Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hang on to your toddlers...

So, Jackson could have drowned this weekend.

Long story short, we were trying to entice him to practice his long-distance walking, and walk he did--right into a pond.

Long story long, we biked over to the new fancy park at Playa Vista (Jackson rode in his swanky bike trailer), and then began to walk along the path from the bike racks to the playground. Jackson was dawdling, so we decided maybe instead of wheedling and waiting for him to come along, we should just start moving and he'd be inspired to catch.

Of course--and we didn't think about it at the time or we would never have been so dumb--we were right between two decorative ponds. Andrew was in the lead, way ahead of us, but he noticed the danger first: "Hey, he's getting to close to the water." I was closer to the kid, but at the very moment I stepped forward to intervene, the little guy stepped on to the slippery grass along the downsloping embankment, tumbled forward and was instantly submerged in the pond.

I pray that you never have to see your little one underwater, swallowing water and struggling for air and trying to find "up" and panicked and confused about what is happening to him.

I jumped in and snatched him out. Andrew says I grabbed Jackson by his feet, and that sounds about right--I wasn't trying for style points. (The whole process from Jackson stepping forward to me plucking him out was probably no more than 10 seconds, but thanks to adrenaline, I was hyperaware of everything that happened during that 10 seconds--and I'll remember it all forever.)

Anyway, after we got him out, he spluttered for a while--he definitely swallowed plenty of water, god help us--but he was no worse for wear, and he didn't even cry, being the incredibly good-natured boy that he is. He just seemed to enjoy all the attention from mommy and daddy. His daddy teased him, asking if he ate any fishies while he was down there; Jackson didn't think he had.

It was so hot that even though we were soaked from our pond misadventure, we went to the playground anyway, and had a pretty nice time playing on the weird futuristic equipment at the playground and letting the sun dry our wet hair and clothes.

And then we realized that when your toddler is submerged in a body of water, those diapers that are so brilliantly engineered to absorb fluid, do just that. Jackson was pretty much wearing a bag of pond water, so we finally came to our senses and took him home.

Long story short, this weekend our lives flashed before our eyes. Lessons: Stay close to the baby! No more of this tough love "C'mon on, walk, kid!" business. Also, ponds surrounded by grassy slopes and no gates are pretty much designed to capture toddlers. We won't be visiting that playground at the Playa Vista office park again anytime soon. I'm scared to death that we wouldn't do any better the second time than the first, and it's not worth the risk.

Except for the Drama, we had a great weekend. We had a blast at the park on Friday afternoon (portrait above is from that outing), on Saturday Daddy found a yellow dragonfly in the living room that we put in makeshift bug house and studied before releasing it back into the world, we went to a wonderful backyard brunch/baby shower with the rest of the Mommy & Me gang, and heck, even the bike ride to and from the Near-Drowning Drama was wonderful, thanks to the amazing weather. Jeesh.

Oh, and then Mommy (that's me) found a water/sand table at Big Lots for $13. Daddy set it up, and Jackson thought it was incredible fun.

Right now the baby is sleeping soundly in his bed and all is right with the world.

Be safe out there, folks.


Cupcake Mama said...

Very scary, I am glad that he is ok. Toddlers are danger magnets.

Jenny said...

If you were the nanny you would be fired! I've had lots of those moments myself, although most of them involved my son getting stiches.