Oh, my love affair with our pool has always been very passionate. I have loved it since the day we moved into a neighboring town 14 years only to grow more fond when we moved a few blocks away. I dream of opening day, I cry on closing day, and I cherish those pool membership cards that live in a special drawer through the long winter months. I love it more than my children do and I long for it when we are apart.
I have written about it before and while I remain a true groupie, there are a few quirks like those that exist in any relationship. No toys in the big pool of any kind and no floatation devices. These rules play harsh games with my devotion because Max cannot swim. The only time he can play with the other kids is if he has a toy that squirts water at them or one he can toss to them from the sidelines. Just this summer, he was finally able to wear the ubiquitous arm-floaties and experience the joy of freedom for the first time. It is not nearly as much fun for him when he cannot do anything but be held by us. I don’t argue with the logic of the rules, but I do wish we could claim an exemption.
Yesterday, the pool was almost empty except for a few of us die-hards. Max and a friend tried to sneak in a few squirts but were quickly sent packing. We ventured for the first time in years back in time to the baby pool where anything goes. Max and his friend spent hours with the water guns and toys tormenting toddlers and tolerating babies stealing their stuff. I even let Max bring his walker into the pool and it was pure delight. It was all in good fun until someone pooped in the pool requiring Haz-mat to close it down for a good hour or so. I had forgotten about the dangers of the baby pool and the failings of the swim diaper.
I had also forgotten the other danger of the baby pool…Little Kids who think Max is a freak and his walker is a shiny play-thing It began with a 4 year old I will call “A” who refused to listen to my gentle reminders that Max’s walker is “not a toy.” He kept stealing it away and screaming bloody murder when his Mom tried to return it. This poor mother was so afraid of the whole situation, I had to laugh. She finally screamed at him and took him home. Then Max and his friend decided to join some five years olds, who apparently drove themselves to the pool, for some good clean fun in the Playhouses that are about two feet too short for them. The other boys could not get enough of staring at Max and asking me questions.
“What’s wrong with him?” Nothing.
“Why can’t he walk?” Who the *&^*#@# knows… ( just kidding)
“No way.. everyone can walk, he can walk can’t he?” Ask him…
“I will teach him how to walk, watch me.” No thanks, we got that covered.
“I will help him.” He is fine really… don’t worry about it.
“Is he a baby?” NO…of course not, he’s much older than you.
“Wow.. I can’t believe someone can’t walk. That’s so weird.”
Weird… hmm, I think it’s weird that your mommy ain’t here cause I am about to squirt you with poopy-pool water, little boy.