Pool at MIL's house - wwyd? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Would you leave your toddler at a relative's house with an un-fenced pool?
Yes, absolutely. What's the problem?? My toddler would NEVER go near a pool! 2 3.77%
Yes, with restrictions. I'd ask MIL to have them only play INDOORS, nowhere near the pool. 11 20.75%
No way in hell. Drowning statistics don't lie: "Children younger than 5 represent nearly 75% of pool and spa deaths" 40 75.47%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 27 Old 01-07-2014, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in need of some serious perspective or at least a venue in which to vent. MIL has complained to DH that I don't let her watch our kids at her home. I mean, I would let my 7 yo but not my 2 yo. The reason? She has a gigantic pool in her backyard that is not fenced. When DS was born years ago, I asked her about putting up a fence to keep DS out (because when he was super little he would go right up to the pool) and she said no because it wouldn't "look right" with her garden design.... banghead.gif   So.... I didn't really leave him with her at her home alone until he knew how to swim.

 

Fast forward to today. She's still peeved that I won't drop the kids off at her house, but she won't come to our house to watch them either. DH says it's because she has a huge house with a huge yard and why would she want to slum it in our teeny tiny 2 bedroom house??

 

Anyway, I guess I'm just venting, but I really am feeling resentful that DH is pissed at me because I won't do it. Am I being too paranoid here?? I have no qualms about hanging out WITH them at her house, because I'd watch my toddler like a hawk, but I'm not 100% sure MIL would do the same on her own (she is in her 70s and has a HUGE home, lots of places for the kids to explore/get lost in). Plus, if I do go over there to visit, I'm sure she'd just see it as me not trusting her to watch them, when the truth is I trust her fine, I don't trust my TODDLER not to go near the pool, and everyone knows how toddlers tend to wander!!

 

Sorry, I'm starting to rant and rave. Perspective, please. WWYD?

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#2 of 27 Old 01-07-2014, 09:32 PM
 
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I wouldn't unless she child proofed it some how. Are there covers strong enough for a toddler not to fall through that they wouldn't be able to remove? I'm totally clueless about pool equipment.

I can sympathise. My MIL lives in a 4th story condo and has furniture right by the railing of her balcony my toddler loves to climb on. She complains when I move it and doesn't understand why I won 't let her watch him there. I just flat out told her it's not happening unless she gets a childproof lock on the door to the balcony. I'm sure she's not happy with me, but that's OK.
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#3 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 05:58 AM
 
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(I will laugh if I see any clicks on the "Well MY toddler would never...")

 

Nope. I couldn't. I just wouldn't feel safe. Luckily I have yet to be put in that situation and hope to never be but there are just certain things you have to look out for

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#4 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 06:28 AM
 
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NOPE.

I'm generally laid back about things, but an older woman, huge house ad her blasé attitude tell me this is a bad idea. No way she'd be able to police it well enough.
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#5 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 07:33 AM
 
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If your MIL cannot understand your concern, that's a problem. I'm sure she is a responsible person, but at 70 years old, she just simply isn't fast enough to grab a toddler if she is more than an arms reach away. She needs to realize this and understand that it is not a criticism. It is a fact. A tragedy can happen in a split second. You are doing the right thing.

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#6 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by CuddleBug'sMama View Post

I wouldn't unless she child proofed it some how. Are there covers strong enough for a toddler not to fall through that they wouldn't be able to remove? I'm totally clueless about pool equipment.

I can sympathise. My MIL lives in a 4th story condo and has furniture right by the railing of her balcony my toddler loves to climb on. She complains when I move it and doesn't understand why I won 't let her watch him there. I just flat out told her it's not happening unless she gets a childproof lock on the door to the balcony. I'm sure she's not happy with me, but that's OK.

Yikes, the 4th story condo with furniture by the railing would freak me out, too. I don't know what it is... why can't they understand we're just trying to keep our kids safe???

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#7 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"...at 70 years old, she just simply isn't fast enough to grab a toddler if she is more than an arms reach away."

