The near-death experience that changed this mum.
Last week my eldest child almost drowned. The scariest thing was that I was standing only metres away from him. And I didn’t hear a sound.
Here’s what happened. We had been staying with my in-laws, who have just installed a new pool. It could have happened anywhere though, easily at the beach or a public space. My three-year-old son jumped in the pool wearing his floaties while I prepared my younger son to go in also.
I didn’t plan to enter the water with them, and instead chose to sit on the side of the pool dangling my legs while they played.
As I was putting a float vest on my younger son, my eldest started playing on one of those pool noodle things. He was pretending it was a horse and was laughing and carrying on the way three-year-old boys do.
Then, in the next moment, it happened. I focused my attention on my younger child as I pulled his head through the opening on the vest. At the exact same moment my older boy fell off the noodle and put his arms in the air. As he did that, the floaties came off and he slipped under the water.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is brought to you by the Victorian Government’s community safety campaign, Play it Safe by the Water.
It was only a few seconds but as I said, I heard nothing. I looked over to see him waving his arms in the air, struggling to stay above the water.
I put my baby to the corner and jumped in fully clothed to pull his brother out.
He was okay. A little shaken, but okay. However, the experience has affected me deeply. It’s highlighted to me just how quickly these tragedies can happen. As parents, we are constantly dividing our attention. We multitask and at times, like I did, we get complacent.
You see, my son is a fairly good swimmer for his age. With his floaties on he is confident and able to paddle on his own. He has been doing lessons for years and I became too comfortable in his ability and forgot the fact that he is only three years old. Without those floaties, he had no chance.