The Incident

More often than not, I question my own smartness.

I wonder if it I’m coming down with some sort of environmental retardation that hand sanitizer can’t kill.

I mean, I thought I was generally intelligent.  I can spell my own name and fill out rudimentary forms.  I know enough to wear clean underwear in case of an accident and sometimes I think I have TiVo figured out.  But the other day my confidence was dealt a serious blow.

Truth be told, this kind of thing is happening more often than I’d like to admit but to hell with pride and shame.  I might as well us these idiotic vignettes to my advantage since I’ve taken the time and effort to keep this blog going in all its self-indulgent glory.

“The Incident” as it shall be known henceforth, went a little something like this:  (names have been changed to protect the intelligent and formatting is not within industry standard)

INT. RESTAURANT – DAY

TWO COUPLES, a PROUD GRANDMOTHER, a 2-YEAR OLD and ME occupy a large round table.  A high chair adorns one end.

PROUD GRANDMOTHER

You know, our little Cally here took swimming lessons this summer.

She points to the beautiful 2-YEAR OLD who is deeply focused on picking up minuscule pieces of chicken between her thumb and forefinger.

ME

Cool!  I love to see kids in those little blow-up water wings.

PROUD GRANDMOTHER

Oh, no!  She doesn’t wear those things!

ME

That’s a little scary.  One time I saw this National Geographic special about how infants naturally hold their breath underwater.  I thought it was kind of disturbing seeing week old infants being tossed into the deep end of an Olympic-size swimming pool.   But come to think of it, they DID hold their breath.  And they sort of did this little dog-paddling thing that I found even harder to watch.  I don’t know, they just didn’t seem to…well….have any choice.  The concept seemed a little out there for my taste.  Then again, those catchy phrases like “sink or swim” had to come from somewhere, right?

PROUD GRANDMOTHER

Well, that’s not how they do it these days.  When the babies cry, the teacher just dunks them under and they stop.  They get used to it after a while.

ME

Okay.  That sounds so much better.

The Proud Grandmother reaches for her cell phone and opens it.

PROUD GRANDMOTHER

She goes underwater, eyes open, mouth open grinning ear to ear.  She can dive clear to the bottom and back up again.

The Proud Grandmother hands me the cell phone on which there is a darling picture of a smiling 2-year old, eyes wide open floating weightless in crystal clear, chlorinated splendor.

And I thought to myself….I wonder how they managed to get that cell phone under the water to snap that picture.

When I accidentally dropped mine in the toilet, it stopped working.

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Kitty
September 8, 2009 3:21 am

Haha, that’s exactly what I was thinking, how’d they get that underwater photo.

Baby swimming does seem like a cruel process.

Linda
Linda
September 8, 2009 2:14 pm

Oh my dear Julie, have you blocked out the precious memories of the private swimming lessons given to you by your older sister and your favorite cousis. We used the exact method described above. You loved it. Yes, your eyes were wide open but I don’t think that the expression on your face could be as described above. Yes, oh yes you cried, but down to the bottom again and again until we got caught…oh I mean until you learned to swim and we all had a lot of fun. So see, nothing has chanaged except phones…no more phones attached… Read more »

Dominic
Dominic
September 11, 2009 6:51 am

Oh my gosh, where do I begin!
My adorable little one tried swimming on her own at the beginning of summer at 15 months. She sunk like a stone! I broke Phelps swimming record, while my spouse broke the land speed record! She sunk, is that bad, do i have to plan her life accordingly…. Well by the end of summer, and some warning that she was going to go under. She did very well. We are still recovering!

michele
September 12, 2009 1:26 pm

Good thing the baby is too young to remember. It seems traumatizing to me!

Dominic
Dominic
September 14, 2009 12:00 pm

More to me, I am old enough remember