Today we decided to escape the 90 degree weather inside our condo and head out into the cooler weather outside. Since it's the first almost-hot day of the year, we headed over to a fountain/wading pool tucked into a corner of Seattle Center. I'd geared the kids up in swim diapers and swimsuits at home, so we just hopped right in. We walked around and splashed for a little while, then Vivian started fussing, so I got out with her and walked to the edge of the wading area to change her into dry clothes on a nearby bench. I let Ethan stay in the water, close to me while I changed Vivian. BIG MISTAKE.
Ethan is very cautious and scared of most things, so it never occurred to me that he'd go more than a foot or two away. But shortly he was a bit further out, and thanks to the other people at the wading pool, he couldn't hear me calling him to come back. Or he was ignoring me, who knows.
I could still see him this whole time, so was quickly changing Vivian while watching Ethan. I was 99% done and ready to go get Ethan out of the water when I saw him slip down. And he couldn't get up again. He just kept trying to get up and kept swallowing water. I don't think any of the other parents nearby noticed or realized that he was actually in trouble, and I grabbed Vivian and ran through the water as fast as I could move. By the time I got to him he was gagging and coughing and choking and it took a little while to get everything under control.
Then he threw a temper tantrum about having to take of his soaked t-shirt and I figured everything was okay. The whole way home he kept saying "Mommy! Water in mouth!" while I tried not to cry. It's going to be a while before I'm brave enough to take the two kids to a non-lifeguarded wading area again!
I'd started to realize yesterday that having two little kids who are both mobile might be a bit more challenging that I had thought it would be. Vivian's fully walking now, and yesterday at the Children's Museum was the first time when I had trouble keeping them both at the same place at the same time. It's going to be an interesting summer! I really need to find a cloning machine if we're all going to make it through in one piece...