YES! I have seen her in action with my niece, who is 3 yrs old. She gets distracted and flustered easily when she loses track of her. And, AND... this niece of mine FELL INTO THE POOL with FIVE adults around. Luckily, her daddy saved her. Just goes to show how easily accidents can happen! But it's just turned into a "oh, you're just a hover mother and you don't play nice with MIL, and it's you being anti-social.... blah blah blah" I can't stand it!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#8 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 10:28 AM
 
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So, I voted before reading the post.  Not sure if I can change my post to "hell no" but I would.  For one thing, she isn't even willing to make some minor changes (childproofing in some way whether it be door alarms or a childproof pool fence) in order to make you feel more comfortable.  Second, she is old enough that a little one could very easily get away from her.  When I was married to my first husband, we had a pool (& a pond and a creek) in our old house.  I don't think there was one minute that I didn't worry about one of the kids getting out a door, window or away from me and getting in.  My DH now lost a son at age three.  He drowned in their brand new in-ground pool that had not had the childproof cover put on yet.  They had door alarms, but they were off.  There were 3 adults and 8 children in the house.  My point is, my DH is a super responsible parent.  A child can get away from you at any time.  It simply can happen to anyone.  I would not take the risk, especially when she is so reluctant to do anything to protect them.

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#9 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 02:18 PM
 
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No. You can't be that casual about little kids around water. I'm not sure I'd even be okay with the 7 year old being there without me! Being able to swim a bit is almost as bad as not being able to swim at all... they will go on the diving board over and over and not realize how tired they're getting, and all of a sudden they can't make it to the edge. Then what if they panic instead of flipping on their back to float until they get their energy back? Some 7 year olds are probably great swimmers, my kids still needed direct supervision at that age. They didn't have enough experience in the water yet, and my son in particular had a bunch of confidence without the skills to back it up.

 

We had a situation here where my husband didn't agree with what I considered to be an obvious precaution we needed to take, and the solution was eventually to just not talk about it anymore. It was important enough to me to lay down the law and let him be bent out of shape and it was no longer up for discussion because we were going in circles. I'm not going to budge on it so it was just causing bad feelings over and over. It sounds like in your situation, there's a few things that could change to make you okay with the kids being at the grandmas house, so I'd re-open the conversation only if/when those things were happening. If she decides to put a fence in, or have the house alarm on while the kids are there so they can't get out without her knowing immediately, etc. that would change things. The kids will both eventually be old enough to stay at her place, that would change things, too. But as long as the disagreement has stagnated there is no point in rehashing it all the time, it might be best to just NOT engage in the conversation.

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#10 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 02:31 PM
 
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Honestly, even with door alarms I wouldn't leave my toddler...as another poster said, door alarms only work if they're on.  We're traveling with my mother and mother-in-law and staying at a house with an unfenced pool, and I've already told DH that our kids can't be there without me or him present.....my mother is slow and his mother is distracted so I can't assure their safety.  Don't budge on this...you'll never forgive yourself if something terrible happened.

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#11 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the sympathy and feedback mamas... I'm feeling a tad more justified in my stubborness not to give in here!!

 

DH just pointed out to me that MIL had *some* removable fences put in (they slide in and out or can be easily detached). They are not "to code" pool fences, rather, they are like short gates that block the main walkways to the pool. (There are garden beds that can be crawled through that still can allow access to the pool. Her fences are jerry-rig things that "look" more visually appealing than the standard 5 ft high pool fence.) 

 

Question is, am I comfortable enough with these cobbled together gates to leave kiddos alone with her? Or should I still be worried???? Argghhhh.... why can't she just put up a regular pool fence that follows the law?? It drives me crazy!

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#12 of 27 Old 01-11-2014, 08:19 PM
 
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YES! I have seen her in action with my niece, who is 3 yrs old. She gets distracted and flustered easily when she loses track of her. And, AND... this niece of mine FELL INTO THE POOL with FIVE adults around. Luckily, her daddy saved her. Just goes to show how easily accidents can happen! But it's just turned into a "oh, you're just a hover mother and you don't play nice with MIL, and it's you being anti-social.... blah blah blah" I can't stand it!!!!!!!!!!!!

