Chapter Description: Johnny gets into trouble when playing with older children in the playground. Luckily this isn't the only place to have fun for little boys.
I wake up feeling drowsy.
Actually I like this state in the morning. Everything feels so completely natural, when you are still too tired to think too much. Your brain leaves most of the work to the body. For example I feel totally cozy while wearing my footed sleeper with the space shuttle and stars on it and my thick night-time-training-pant. There is a slight dampness in it, but it doesn’t bother me, for without really thinking about it, I know mommy will handle it. Slowly my consciousness moves near the awareness of my chronological age, but I instinctively push it back for the moment, as part of me realize this would just disturb the peace I feel.
I look around more interested now, discovering Skully lying left to me and taking him up for a big hug, thereby I discover a pacifier -my pacy- right of me and take it up, putting it in my mouth with a big smile. Sucking it and holding Skully I feel totally secure and once again totally remember my age. It doesn’t bother me too much anymore, though. The line between toddler and adult have become blurred and right now I feel much more like the former, as the memories of me being older become less and less relevant. I rise my legs, holding my feet with my hands. This and the feeling of thickness around my waist fully awakes me and with a last yawn I sit up and stretch myself.
Time to play!
I slide of the bed, thinking about how much more fitting Calli’s is. Yet hers is pink with a princess on it. Mine should be blue with a car on it, maybe one of Disney’s Cars like the one on my night-time-training-pant! Then I imagine sleeping in a crib and somehow this would even be better, the though of bars makes me feel protected.
The thought of cars makes me look after my fire-truck and I find it under the desk. I don’t even look up at the computer as I begin moving it on my knees. In my mind I can see it leaving the station and move through the streets and arrive at the burning factory. I make the noises of explosions, turn the ladder into its direction and make the noise water running. Firemen are so brave!
While the ruin is still smoking in my mind I discover the meadow maze. Having not played with it in a while I, so I sit down in front of it, spreading my legs in front of me as it also seems the perfect way to sit with the training pant on me. First it seems boring, yet when I move the first part from one end of a the twisted end to the other it begins to be fun. I begin to move the other pieces, in so many forms and colors. Sometimes I finish pushing them to the other end, sometimes I leave them hanging somewhere, because it looks fitting. It must have some sort of hypnotizing effect since I don’t even notice mommy until she picks me up.
"Have you played nicely Johnny?"
I nod, still a bit dazzled.
"Time for potty," she decides, beginning to carry me into the kitchen. "I think you already made a tinkle in your training-pants."
Curious I touch the front of my night-time-training-pant. It seems even wetter than before. Did I really tinkle a bit without noticing it? I quickly forget about it, when I sit on my potty. There is too much to do to think so much, especially with my body hungry for activity. I brush my teeth stark naked which feels great and feel a bit sad, when mommy dresses me in my normal training-pants. Breakfast consist of English muffin with jam, scrambled egg with cheese, grape tomato halves, all on a small green plastic plate and milk in my sippy-cup. It is really tasty and I’m glad to wear only my bib besides my training-pants, because one or two pieces fall off, when I want to eat too much, also I can clean my hands on it. Of course I’m glad to have the high-chair, too, for it feels soft on my butt and back, also it makes me feel secure to be strapped in and be able to dangle my legs. Once I’m finished, mommy unstraps me and sets me on the ground. After having Cleaned my mouth and hands with wet paper towels, mommy dresses me into a shirt and shorts.
"Have fun you little bundle of joy!"
I give her a wide grin and run away like a flash, for my room full of games. A little later it seems mommy calls me for cartoon-time, while I build a tower with blocks. Grabbing Skully I ran into the living room, placing myself in front of the TV.
In this episode of Jack and the Neverland Pirates Captain Hook is trying to steal the crew`s treasure chest. Of course he fails and I laugh at his defeat, but I begin to wish myself a pirate chest myself, for I could put all my teasures in them! The next episode has Peter Pan helping the crew in a race for Skully and I embrace my friend tightly when thinking about loosing him to mean Captain Hook. At the same time I marvel at Peter Pan. The eternal boy looks so big and cool to me. Would he want to play with me if he were here or even -more adult- real? I truly wish so, though of course it depends if he considers me a child or an adult.
The TV is switched off during the ending song and when I look around I see mother smiling down at me.
"Enough TV for little boys," she says. "Captain Jack will be there tomorrow again. Do you want to go playing outside?"
I nod enthusiastically, remembering the last time playing in the park, building sand-castles with the other toddler.
"Can Skully come with us?"
Mommy gives me a big smile and in no time I sit in the booster seat, Skully besides me, on my way to new adventures.
Mommy drives us to the park. Not the one I built the sand-castle in, but the one I played with the girl. First we go to the playground, Skully looking out of mommy’s backpack. I instantly run to the central structure with the tubes, ladders and slides. It is so big! There I join the other, mostly older children who hurry around in there. None of them pays me much attention, so I half toddle half crawl to the nearest slide. As before it looks high and dangerously steep, but I dare it and once I reach the ground I feel so brave.
I look around searching for mommy, hoping she has seen it, but don’t find her. A flash of fear races through me and I suddenly don’t feel brave anymore but lost and weak and small. Part of me makes ready to cry, when I discover mommy sitting where she sat last time. She waves smiling and I wave back, feeling better the very moment. Instantly I climb the structure again, going for another slide. Such it goes for a while, before I decide it is time for a spring rider. It is a green horse and when I make it move I imagine riding it through the wild west, being a cowboy! It is only when I already feel a bit light-headed, that I step down, instantly falling on my knees.
