|His mom put the Gilligan hat on him.|
I’m generally not an anxious person, in fact, sometimes my wife will tell you I’m too relaxed. However, there were ten seconds last Sunday that almost got the best of me...We were dropping Holden into a pool for the first time.
It wasn’t that I feared my son would drown, or melt, or be allergic to water like the alien beings in Signs. My only worry was that my son would hate it. I didn't know how I would react if my kid went nuclear after touching the water.
For me, I could spend the whole day in or by the water. I love loading a boat up with beer and taking it out to the middle of a lake or ocean, shutting the engine off and just jumping in. (Lesson: make sure the boat stays close). As a young man I wakeboarded daily. Beach on the weekends. Heck, I even went to Costa Rica for a few weeks to do nothing but surf with my cousin.
Water. It’s the basis of all that lives. Without water there is no Earth. There is no foliage. There are no cows to eat. No base to make beer. No Hot Tub Time Machine. No Tim Tebow. No me. No Holden. No nothing. Water is awesome. It was very important that Holden like the water. VERY.
Now, Holden has been in the bathtub plenty of times. (I swear we wash him) I can only describe his feelings on the bath being close to that of a Russian woman brought to the States for a prearranged marriage. It’s strange. He is indifferent. He tolerates it. Doesn’t hate it. Doesn’t like it.
The pool though, that is different. You have more room to play in a pool. The water is cooler but still comfortable. Urinating in it is frowned upon. The pool is the perfect foray into leisure-time activity in the water. Holden needed to like the pool.
As we arrived to my parents’ house, I just wanted to run him from the car to the water. We had just driven 45 minutes to their place, and that, in itself, was too much time to wait for him to go wading.
Turns out there is a lot of prep that goes into getting your child ready to go poolside. The images that graced my mind made it out to be as simple as dressing the kid in a bathing suit and dropping him into the water. I was very wrong. Step one, we got his fake little board shorts on. Easy. Step 2, we put on his little rash guard. Also easy.
It was at that point that I opened my mouth, “Can babies wear sunscreen?” (Dad Note: As an attorney, I was taught to NEVER ask a question in court that I don’t already know the answer to. That rule should also apply with asking ANY mother questions about the care of your child.)
After getting a 20 minute lesson from my wife, mom, and sister on how much I don’t pay attention to anything, it was time to apply.
Pushing myself closer to the ledge and into the cavern of complete stupidity, I asked another question, “How do you apply the sunscreen on him?”
After getting another 20 minute lesson from my wife, mom, and sister how much I don’t pay attention to anything, I got my answer. “Just like you would put it on yourself.”
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve lost a good amount of hair. Because of this, I have to ‘screen up dome or become subjected to a fiery scalp. My son, he’s still a little thin up there. So I pop the lid on the Coppertone, and held it over Holden’s head preparing to squeeze a favorable amount on his scalp so I could rub it in.
The screams of three women were thrown in my direction all at once. The look of horror that graced their faces was compelling enough in itself. I was tackled. Held down. I guess, my idea of how to put sunscreen on one’s self and their idea was different. I was immediately relieved from screening duty. After a quick rub down by my sister, Holden was ready.
|Next time we'll make it down to the beach. Baby steps...literally|
I excitedly dropped his gams into the hydrogen two oxide. We watched and waited for a reaction. A scream would probably leave me stomping off into a dark spot to gain my composure. Anything else? Well, I’d find a way to deal with it.
There was that Russian bride look. “Indifference? Great, my kid is going to be one of those guys who orders his plain hamburger well done.”
Then a smile cracked. He laughed.
I can't see in my head, but at that moment I swear my brain cells were flipping cars and starting dumpster fires. Holden liked the water.