Literally an Entire Post About a Dumb Cute Thing My Cats Did Just Now

Off the Deep End

By Friday night, things felt distinctly more "back to normal" around here, that is to say, a complete and utter disaster of my own making. 

Ike had been invited to a birthday party at a friend's house, and while the invitation clearly said "pool party," I was weirdly plagued with doubt as to what that actually meant, as I have not attended a pool party since probably junior high. Like, is it a real pool? Or something more like we would do, which would fill up a kiddie pool and set up an off-brand Slip n' Slide in the backyard? Am I supposed to wear a bathing suit, or just Ike? But all I own are bikinis? Is that inappropriate? WHAT'S THE ETIQUETTE HERE I'VE COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN HOW TO SUBURB.

I also realized that since moving, no one has come across any of our pool or beach-related gear, including floaties or backpacks or goggles or pool noodles or any of the 20 million sand toys we own. I made another last-ditch effort to find it all in the storage area before giving up and thus showing up to the pool party (YES IT WAS A REAL POOL WHO HONESTLY THINKS OTHERWISE) completely unprepared. I mean, I remembered a towel. Singular. That will matter later.

Ike made some really good swimming progress as a toddler -- he actually seemed like a pretty natural swimmer who understood how to float and kick and paddle -- right before developing an Intense Thing About His Hair last summer. Namely, he did not want to get it wet. Not even a tiny bit of damp along the ends. Trips to the pool or attempts at lessons suddenly ranged from exercises in futile misery to full-out, sitting in the corner rebellion. Even setting up a sprinkler in the backyard freaked him out, and I'm pretty sure our next-door neighbors mistook bathtime for nightly torture sessions.

And you know what? I caved. I gave in and stopped pushing. We were getting ready to move anyway and not using our Y membership much on the weekends so I canceled lessons, struggled through his miserable hairwashes and told myself we'd wait it out and let him get over it. 

The good news is, he is indeed over it. 

The bad news is, he is now five years old and doesn't know how to swim. 

At the party, he did at least exercise his usual caution -- staying where he could touch and close to the steps or walls -- and I hovered along the sides as well. He practiced doggy paddling in the shallow water and seemed to be having a lot of fun. There were some dads and stronger swimmers in the pool, a lifeguard relative was set to join in momentarily, but the parents of other non-swimmers had of course shown up prepared with aids and floaties and such. 

While I was debating whether to get in the pool with him (sensible-yet-surely-inappropriate bikini included), a cooler of wine and beer magically appeared poolside and everybody immediately dug right in cuz dang, it's a party. I grabbed a screw-top beer and popped it open cuz dang, I'm classy. 

And of course -- OF COURSE -- in the 30 seconds it took to do just that, the most negligent-y activity available, Ike was suddenly not where he'd been 30 seconds before. I scanned the pool for the only blond head and saw him hanging onto the edge of a crocodile raft that was being piloted by an older child. His face looked concerned and I realized the raft had drifted to where Ike probably couldn't touch.

I went over and calmly asked Ike to reach for my hand, then made a futile attempt to grab the raft and guide it back, only to have it drift further away. The older kid decided he wanted to get back to the shallower water as well and jumped off, at which point it flipped over, Ike lost his grip and ended up underneath the raft and submerged under the water.

And so I was like, "NOPE THAT'S NOT HAPPENING BUT GUESS WHAT THIS ISSSSSS" and jumped into the pool, fully clothed. I had Ike up and out of the water in a few seconds, only to suddenly realize that 1) I couldn't touch either, and 2) had yet to course-correct my swimming to account for the weight of my shoes, belt and clothing and was being dragged under. 

Thankfully, there was no need for a rescue attempt on my rescue, as I adjusted for the drag and propelled us both to the wall. We climbed out and every single adult at the party was now waffling between OMG IS HE OKAY and OMG THAT WAS KIND OF BALLER. 

