Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Birthday Party for Alexis
On Sunday, Tenley and I went to Alexis’ 2 yr old birthday party. Michelle was not feeling well so I went by myself and wasn't too sure of it either. The reason being is that the party was at Kevin’s parent’s house and they have a pool. I wasn’t worried about Tenley falling in and drowning because they have a fence around the pool. I wasn’t worried about chasing Tenley around or her eating too much cake and candy. I was worried about the continual badgering I was going to get as soon as Tenley saw the swimming pool and wanted to go for a swim.
I sucked it up and took her to the party. Alexis was really cute in her little Minnie Mouse dress wandering around babbling to all the guests. Sure enough, we weren’t there 10 minutes when Tenley started asking about going swimming. Now there are a few things in life that just shouldn’t be seen, like a horrible accident involving pedestrians, nuclear war, another Rob Schneider movie or me in a swimming suit. I swear someone would call PETA and alert them to a beached whale too far inland and they would come and drag me back to the ocean where they would be sure I would survive nicely. This is why I didn’t bring anything for us to go into the pool.
Tenley wasn’t taking no for an answer. Sure she was distracted occasionally by the bounce house and the party games but that didn’t stop her from bugging me every five minutes about going into the pool. Kevin’s mom told me she had some spare swim gear and she was sure she had something to fit Tenley if I wanted to allow her in the pool. Having taken all I could of Tenley’s puppy dog stare, I finally relented. So here is how the pre-pool conversation went…
Daddy: Tenley, this is not like our little pool at home. You cannot stand with your head above the water.
Tenley: Ok daddy. Can we go in the pool now?
Daddy: Tenley, pay attention. You must stay on the top steps and play there. You cannot go any further down the stairs. Do you understand?
Tenley: This isn’t my bathing suit. This one is yellow!
Daddy: Tenley, look at me and pay attention. You must not go past the top stairs. Got it?
Tenley: Okay daddy, I will play on the stairs. But in the pool right?
So we go out to the backyard and I tell her again about the stairs. I set her on the top step and she got used to the water temperature. Then she stepped down to the next step…and the next one…and the next one…until the last one where she gently plopped right under water. Her little arms were so light they just floated straight up while the rest of her body sunk like a rock.
Most parents would be thinking AAAGGGHHHH my child is drowning and dive in after them. Not me. The first thought through my mind was “Good God! My child is learning impaired!” “Did I not tell her about this?” So I stepped into the pool, new shoes, clothes and all. I grabbed her and hauled her back up to the top step. She wasn’t coughing or crying. She did have a kind of surprised look on her face and she said happily, “I went under water.” She was only under water for a split second. Probably not even long enough for her to register that she was there and try to breathe. She played nicely for the next hour on the top step and didn’t move. My new shoes were wet, my clothes were wet (at least I was cooled off for a while) and my cell phone is dead. Apparently pools and cell phones don’t mix. Hello new iPhone!!
Other than Tenley’s momentary lapse in thinking it was a really nice day. She had loads of fun, ate her weight in cake, helped destroy a piñata and bounced until she was ready to drop. She slept like a rock that night which always makes me happy and Alexis had a very happy birthday.