Parenting That Does Not Hold Water

, , , , , | Right | January 30, 2020

(I work as a head lifeguard at a city pool. A large man, about six feet tall, 180 pounds, has his four-year-old daughter on his back and they are going back and forth in the shallow end of the pool. His wife is sitting on the side with her feet in the pool, watching. Suddenly, he says, “Watch this!” and tells his daughter to hold her breath. He falls over backward, literally laying on top of his daughter, his body holding her underwater.)

Me: *running over to the man* “Sir! You need to get up now!

Man: *comes up from under the water* “What’s the problem?”

Me: “Sir, you cannot lay on top of your daughter while she is underwater! It’s not safe! What if she needed to get a breath?”

Man: “It was only for a few seconds; she’s fine. She’s a trooper!”

(The girl is coughing; she obviously swallowed some water.)

Me: “Sir, you cannot do that again in this pool. You would not lay down on top of your daughter on the living room floor would you?”

Man: *looking bewildered* “Well, no, of course not.”

(I look at his wife, and she is rolling her eyes. The man goes off swimming with his daughter.)

Wife: “He does stuff like this all the time. Sometimes he’s such a meatloaf!”

(I walked away but kept an eye on him the rest of the afternoon. He behaved!)

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