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Parenting Doesn’t Always Start Swimmingly

, , , | Right | February 25, 2021

I am a lifeguard. When I am just starting, I notice a man and his young daughter. At our pool, if a child is under six years old, they get a red wristband and a parent or guardian has to be with them in the pool at all times. This man is not in the pool with his daughter, so I approach to remind him.

Me: “Excuse me, sir. Your daughter is under six years old, so you are required to be with her in the water for safety reasons.”

Guest: “Oh, okay. Sorry, I’m new here and didn’t know.”

Me: “That’s quite all right, as long as you know for next time.”

Guest: “Hey, where’s your nearest bathroom?”

Me: “Just behind you in the men’s locker room.”

Guest: “Would you mind watching her for a minute while I go to the bathroom?”

Me: “Um…”

I am a little stunned someone would actually ask me that. His daughter is still in the pool.

Guest: “I guess not, huh?” *To his daughter* “Hey, sweetie, I need to go to the bathroom, so you need to get out of the water to wait for me, okay?”

The girl climbs out of the pool while her father goes to the bathroom.

Guest’s Daughter: “Can I get back in the water now?”

Me: “Not yet. You have to wait for your dad to come back.”

The man came back and got in the water with her. Everything was fine after that. He wasn’t rude or anything; I was just a little lost as to what to do. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have let him leave his kid alone on the pool deck. I did stay near in case she needed help, but to leave your kid alone? He confuses me.