In at the deep end

Some queries posted on Mum forums and email support groups could have left me doubting my credentials as a responsible mother but actually made me want to stick pins in my eyes.  None more so than the woman who queried how “loud and echoey” a local swimming pool was, fearful of the effect the experience might have on her son. What?

I largely go with Big Jan, the round, rambunctious health visitor in Bondi Beach whose group I joined until Bub.1 was eight weeks old. When a trembling new Mum said her baby didn’t like having her nappy changed and cried uncontrollably Big Jan said “Tough. I don’t like washing up.” And isn’t that the rub? Babies are born into this world and have to learn to live in this world.

I do worry for the children whose Mums who spend good money on baby wipe warmers, for instance. What does this teach them?

I inadvertently toughened Bub.1 up by taking him to baby swimming lessons at Icebergs in Bondi Beach. I thought it would be something to tell his kids one day. It was unfortunate that his first lesson coincided with a nasty spat of weather that caused a tsunami-like swell into the icy outdoor pool on the flanks of Bondi Beach, causing him and the other four tiny pupils to turn a bit blue, even in their cute little baby wetsuits. But he survived to tell the tale.

Some kids in the Home Counties could probably use a dip in the Pacific to sort them out, is all I’m saying.


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