I wrapped Ike up in our (singular) towel and sheepishly accepted an extra from another mom for my own soaking wet ass. Ike started out kind of indignant: "I was SUFFOCATING, Mom!" before deciding that the part where I jumped into the pool with my clothes on was the real highlight of the night, and pretty damn funny to him. YOU'RE WELCOME CHILD. ENJOY BREATHING. 

Ike was fine. Ike IS fine! We borrowed some spare water wings and goggles from our host (who said they'd yet to host a party where at least one adult DIDN'T have to pull that exact same move) and Ike was back in the water within five minutes, having crossed the Wet Hair Boundary in the most dramatic way possible. I could barely coax him out, even for pizza and cake. He is most definitely ready to get back into swimming lessons, and we shall be arranging those post-haste. 

It was really crazy hot out, so my unexpected dip in the water and soaking wet clothing actually kept me rather cool and refreshed the rest of the night. A couple hours later I went inside to see how frizzy insane my hair was (very), and realized that while my shirt had mostly dried, the bikini top underneath most certainly had NOT, and I'd been sporting two round wet spots right around the boob zone the whole time. 

On the ride home, Ike tried to convince me that we really should get a pool in our backyard. I countered that the kiddie pool and off-brand Slip n' Slide were probably more our style. 


(Post-jump selfie of mothering fail. Also note that the wet boob spots were right under the word "BUT," because perfect. All in all, a classic Exhibit A for what happens whenever I leave the house.)


alice Baldwin

Ha! my husband had to do that once at a party. (minus the wet boob marks)
Thank God you were there.
Good mom.period


OH man. Had totally forgotten - 23 years ago - took my 6 year old to a good friend's pool party. Her swim skills so-so. But plenty of adults were monitoring so o o I went inside to help. Came out like 10 minutes later to see the NEIGHBOR had had to jump in the pool FULLY clothed in street clothes to rescue my daughter who strayed too deep and was panicking .. Thank God for attentive adults and thank God he could go home next door, change and come back. POOLS - OY!

Cheryl S.

That is the reason we stopped having pool parties for a number of years. I couldn't take the stress of someone nearly drowning EVERY.DAMN.TIME.

He's alive and he's got a great story to tell his brothers. WIN.


I had to do the jump in the pool in my clothes one time, My brand new iphone was in my pocket. It was so dead. Took me months not to be paranoid when the kids were in water after that. But at least I knew that I would react in an emergency.


My 4 year old has had over a year of non-stop, intensive swim training. He's a whiz at the pool during swim classes. Put him in a different pool and he flails around in a panic.


The time my sister jumped into the poold and almost drowned while my mom was digging around for her missing water wings is the stuff of family ledgends


I lost my then three year old at a water park...just outside of the wave pool entrance...right as the waves turned back on! I swear the little booger disappeared in two seconds! Found him trying to go down the waterslide on the other side of the park solo! Still my most terrifying Mom moment...


Jealous that you were able to make yours sound funny! Also...glad Ike is loving the water...and I'm sure your water spots looked fab!

Jessica V

I've done that twice this summer already! Once with my 7 year old, who knows how to swim but -I dunno - forgot or something- and then with my 5 year old nephew, who is currently refusing to learn how to swim and slipped off the steps of a pool. Fortunately, that time I was in a bathing suit and cover up instead of jeans and a white gauze top. Kids man! ENJOY BREATHING!


This is soooooo the type of story I use to tell people why I love you so so so much.


LOLLLLLLLL this is amazing. (glad everyone is ok and non-traumatized)


This is so adorable and funny and I'm so glad that Ike is on his way to swimming lessons. :)


You are your own worst enemy.


I had a nearly identical experience with my 5 year old at a pool party, but I also had a newborn in my arms that I promptly set on the ground to jump fully clothed into the pool and rescue my actively drowning child. Child was fine, newborn was fine, and swimming lessons were promptly obtained.

