Sophie and Syrena have repeatedly told me that they can breathe underwater like mermaids. I tell them that they can't. Call me a party-pooper, but I think it is kinda important that they don't try breathing under water. This conversation has repeated itself several times over the last few weeks--usually whenever the subject of swimming comes up. Well, today I took the girls swimming at my friend Kristi K's apartment complex pool. Before we left the house I told them beforehand that they are NOT mermaids and they can NOT breathe underwater. They were adament, though, and insisted that they could. Finally I told them that when we get to the pool I wanted them to SHOW me how they can breathe underwater.
Well, we had a great time swimming. Along with Kristi and her son Connor (2), there was my good friend Rachael H. and her daughter, Rylee (4). Although Sophie and Syrena were wearing life jackets most of the time, I had them take off their jackets for a little while so they could demonstrate (under my supervision) their "underwater breathing skills." It didn't take long before they could see that, of course, mamma is right and you CAN'T breathe under water.
After a while it was time to go and I took of their life jackets and started packing things up. While I was changing Naomi and Syrena's clothes by the side of the pool I didn't notice that Sophie had decided to go wading on her own. By the time Naomi and Syrena were in dry clothes and I looked around to find daughter #3, Sophie was standing in the middle of the pool with water lapping around her forehead.
Let's stop here for a moment and discuss the differences between movies and real life:
When people are drownding in movies they make a lot of noise. There is yelling, gulping, and lots and lots of splashing.
When people are drownding in real life they don't make any noises. There is not much splashing and there are no gulping noises. It is actually very very quiet.
Now, back to my story--
Sophie was just standing there in the pool with water over her head, her hair gentle waving around her. She actally looked like she knew what she was doing--until I remembered that she was four years old.
All I could do was stand there like and idiot and say, "Sophie? Ah...is that Sophie?"
Luckily Rachael had her head screwed on straight and as soon she saw what was happening, dived into the pool (still wearing her flipflops and her dry clothes) and saved my daughter.
Later this evening around the table we tried to help Sophie understand what happened.
Scott: Why did you walk into the middle of the pool?
Sophie: I wanted to see how far I could go.
Scott: What happened when you walked out that far?
Sophie: I got lost, and I couldn't find the edge.
Scott: Did your face go under the water?
Scott: Could you breathe under the water?
Chelsea: When your nose and mouth were under the water, could you still breathe?
Sophie: [pause] Yes. Just like a mermaid.
What did I learn from this experience?
1. Rachael dives well .
2. Don't trust your kids until they are at least 25 years old.
3. People don't make any noise when they drownd so you have to watch them every second.
4. Rachael is a good friend, good mom, and a really good person to go swimming with.