Waterparks offer a fertile ground for terrifying/teachable moments with young kids.
Take today for example.
My young family and I went to such a place, replete with giant slides, lazy rivers, splash ponds, and everything else in between. A paradise for children in the throes of endless summer. The crowds have gone back to school and as such, the lines and queues have disappeared.
Zero wait time between rides. What a life.
After trying everything once with my soon-to-be 5-year-old. He asked if he could go down a tube slide by himself. He’s a good swimmer and it’s in inches of water, so I thought what the heck and told him to go for it.
I stood by the splash-zone and waited for him to emerge triumphant.
Except it seemed things were taking too long. Then the lifeguard’s hand went to his earpiece, radios started cackling and he went running up the end of the waterslide. My heart felt like it stopped beating for about 10 long seconds, until I saw my child kicking his tube down and wiping the tears from his eyes.
Seeing he was just fine (sweet relief), I jogged over to pick him up and get the scoop on what happened.
As he told me about flipping over on one of the turns, he said he got scared and didn’t know what to do. So he held on until the lifeguard came to get him. I rubbed his back and told him he was brave and wouldn’t blame him if he wanted to quit for the day.
He looked at me like I was crazy, wiped his face, and charged up the stairs to try again.