It was the day before X’s first year old birthday bash.
We were thankful that Z knew how to swim a little even if he was not proficient yet.
Then again, it could be because he knew how to swim vaguely and therefore, he was overly confident and pompous about it.
We were at a friend’s child’s birthday party at Bukit Batok Civil Service Club. Z was raring to jump into the pool but we made him wait for the birthday cake to be cut and got him to eat lunch. He was very impatient with the entire fanfare. I was alone with both boys and suggested to go to the water playground on the left.
However, Z had other notions and insisted on going down the curved water slide on the right. I asked him to wait for his dad to join us but he kept going, “I can do it one!” Without much ado, he plonked himself on the water slide and went down. There was a curved mirror to show what would happen round the bend.
I saw his head bobbing in the water and disappeared.
Like any frantic mother, though I was holding X in one hand, I went down the water slide after Z. There was a drop into the water because there was a height gap from the base of the slide and the water. X screamed for his life when we zoomed down the slide and splashed into the water together.
Poor Z (thankfully he could paddle/swim) was a few metres to the side and was clinging on to the pebbled feature wall. He was crying very hard. He was frightened about dropping into the pool (I found out it was 1 metre deep and Z was about 1++ metre tall) and had definitely lost his balance. In any case, we were lucky that the episode ended well and still had him around to nag about his lack of judgement.
I might sound surprisingly chill because I refused to think about the ‘what ifs’. Instead, I would want to make Z focus and not to scare us like this again. That was the thing about having kids – your life of worry commenced on the day they were conceived and would last almost forever.