Cliff and I take Joshua to swim at Hillcrest every Friday morning. Yesterday was no exception.
Hillcrest is a great facility. It was built last year as a part of the Olympic legacy sports facility. The leisure pool has a very shallow end and the water is shallow enough for babies to sit in. On the edge of the leisure pool, there are various waterfalls and sprays. One of the features is a spray you can control by aiming it at your friends in the pool. It’s basically a mounted giant water gun with a fairly strong spray.
Now that kids are out of school for the summer, the pool is a lot busier with little bodies. While we were enjoying the leisure pool, so are many kids of various ages. Normally nobody really ever plays with the spray, but yesterday it received a lot of attention from all the kids high on energy. It was becoming almost impossible to enjoy the leisure pool because these kids were just spraying not just their friends, but at all the innocent by-standers.
I mean, granted, we were all in the swimming pool, already wet. So what’s the big deal with getting sprayed, right? Well, imagine you’re just bobbing up and down in the pool, having a nice chat with your friend about your lunch plans, and somebody takes a big hose and spray your face with a jet stream of water. It’s not very pleasant, even though you are already wet in the pool.
At one point during our swim, I was holding Joshua to practice his back float. He was enjoying himself, kicking and smiling while floating on his back. All of a sudden a jet stream of water came at us and the poor guy was hit right in the face. This is not just some little splash of water; it’s a strong stream of water shot from about 20 ft away, landing hard on his little face. He squirmed a bit but recovered his composure quickly. But that was enough to set off mama bear’s bad temper. Still holding Joshua in his back float position, I stood up and yelled across the pool at the kid who was spraying aimlessly at everyone in the pool. I mean, he wasn’t just spraying us, he was also spraying at these old ladies who were doing water exercises and other parents with little babies right in the face. I didn’t yell anything more intelligent than “STOP THAT!” a couple of times. But it was loud enough that it felt like half the people in the pool stopped what they were doing and looked at me and then looked at the kid.
Ok, so I’m the big bad mama bear, yelling at someone else’s kid at the public pool. Did I feel bad for yelling at him? Yes. Could I have dealt with the situation differently? Probably. Did I feel bad for trying to protect my baby? Absolutely not!
One day Joshua is going to face a situation like this and I wouldn’t be around to protect him. But until then, I am going to be the mama bear and make sure nobody messes with him.