Thursday, 24 April 2008

Not Fall Down

When Berry lost her balance and fell forward in the toddler pool at the resort, Nathan said, she didn't move. "She didn't even try to stand up." He was incredulous.

He had her out in a heartbeat, and there were tears about falling, tears about being cold, tears about wet hair, and more general tears. We wrapped her in a towel and cuddled her and changed her into warm clothes, and she seemed better.

Or not.

I didn't see it happen, but in the three weeks since then I've heard about 896 blow-by-blow replays of the "fall down pool" incident. Every time she sees water...

"I not fall-down, no. Go BOOM, pool. Splash! Splash! Ma-maaaaa! Daddy: cough! [coughing re-enactment] Daddy: okaaaay? [crying re-enactment] Come out!!" Et cetera...

Every time she gets in the bath: "I not fall-down water, no. I not fall-down." She clings to the sides of the tub and despite our best reassurances, the whole re-enactment follows.

When she comes across a colouring-book picture of Ernie in the bath: "Ernie not fall-down..." And yesterday: "Bear Partyhat not fall-down pool, ever."

You see how it goes.

It could be worse... at least she gets in the bathtub without tears, and several days after the famous Fall Down, Nathan was able to persuade her to sit in a pool with him (holding on tight) ...a kind of getting back on the horse, if you will.

Our child psychiatrist friend Kirk, who very kindly answers my neurotic 3am parenting emails about his goddaughter, assures me that we're giving the right reassurances and that she will, in fact, bounce back from the trauma.

I guess if we're still hearing "fall down pool" stories before she leaves for Spring Break 2023*, we'll know we have a problem.

[*I think I just gave myself a small heart attack. Excuse me while I go have a lie-down...]


  1. Poor Berry! I can relate to the constant re-living of traumatic experiences. My three year old recently got stuck at Tumble Drum type indoor play place and he's still re-enacting the horror of how long it took me to find him, and how my friend's kids couldn't help him.

  2. she will get over it. Same thing happened to my son when he was younger. It only took a year!
    little by little baby steps.
    i love it when they reenact the moment and add the coughs and splutters and flailing. so dramatic sometimes.

  3. Dont worry she will grow out of it at her own pace:) Cute story!

  4. awww, my son fell in a pool at about that age and sank, I jumped in and grabbed him right away. He never really mentioned it again but i think i babbled stuff like Berry is saying for at least a year...

    hope she gets over it soon.

  5. Smart getting her near a pool again..and going slowly..She will get over it, but it really frightened her
    and she sure is letting you know.

  6. Poor thing!
    You seem like wonderful parents and having a child psychiatrist at your beck and call must be a wonderful thing. I wish I were so lucky.

    I know I'm always second guessing myself hoping my "Mothering" is up to par - to have some reassurance would be nice.

  7. I'm certain the reliving is worse on you than it is on her, but still, poor girl. I guess all you can do is reassure her that she's fine now and she shouldn't be afraid of it happening again. Lucky you have a psychiatrist friend to help you out at times like these!

    Love your blog!

  8. Awwww, I love these stories about Berry! You're giving me lots to look forward to (and worry about)!

  9. My son had a fear of water all through childhood... now that he's all grown he doesn't stay out of it. But we do still hear from time to time his story that brought him to fear water.
    I'm glad your daughter didn't get hurt!

  10. awwww, yeah. Kirk made it onto the blog...