Saturday, May 04, 2013

making a splash

The thing people will ask you most as a boat parent is "what about falling in."

Zach was a very naturally cautious kid. We took all the safety precautions with him, teaching him to always have on his PFD, no running on the docks, watch the edges, etc. But in truth he just naturally stuck by my side.

Numero two, not so much. She does know the rules, and she is a rock star about not going down the dock without me or a PFD (we call them "floaties") on. She will run from the lawn and stop automatically right where the wood of the dock starts. But in other ways, she is more of a push the limits kind of gal (hence our 3 trips to the ER just in the past 9 months.)

So while Zach managed not to fall in until he was 5 years old, it was no surprise to me that Naia took her first dunk this week. I walked with her down to the dinghy dock to secure and clean up the kayak. I looked at her and said, don't touch the paddles, just stay there for one minute while I move the kayak around this other boat. And 3 seconds after I turn my back I heard the cry.  A quick glace at the scene and it was clear she did exactly what I asked her not to do. She grabbed the enormous kayak paddle and took it to the edge of the dock and tried to paddle the water. Of course. And of course fell in. She had her PFD on and it did its job of floating her head up on her back. I grabbed the handle and pulled her up in a jiffy.

She was startled more than anything, and cold (have I mentioned it's still cold here? Seriously, what's up with this weather?!), but she was ok. I dried her off, changed her clothes, and talked to her very seriously about listening, especially around the water.
Zach is a champ about setting a good example for Naia, but sometimes a kid is just a kid. The other day he had been outside a long time and when I peeked out I found this.

He collected all of the fenders that had washed up in a recent wind storm, and a life ring, and a boogie board, and a basketball and was apparently making a raft. Because, you know mom Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn did it and they were about my age so how hard can it be?

Love that crazy kid.

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