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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Discipline (I)

It's a languid afternoon by the pool. The air is heavy around me, saturated. MDH is splashing around with Stardust in the children's paddle pool, and I am relaxing on a bench listening to the shrilling of the cicadas.

Beside me is a Posh Mama. I know she's posh because she is wearing tinted sunglasses, talking to me about postnatal pilates and smells like a summer evening. I have no idea why she's talking to me, seeing as I appear to be wearing damp rags, my hair is hanging limply in straggling wet clumps and I smell faintly of chlorine. I am looking enviously at her pedicure. Why is she at the public pool? Don't people of her calibre hang out at swimming clubs?

Running alongside the far end of the adult's pool is her 3 year old son, wearing a blue wetsuit and matching shoes. He's a very bonny little fellow, with sun-bleached golden hair and fair grey eyes. My heart skips a beat as I watch him leaning over the deep end, trying to reach a leaf that has fallen into the water.

Posh Mama calls out, "Don't play there, darling. It's slippery and you might fall in. Come over here!" The golden-haired child throws her a big grin and resumes his pool cleaning duties.

Posh Mama sighs and shakes her head. "He's so active nowadays; I can't control him...HEY! Stop that right now! Put your shoes back on!"

I watch as her son takes off his shoes, hangs over the side of the pool and starts to use them to scoop up the leaf which floats further and further away. Unsuccessful, he screams and flings them at the head of a passing swimmer. Bullseye!

Posh Mama retrives his shoes, apologises to the swimmer and chastises her son. She returns to the bench where I am sitting whilst her boy continues his perambulations around the deep end of the pool.

Meanwhile, I am looking at Stardust and wondering...

What would you have done?


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