If Parenting Is A Sliding Scale Then He’s Drowning At The Bottom

, , , , , | Right | March 15, 2020

I have worked as a lifeguard over the summer for several years. One part of the pool is a water slide. The rules for the slide are that people have to be over 42 inches and must be able to swim on their own. One lifeguard is always at the bottom of the slide just in case, but we aren’t allowed to catch kids. They have to be able to get out on their own.

One day, there’s a dad with his three kids at the pool. I am working the slide, and I chat some with the very polite dad as his kids climb up the stairs to the slide. His youngest son is terrified, but he eventually ends up going down. He panics at the bottom, though, and starts drowning. I immediately scoop him up and help him up the stairs.

Normally, we would tell them they can’t go down anymore because of the rules, but I don’t say anything because I don’t know if he can swim and he just got scared. The kid goes back up, still scared, but not as much. I end up having to save him a second time.

I tell the dad, “Hey, your son needs to be able to swim on his own for this ride. He can go again a third time, but if I have to save him, he won’t be able to go down anymore.”

The dad blows up. He starts cussing at me and telling me I’m not doing my job correctly, and meanwhile, his kid is going down the slide for a third time. I am ignoring the dad at this point, and I scoop up the kid who is drowning for the third time in a row. The dad starts yelling at his kid, too.

He says, “You’re gonna have to handle your own s*** because she doesn’t give a f*** about you!”

I just kind of stare at him, like, yeah, I just saved your drowning six-year-old son, but I don’t care at all? The guy ends up going to my managers about it, who tell him I did exactly what I was supposed to. Good times.

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