This right here makes it a "Hell no". Her granddaughter fell into the pool, needed to be rescued by an able bodied adult (is she fast enough and strong enough to rescue the child?) and she still doesn't see the concern? I wonder if she's not willing to accept that she's aged and isn't as able as she used to be? I know that my dad has a very hard time accepting his limits. She may want to believe that she's still fast enough to catch a toddler and definitely strong enough to be able to save a child who's fallen in, that doesn't mean she is.

 

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Question is, am I comfortable enough with these cobbled together gates to leave kiddos alone with her? Or should I still be worried???? Argghhhh.... why can't she just put up a regular pool fence that follows the law?? It drives me crazy!

Is she breaking the law by not having a fenced in pool, or would she be breaking the law if she had children? (I know that the law can be stricter about children's bedrooms and such) If she's actually breaking the law by not having the fence- yeesh.

 

 

It sounds like you already have your answer, though- you aren't confident that these gates would keep your child out. If you knew that they would, that'd be one thing. The only reason you're considering it is because of pressure. It's really unfortunate that your husband doesn't realize the very real danger. :(

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#13 of 27 Old 01-12-2014, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This right here makes it a "Hell no". Her granddaughter fell into the pool, needed to be rescued by an able bodied adult (is she fast enough and strong enough to rescue the child?) and she still doesn't see the concern? I wonder if she's not willing to accept that she's aged and isn't as able as she used to be? I know that my dad has a very hard time accepting his limits. She may want to believe that she's still fast enough to catch a toddler and definitely strong enough to be able to save a child who's fallen in, that doesn't mean she is.

 

Is she breaking the law by not having a fenced in pool, or would she be breaking the law if she had children? (I know that the law can be stricter about children's bedrooms and such) If she's actually breaking the law by not having the fence- yeesh.

 

 

It sounds like you already have your answer, though- you aren't confident that these gates would keep your child out. If you knew that they would, that'd be one thing. The only reason you're considering it is because of pressure. It's really unfortunate that your husband doesn't realize the very real danger. :(

Damn straight it's a very real danger. I have just come to the conclusion that I will not bend on this issue. *I* am the mom and I'll continue to follow my "mother's instinct" with this situation, as I do for all other situations. If she doesn't like it, it's not my problem. It's hers.

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#14 of 27 Old 01-12-2014, 09:52 PM
 
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Maybe cause im in az but not even with a fence no pool without me no way 

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#15 of 27 Old 01-13-2014, 01:12 AM
 
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Wow, I can't believe she hasn't been called on that by her city or homeowners insurance! Here even wading pools over a certain gallon capacity have to be fenced, and we don't even live in a hot area where most houses have them.

To answer your question- not just no but HELL NO. If she doesn't see the danger there, especially after a near tragedy right there in front of her, I would question her judgement in other things. If she really wants to babysit it won't hurt her to hang out in a house with 'only' two bedrooms for awhile. I'm sorry your DH isn't on board. We have a similar situation; MIL is not allowed to babysit either, but thankfully Dh is in complete agreement. I'm quite jealous of people who have Grandparents that can and will babysit!
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#16 of 27 Old 01-13-2014, 10:58 AM
 
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YES! I have seen her in action with my niece, who is 3 yrs old. She gets distracted and flustered easily when she loses track of her. And, AND... this niece of mine FELL INTO THE POOL with FIVE adults around. Luckily, her daddy saved her. Just goes to show how easily accidents can happen! But it's just turned into a "oh, you're just a hover mother and you don't play nice with MIL, and it's you being anti-social.... blah blah blah" I can't stand it!!!!!!!!!!!!


Stick to your guns mama!  If all mothers were "hover mothers" we wouldn't have to read about so many tragedies in the papers!

Me: proud hover mother!:rotflmao

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#17 of 27 Old 01-13-2014, 11:23 AM
 
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Stick to your guns mama!  If all mothers were "hover mothers" we wouldn't have to read about so many tragedies in the papers!

