Preschool Polar Plunge

You know those polar plunges they do every Spring? People don bikinis and crazy costumes and jump in to the icy water, on purpose? Never could quite understand that. My five-year old apparently has that same dare-devil gene.

After dinner last night, the kids and I decided to walk to the park. It was sunny-ish out and they really wanted to take their scooters for a spin. Mind you, there’s gravel all over the road still, but they really wanted that taste of summer. So, they rode their scooters and I pushed the jogging stroller. It has a flat tire I haven’t fixed, but it still pushes.

At the park, the kids ran wild like they’d never heard of sunshine before. (As I write this, it’s snowing.) They spotted two men in their early 20s with a remote-controlled plane and watched intently as the guys did landings and take offs and midair maneuvers.

Then, they hit the playground. There was a chorus of “Mom, watch me!” and “Look at this!” as they sped those scooters across little puddles and down embankments. They were having a blast. The baby even got in on the fun as I pushed him down the slide. Down the slide then lifted back to the top then down the slide then back to the top. This should really be a workout routine.

As I did circuit 17 of the up-down slide workout, I heard a splash and then that glug glug sound and then screaming. I could hear my five-year old in panic mode, but wasn’t sure where exactly he was. I found him  in a gully between the playground equipment and the soccer field. He was standing up to his waist in ice water. The gully was filled with snow melt. He’d seen a rock in it and assumed it wasn’t too deep. So, he thought he’d jump in- like kids do. To his surprise, that small rock he’d seen was actually the tip of a big rock. (Think Titanic and the iceberg.) Before he knew it, he was completely submerged.

Wearing his snow gear, he was soaked through and through. He began shivering instantly and seemed confused and terrified. I pulled him out of the water and told him to sit down while I ran across the park. The men with their planes stared at me as I bolted at them as fast as I could while carrying my 15 month old son on my hip. One of them had driven a pick up truck with a snow machine in the back. I explained the situation and before I knew it, my eight year old daughter was being a big helper and pushing the stroller and pulling the scooters to the truck while I tried to get the soaked-to-the-bone boy into the truck.

After wiping up the lake left behind by my son in the leather back seats of the pick up truck, I thanked the driver and rushed the kids inside. I began to strip my son- peeling off each dripping layer until he stood there freezing in his underroos. He got in a warm tub and began warming up. After the shivering had stopped and I’d googled “hypothermia” he started acting and looking better. I knew he was okay when he asked where his sister was and when I told him she was in the kitchen eating ice cream, he demanded a bowl for himself.

He fell right  to sleep last night. I’m not sure if it was the frigid swim or all that scooting. What I do know is my son must have a fleet of guardian angels that work in shifts.

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