M. Giant's
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Friday, February 16, 2007  

Water Fall

Just to follow up on the last entry, it turns out I was wrong about having Yellow Wiggle Disease. Looks like it was just a little fluid built up in one of my ears. It hasn't happened again, in any case.

Even better news? I've lost ten pounds since last year! Woohoo! Not only am I no longer nearly obese, but at this rate, I'll reach my target weight well before I'm 80.

* * *

We take M. Small to this large indoor park at least once a week during the winter months. It has a big gymnasium, swings, balls, nets, this giant complex of climbing tunnels and slides, and pretty much everything else you'd put into an indoor park if you had unlimited money and space. Naturally, M. Small's favorite feature is the waterfall. It's an actual fountain in the shape of a miniature waterfall. It tumbles into a pond, and then under a footbridge, and from there into another little fountain on the lower level. The actual waterfall has a waist-high railing in front of it, but the sides of the little lagoon are protected only by stone walls that are literally one inch high. I always think, Some kid's going to fall in there one of these days. Usually I think it when M. Small is swirling his fingers around in there while I hold onto his shoulder until he yells "Don't touch me!" and I make us move on to something else.

The other night at the park, I decided to experiment with giving him a little more space and not being so hover-y. The experiment was not a particular success. While taking his coat off, I told him several times that he would have to stay close to me until I'd hung up both of our coats. Yet as soon as he was free, he ran right over to that little moat, lay down lengthwise on that pathetic little retaining wall and started swirling his hand around. I could see him fine, but that wasn't the point. I told him several times, in tones of increasing severity, to come back. He ignored me every time. Finally, after I got the coats hung up, I started over there to get him. Seeing me coming his way with such a purposeful stride, he giggled mischievously and his entire body twitched.

When I got there, I picked him up, gave him a little talking to, then made him sit for a while before starting to play. That'll learn him, I didn't think for one second.

After running around in the gym for a while, he started tugging on the seat of his pants in that way that tells me there's a load in them. On the way up to the men's room, I stopped at the coat rack to grab the spare diaper and Ziploc sandwich bag of baby wipes from my coat pocket. Went up and changed him without incident, although he remarked that I was unnecessarily clangy with the metal trash can. On the way back, I let him press the elevator button to go down to the play level. With me right behind him the whole time, he trotted out of the elevator, along the stone footpath, back up on that little moat wall, and right into the water.

I don't think he meant to fall all the way in. He probably thought he could let one toe slip off the top of the wall and be fine. But a second later, he was lying on his belly in eight inches of not especially warm fountain water. Oops. At least the back of his shirts and the back of his hair were still dry.

I of course fished him right out and carried him back to the bathroom, him dripping and crying in embarrassment the whole way. "I'm wet," he said. "I'm dirty." And, I refrained from telling him, You're screwed. It was maybe ten degrees outside. How was I going to get him out to the car and home without turning him into an icicle?

Up in the bathroom, I got him out of his soaked clothes and put my own shirt on him. Just our luck that I happened to be wearing the largest shirt I own that evening. He wanted nothing to do with it, of course. He wanted his own shirt and pants back, as well as his socks and his shoes, no matter how many times I explained that they were too wet to put back on. Even if the noise from the air-powered hand dryers in the bathrooms hadn't freaked him out, drying his clothes with them would have taken days. There weren't even paper towels in there. There might have been fresh clothes in the diaper bag I have in my car, but then there might not have been. And even if there were, I wasn't about to leave him waiting for me in the bathroom in a diaper and my shirt, any more than I was going to carry him out to the car that way.

There was nothing for it but to call Trash at home, admit what happened, and tell her to get her ass down there with a towel, dry clothes, dry shoes, and a fresh diaper.

"How did this happen again?" she asked me.

"Don't talk, pack," I told her, trying to calm M. Small and prevent him from wriggling out of a shirt that fit him the way a hot air balloon would fit me.

Fifteen minutes later, she met us in the lobby. M. Small's toes were dangling just past the hem of a shirt I'd buttoned to the collar up his back, and his hands were intermittently poking out of sleeves I'd rolled to the shoulders. He was so happy to see actual clothes of his he could wear that he refused to take his new green shirt off until the next night.

After I changed him again and dressed him in his new outfit, complete with black moon boots, I wanted to take him right home and plop him in a hot bath. But he seemed to have recovered, and he insisted on running around in the park for the next ten minutes. It's just something interesting that happened to him now. He tells everyone he sees, "I tripped and fell in the waterfall." He'll say it to you if you ever meet him. I just wanted to explain in advance what that was about.

posted by M. Giant 7:50 PM 5 comments


I'm so relieved that you don't have YWD!

By Blogger Unknown, at February 17, 2007 at 6:49 AM  

I have a little boy in my preschool class that tells everyone "I peed in a cup" from his doctors appoitment 3 MONTHS AGO! It's amazing what they remember. This is also the kid that somehow drops his mittens in the toilet more than once. Why he had his mittens in the bathroom, I don't know. He's just one of those kids.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 17, 2007 at 7:23 AM  

Awesome. I bet we're not too far from the "I meant to do that" stage, too.

Great news about the vertigo thing. I am presently suffering from biochemistry class-induced grumpitis. So that explains my snarky comment about yer head.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at February 17, 2007 at 12:00 PM  

It's the same snarky comment my HEAD was making, dude, so don't apologize.

Glad to hear the vertigo is just ear stuff. We dig you, you know.

By Blogger alisonjane, at February 17, 2007 at 3:33 PM  

This story takes me back! I had almost forgotten this, but my now-15 year old daughter took a header into a duck pond at about M. Small's age...it wasn't as cold as where you are by a long shot but definitely not swimming weather, and we were over a mile from home with the stroller. Turns out if you get really creative you can put a sweatshirt jacket on a kid's legs like pants!
(Also, good to hear you don't have YWD.)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 19, 2007 at 2:03 PM  

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