Old folk at lunch

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Joe the water baby


I gather that Joe has been "down the coast" -- only a couple of times in the two years he has been back from Canberra so he is no water baby now.  But once he was.

Going "down the coast" is how Brisbane people describe a trip to the beaches in the far South of the State.  It's about a one-hour drive. Brisbane shores are lined with mangroves.

When Joe was about 18 months there were a few of us in the above-ground swimming pool out the back at Faversham St when Jenny let Joe go downstairs to join us.  He climbed the ladder, got to the top and promptly fell in.  I had my eye glued on him however so I fished him out in a couple of seconds.  After a big cry he was given to one of the girls to hold, which he clearly enjoyed.

Then next day something similar happened.  He reached the top of the ladder and, being Mr Independence, cautiously tried to make his own way down the steps.  But he still slipped in and again had to be rescued.  But he clearly liked that pool.

And another time when he was about two, we were in the far North at one of the beaches -- Etty Bay, I think.  So we took him into  the water with us, which, again he clearly enjoyed.  But when we got him out he was blue!  He was freezing but was having too much fun to complain.  We put him under the tap and that thawed him out.  He liked being under the tap too.

Then there was a time a little later when we wanted to get him swimming lessons.  So we took him to a local pool that had a kiddy section only about 3' deep (900mm).  As soon as we put him in, there would be a big smile on his face and that smile stayed plastered on for all the time he was in there.  He didn't learn to swim then, though.  That happened when he went to school.

He never became much of a swimmer though.  He once said rather dejectedly to me that the only thing he could do well was the "dead man's float".  I told him that was about my level, too, which cheered him up.

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