Me: proud hover mother!:rotflmao

 

You dont have to be a hover mother to have enough common sense to not let your child go to a house with a pool that has no childproofing. 

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#18 of 27 Old 01-26-2014, 09:16 PM
 
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This happened to me! My husbands mom
Has a pool with no fence or gate around it. My three year at the time could very easily walk right up the ladder and jump in. My MIL did not supervise her two other grandchildren who were 3 and 6 and just let them play out back by themselves. Granted she lives in the middle if nowhere on 20 acres the whole situation made me nervous. There is also a creek on her property. Nope I would not leave my daughter with her in the summer when the pools up. I still think I will not and she's 5 now! She knows she can't go in.the water without an adult but she's 5!!! She may think she's a super swimmer and do it anyway.
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#19 of 27 Old 01-29-2014, 09:13 AM
 
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About 30 years ago, my husband and his siblings were playing in the pool at their home in Florida. His niece, then a baby, managed to get into the pool area and slipped into the pool without anyone seeing. Her mother saw her and got her out and saved her life.

 

This was with a pool full of people! It was not willful negligence. A child had forgotten to close the gate to the pool area. This happened within a minute or so of time.

 

Your husband can go kick rocks. Why does he care more about MIL and her fee fees than your child and her safety? Does a tragic event need to happen?

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#20 of 27 Old 02-12-2014, 08:52 AM
 
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The pool issue is a scary and you have to trust your gut. I can see the mil getting defensive though and bitter but without you being there, it's just too much of a risk. We live in a home that has a pool in the backyard and not much play space. My mil owns the home and we rent from her. When she moved out and we moved in I asked for a fence but I lost that battle between her and my husband because of the "aesthetics". I feel my kids are safe though because the doors are locked and they can't reach the safety features. However, if it was switched and I was dropping the kids off here, I probably would not do it. She just came to visit last week and she left the kids outside in the sandbox, luckily I was around to notice and went out there. Accidents happen! My 6 year old can swim but 3 year old, no way! I can just picture him falling in and the oldest jumping in to save him and uhh tragic thought.

 

 If it's a few hours she watching them couldn't they go on an outing or something? I think the kids would much rather go to a park or museum, zoo anything. But then again there is that safety risk too.

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#21 of 27 Old 02-13-2014, 08:02 AM
 
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Yep, count me as another hover mother when near a pool or a railing that a child could reach....

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#22 of 27 Old 02-13-2014, 08:24 AM
 
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Good for you for sticking to your guns on this one.

 

I know a mother, she attended the same grief support group I attended in the last place I lived, whose child drowned in their pool with her and her parents present . He was nine and the situation was extremely unusual; I can't remember exactly what the medical event was called, but it wasn't negligence on anyone's part, and he was a very strong swimmer. Her husband blamed (still blames) them though, and the marriage ended extremely badly. The whole thing is extremely devastating. 

 

If your MiL and DH think that this type of thing only happens to other people and couldn't happen to your child, they need a reality check. Children do die, and even when there is nothing that you could have done to prevent it, as a parent, you still have a tendency to replay it over and over and blame yourself. In this kind of scenario, the adult responsible would most likely never be able to come to terms with having been responsible for the very preventable death of a child. Not to mention that it would be very unlikely that you would ever forgive her if something did happen on her watch. The relationship, and possibly your marriage, would be destroyed. It's not worth it to try to "keep the peace" now because the likelihood of something join wrong is too high. Let them be annoyed; better annoyed than grieving the loss of a child with completely destroyed relationships.

 

You're doing the right thing.

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#23 of 27 Old 02-14-2014, 07:22 AM
 
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 ....

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#24 of 27 Old 04-19-2014, 03:12 PM
 
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too bad she feels that way.  sounds like she's missing out on seeing her grandsons because she is miffed at a parenting decision you made.

 

stick to your decision.  if you aren't comfortable with it, trust your gut. 

