I took Alex and Mickey to a pumpkin patch today where they had a fish pond. I don't think there were actually fish in it, but it was hard to tell because the water was so dark.
As the boys flitted about inspecting the pumpkins and flowers, I noticed the pond out of the corner of my eye and made a mental note to be especially watchful over the boys when we approached it. Minutes later I was sternly instructing Mickey to keep back from the edge, which he did. As I was making my mental notes and barking at Mickey, Alex stayed two or three steps ahead of me.
And then he bolted.
He ran toward the pond and didn't stop until he splashed (I believe all of South Our Town heard me screaming...). He went in up to his neck and then his cheek hit the water's surface just before I caught him up under his arm. I was quickly in up to my thigh. I was holding my camera in my right hand and raised it above my head to keep it from getting wet. (I'd like to think that if I thought Alex to be in grave danger I would have let go the camera.) So that meant I got to will all my strength to my weaker left arm and hoist him and his wet sweatsuit up out of the pond while trying not to lose my footing on who-knows-what at the bottom of the pond.
We managed to get back on shore without me getting completely submerged and the camera only a little splashed. Alex cried only a little, thank goodness...as for me I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
In case you're wondering if anyone else was there, we were the only customers. The man working there just sort of stared at us and offered to help. But I think he was wondering who these crazy people were who had disturbed his peaceful fall morning.
So what of Alex's soaking wet clothes? I happened to have a large bag of the boys' out-grown pajamas in the car that I was saving for a friend. I dug through it and found a shirt and some pants and we were in business. And that plastic bag came in handy, too.
I feel so irresponsible for not making sure I had hold of Alex's hand. I totally overestimated his two-year-old mind...thinking he would just be a little curious, not a lot. And I totally UNDERestimated how fast his little legs could move.
Oh, and as for Mickey? He watched and dutifully helped where he could. And also had some simple but sage advice: "Mom, we should go to a pumpkin patch where they don't have ponds."
And something for Alex, on our walk to the car:
"Alex, 'member you can't go in the water without a grown-up!"
Yep, Mickey, I suppose that is indeed the best advice.
"No, no, Alex...it's time to go freak mom out, remember?"
...and suddenly our quaint fall outing...
...turned into "I can't believe it's 55 degrees and windy and my son is soaking wet but I'm still taking a picture."
Shiny floor? Or bilge water? Hard to tell...
A little tight, but dry.
No way I was leaving there without my friggin' decorations.