, leaving her to cope with the 3 month old as she made jam and gingerbread while tidying the house. I was happy to do it, outings with The Lad were in no way intimidating to me these days. I’d taken him to parks, playgrounds, play-centres and even down to Melbourne entirely solo before.
I decided swimming was the way to go this time. We set out to Kyneton pool, about 30-40 minutes from our place. I cunningly stopped off to get some grapes for the car trip, thinking passing him a steady stream of grapes during the drive would keep him awake.
Yeah. So I parked, let him sleep and played with my phone for about 20 minutes. He woke up and I declared “We’re going swimming!”, which seemed to perk up The Lad, and we set off together. I lost my way, but regained it again, and we ended up at the pool ready to swim. We stopped off to get changed, I got The Lad to sit on the toilet just in case, and as soon as we were en-bathered, off we went!
The Lad loves water. It’s both great and terrifying at the same time. He’s strong in the water too, for a two year old that is. He kicks and thrashes his way around, is happy to put his head underneath and he has no fear at all. We played and played and played. We played with pool noodles, with balls, with water fountains, with kicking and floating. We played with plastic sinkers, with the side-rails. He jumped in and out of the pool, he climbed stairs and had a great time.
I was noting the time on the clock on the wall of the pool. We had been there a good while, and I noticed he was starting to tire himself out a bit. I thought it would be time to go soon when I looked down.
I looked down into the water.
And then I saw it. One of those little things you notice that means everything is about to go wrong.
It was a piece of corn.
Parenting has moments. Moments when you just wish you could do this:
Or shape shift or cloak or disapparate or just curl into a ball and fade away. This was one of those moments.
Those with kids know exactly what a piece of corn means in this context, for those without kids I will quickly explain. Corn doesn’t digest in the stomach of a two year old. It basically comes out as it goes in. And my son LOVES corn. It had happened. He’d crapped in the pool.
OUT OUT OUT! I said to him as I tried as best I could to bustle him to the bathroom. Surely his swim nappy will have held most of it, right?
I scooped him up and walked quickly (no running by the pool, remember?) to the family/disabled bathroom. Dropping a bread-crumb like trail of you-know-what all the way. I got him there, ripped the bathers off him and tipped the contents into the toilet. I noticed the floor of the bathroom, and managed to turn a shower nozzle onto the worst of it, and cleaned it up as best I could.
I stopped. Breathing for a moment. Okay. What do I do now? For a brief second a thought flicked accross my mind. What if I just run. Run now? Get changed, pick up everything and run. They’ll never know, I don’t live here. We could make a new life for ourselves, free of shame….
No! Said the voice of my conscience. You must talk to to a life guard and get that mess in the pool cleaned up for everyone’s sake.
Yes sir, I said looking bashfully towards the ground.
I trudged over to the nearest polo-shirt clad lifeguard, Lad in arms, and confessed our sins. I passed the crime scene and noticed people doing double takes at the water and wrinkling up their noses. I said nothing, looked at the ground and marched on….
“Excuse me. I’m afraid my boy’s had an accident in the pool.”
The lifeguard went slightly pail “An accident, what do you mean?” thinking I meant something medical, or law-suit worthy.
“He did a poo”.
Turns out when this happens they have to close off that section of the pool to clean it up. The lifeguard had the situation in hand, he got everyone out and started to mix up chemicals, brushes and whatever else he needed to do the job.
I cast a glance at my son. “Time to go now Lad”.
I then copped the longest-lasting tantrum of my parenting career so far. He moaned and howled as I gathered our gear and put it into the change room. He screamed blue murder as I took his bathers off once again so we could have a shower. He screeched as I washed him and his hair. He cried as I put a fresh nappy on. He sobbed as we walked towards the exit.
We passed the pool, the lifeguard was still doing his work. He looked at me and felt the need to reassure me that it wasn’t a big deal, which I thanked him for. I must have looked distraught. I couldn’t look anyone else in the face, patron or pool-staff. I imagined us getting dozens of death stares as we did our own walk of shame.
During the meltdown I had promised The Lad chips. I had a place in mind to sit down, share a bowl of chips and calm down. As if I hadn’t suffered enough that day, the place was closed. So I decided to not mention chips any more and drive off into the sunset before an imagined angry mob chased us out of town.
“See that man. His kid pooed in the pool! GET HIM! AAAARGH!!!!!” as pitchforks and torches are raised into the sky and scores of irate citizens run us out of their town.
I asked The Lad if he wanted anything else. “Chips” was his reply. I asked a few more times, each time “Chips”.
Feeling like a failure as a father (what man can’t provide chips to his own son?). I drove off. And then I saw my salvation, a fish and chip shop open on Sunday. Chips ahoy! Of course it had to be the fish and chip shop where a minimum chips was $4…..
But I bit the bullet, for all our suffering we deserved chips. So I spent the car trip home passing chips back to The Lad while having my fair share of them too.
And they were the best tasting chips ever, because they tasted of resolution and of putting this whole unpleasant experience behind us.
Has anyone else experienced the joy of their beloved son or daughter soiling a pool? Or have you ever felt like running foe the hills because of your kid? Fess up comments. You’ll feel better.
Disclaimer: The Mamanator wants it known by all that she does not approve of this post in case The Lad’s school mates look it up in 10 years time. However she laughed at the story. A lot.