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#25 of 27 Old 04-19-2014, 11:34 PM
 
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Uhmm... I agree with your decision given the circumstances you describe, but I personally am not crazy obsessed with kids and water. I have a baby, and I plan to start attending baby swimming lessons with him next month or the other (he's 4 months old) because I want him to learn to move around water and I also want to teach him to respect water. It is very important he learns to be around water because we are moving next year to a house that has a creek in the back yard!
I have nieces and little cousins, and a big unfenced pool in our family weekend house. All the children understood from a very early age that the pool area is off limits, we never had an accident or a child falling into the pool or anything similar. We kept talking to them about being careful around the pool every time we went there, my nieces now are 7,9 and 10 and we still tell them to be careful because they like to run around the pool. Of course we never stopped watching the children when they were little, and when they play around the pool there's always an adult around supervising. IDK, I personally think that children can encounter danger anywhere anytime, to me the key is to talk to them over and over again, and then some more. I know a little girl who attended baby swimming lessons and when she was 2.5 yrs old she fell on an Olympic pool, and she swam to the side and called her mama (who was right there). I know that children depending on age are immature and reckless, but I was an overprotected child and I ended up being ten times more reckless when I grew up because I was fed up of being restrained.
I know that some people think that a small child with swimming skills is more dangerous than one without those skills, because of the false sense of security, but I disagree with that statement. When properly taught, children respond accordingly.
Eitherway, I still think that given the circumstances, your toddler can't run around unsupervised, so you are making the right choice, but have you considered sending your youngest to swimming lessons?
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#26 of 27 Old 04-20-2014, 07:48 AM
 
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Anablis, I'm glad your family has been lucky with the risks they're running. Swimming lessons (especially for a six month old) are no substitute for a proper pool fence, and concern about preventable pool accidents isn't some kind of irrational obsession.

When you fall into a pool by accident, you don't control how you hit the water, and you probably still have shoes on. So try this experiment - put on a pair of jeans and tie your sneakers real tight - as tight as your parents tied them when you were four and they didn't want you to trip on your laces. Pick the spot by the side of the pool where you think you'd be most likely to trip, stand there, and tip yourself sideways until you fall into the water. Or go face first. But don't jump and don't dive.

If, after this, you still think a pool fence is some kind of overly restrictive overkill, I'd love to hear about it.
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#27 of 27 Old 04-20-2014, 09:20 AM
 
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Is the discussion regarding above-ground pools, in-ground pools, or just pools in general? I really do think that specifics can make a difference.

 

I wouldn't let my child run around an in-ground pool unsupervised - too much potential for accidents (I actually knew a woman who owned a house with an in-ground pool - she slipped, hit her head, and drowned. She lived alone, and was not found immediately).

 

As a child, my grandparents had an above-ground pool with an attached deck, accessible via stairs. I climbed up the stairs and jumped in the pool once, during the summer, when I was very young. My grandfather saw it occur, and jumped in to "save" me. I came up laughing and swam to the side of the pool - like anablis's situation, water and the pool had been part of my life from the first summer after my birth. I'm a good swimmer, I always have been, and it's something I really emphasized with my child (winter baby, in the pool from that very first summer, and swimming lessons during other seasons). It's something that I plan to do with the baby I'm expecting now. I can't think of a situation in which it would be beneficial to NOT know how to swim.

 

In-ground pool? Fenced if outside (not in-home or in a screened room). Locks on the doors that young children can't access. If in-home/screened room, inaccessible locks and/or alarms. If above-ground, that's easily managed without necessarily having a fence - just place a gate at the stairs or ladder, or pull up a removable ladder. If you haven't ever seen a child who drowned, then count yourself lucky - a family member of mine works in the ER of a city hospital and gets multiple drownings each summer. It's devastating. And, should you fall and hit your head, or are somewhat incapacitated in the water (tangled in a pool cover or solar cover, for example), swimming lessons won't help you.

 

Regardless, I do think that anablis's point about swimming lessons is a good one.


e

wife of my sun and stars

momma to tiny.human v1.0

tiny.human v2.0 summer 2014

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