LD's Mom

Damn you are hilarious! We all love you so much and your way of recounting things that so easily could have happened to any one of us. Oh yea, and glad Ike is ok. You are an EXCELLENT mother!!!


I let my son play in the kiddie area at the pool after his lessons. One day he jumped off the back of the little jungle gym into deeper water where he couldn't touch, and started going under. There were no less than four lifeguards standing around, one directly next to me, and none went in. I was too panicked to even speak, I just kept reaching for him from the side in my street clothes. Somehow he managed to paddle the 10 feet underwater and I pulled him out, managing to say "HE CAN'T SWIM." The stupid child lifeguard said "oh, I thought he could". Children who can swim take breaths, and don't take two minutes to swim 10 feet. I was murderous. We've barely gone swimming since, and he's turning six in a week. :(


Yikes. Glad Ike is okay.

One of the things I worked on with my kiddo was finding the bottom and pushing up to break the surface to breathe. That way if she gets too deep, she knows how to get air and can even hop along to the edge.

And swimming lessons. But I think the best thing has been catching her panic that she can't touch and coaxing her through going down, touching the bottom and pushing herself up.

Leigh Ann

It ALWAYS happens when you reach for the beer! Glad he's okay. I never had puddle jumpers for my twins, which was SO stressful. We did get one for my youngest and it was so magical. But they didn't actually pass the swim tests at our Y until last year at ages 7, 7, and 5 (which was actually a shocker and a testament to the determination of my youngest).


How do you manage to weave really-very-scary into hilarity? Glad he's okay. And you. And his hair. And your beer.


My dad had to jump in after my brother once, too. Fully clothed. Parenthood Rite of passage, I think.

Swimming lessons weren't even an option until you were tall enough for the shallow end, where I was from, so I didn't even START until I was five. I became a very capable swimmer and a lifeguard. Ike will be just fine :-)


I had a bad experience at my daughter's swimming lessons one time. I left her with the instructor, she was hanging on the side of the pool, having fun til lessons started. I became indisposed in the bathroom. When I came out....there was my 5 year old non-swimming daughter, still hanging on the side, in a pool with water deeper than her, no instructor in sight. She was fine, but the management wasn't once I went all mama bear on them! Second more recent/shameful story....my aunt and I lost said 9 year ikd daughter at the water park for 30 THIRTY! minutes. In the lazy river, which is only like 2 feet deep, but still. There are apparently THREE entrances to lazy river...we had thoroughly searched the 2 that we knew about. She did the right thing and waited for us at that (unknown to us) entrance, but talk about a panicked 30 minutes. Water and kids, man!


Ha! I did this this summer too! My 4 year old was invited to a NON-swimming bday party. The birthday girl, also 4, decided to swim and lent suits to all the kids. So we had no suits, towels, floaties, etc. I sat on the edge and watched my 4 year old, who can swim about two feet, accidentally bob out on the slope of the pool floor and go deeper than she could touch. She couldn't get horizontal to swim back to be. So in I went, at some house I'd never been at before, sans suit, sans towel, and then had to make wet small talk to the other parents, none of whom I'd met before. Good times!


Yikes! I think the most dangerous situations are when "lots of adults" are paying attention, which means that, occasionally, NONE of them are.


I was already in the pool, in a mama and me water aerobics class, when I dropped my 9 mo. In front of my visiting mother. I can still see her floating away from me, as my brain screamed, "move!"
She was fine. I was traumatized. And then, a year and a half ago, my mother watched my youngest, who was 5, step backwards of the dock of the duck pond near her house. Little trooper dog-paddled to the side of the dock, threw up 3 times, and when I got to her, said, "I fell in the duck pond, Mom."


My husband has a theory-the more adults around "watching" kids, the less likely that the kids are being watched at all cause everybody thinks everybody else is watching so it's ok to look away for a bit. Gosh that is scary. My son is 5 and thinks he can swim, so i try to be at the ready to jump in.


BUT what does the rest of the t shirt say??!

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