Searching for new things to do I find a yellow tube and crawl in it on my fours until I reach the middle where a Plastic window gives me a view on the outside. It is cool in here with the shadows making it mysterious and the soft plastic floor being comfortably warm. A cave. A pirate cave! With wonder I realize, that I would have never found this place had I not dared to speak to mommy, or got the AR-Virus in the first place. How horrifying is that!
I crawl further, eager to discover more magical places. Instead I discover two big boys, surely already in primary school, drawing in the sand and talking. I want to join them, but feel shy of how big they already are, so I stay a bit aside, drawing lines in the sand myself, unnoticed.
"Mary is really good in math!" the one with a shirt showing Anakin Skywalker from Clone Wars notices.
"Mhhmm," the other agrees, wearing a white with blue stripes and drawing something in the sand. "Dad says it is because she is Chinese."
His friend shrugs his shoulders, so the one with the Clone Wars shirt makes another line in the sand.
I come nearer a bit, noticing that it isn’t a line, but a #. It is tic-tac-toe! I smile as having recognized it and draw a field of my own in the sand.
"You loose," the one with the Clone Wars shirt notices.
"You cheat," the other replies.
His friend grins and looks around, noticing me maybe for the first time.
"I bet you can’t even win against a baby!"
The boy in the striped t-shirt looks at me scowling, which I respond with an interested look.
"Come here," the other tells me.
I feel worried of what they have planned, but at the same time curious what will happen and an eagerness to be near the big boys.
"It is fun," he beckons. "Wanna play?"
This does it. I nod and get up, walking to them.
"He wears a diaper!" The boy with the striped t-shirt notices, smiling broadly.
"Training-pant!" I insist, happy for not yet wearing a diaper.
"Sure", the Star-Wars-boy says. "Wanna play a real game?"
"He can’t even build sand-castles," the other one insists.
"Nhnh," I reply "Makka big ones."
When I rise my hands to show him how big my last one was I fall on my butt, making him rolling his eyes.
"Look here," his friend tells me, showing on the field once again wiped empty. "You make one of these," he makes X and O in fields besides each other. "And if they make a line you win."
With this he draws XXX. "See?"
I nod eagerly.
"You draw a X somewhere."
I think about it a moment, then make a X in the left upper field.
"This is stupid," the boy in the striped shirt complains.
"Afraid?" His friend asks.
This is of course something no boy can accept easily, so he sets a O in the center.
I ponder a moment, so the Star-Wars-boy helps me.
"You could make one here," he says, pointing to the field in the middle of the upper line.
I nod, drawing a X there.
The boy in the striped shirt makes a O in the field upper right.
"Now you must block this field", the other helps me, pointing at the field in the lower line left.
"Is he playing or you?", his friend asks as I do so.
"Fine", he says, looking at me. "You can do it?"
The other boy makes a O in the left field in the middle line.
Instinctively I make one in the center of the lower line.
"Lost," the boy makes a O in the right of the middle line and connecting it with the other two before turning to his friend. "Told you a baby can’t do anything."
"Make it three," his friend dared him.
The boy in the striped shirt rolls his eyes.
"Fine, he only needs to win once, but you don’t help him."
His friend nods, turning to me.
"You understand the game?"
I nod, while the other boy clears the fields.
"You start," he offers generously.
This time I put a X in the center.
He puts a O above it.
I ponder and then put a X left in the lower line
He puts a O right in upper one.
I put a X left in the upper one.
He puts a O left in the center.
I put a X in right in the lower line.
"You’ve won," the star-wars-boy says, making a line in the lower part.
"Won!" I agree grinning.
The boy with in the striped shirt scowls, clearly not happy.
"Luck. Another one decides it."
His friend clears the field, clearly happy with this one and ready to tell all their friends of it.
"I start," the one in the striped shirt says.
He makes a O in the center.
I make a X in the upper line left.
He makes a O under it.
I make a X in the lower line right.
He makes a O in the lower line left.
I make a X in the upper line left.
He makes a O in the middle of the upper line.
I make a X in the right of the middle line.
"Won!", I proclaim proudly and connect the three right lines.
The boy doesn’t take it too well and brushes over the field. The he stands up and races in direction of the banks. His friend grins at me and follows him. I stay back, alone, feeling confused. I didn’t want the other boy to be upset. Looking up I discover them talking to two women, probably their mommies. My own sits on the bank next to them, waving as me as she notices me looking, so I wave back. Turning back to the sand I begin to draw a sun with a smiling face and a few cars.
I’m sunken in my drawing, when I feel someone behind me, blocking the sun. It is mommy!
"Do you like it?", I ask eagerly.
She gives me a smile, but somehow it seems wrong. I stop worrying about it though, when she kneels down.
"It is beautiful," she tells me. "What do you think about exploring the park a bit more?"
I wonder, realizing I didn’t even have packed out my sand-toys. "I wanna make a sand-castle."
She rubs my head. "Oh but there is so much more to discover elsewhere. Lets be explorers. Kay?"
I think about what I discovered in the playground already and nod.
"Kay," I agree, though reluctantly.
Mommy smiles and picks me up. As she carries me away I look at Skully lurking out of the bag and feel sad for not seeing him sit on my castle as I had imagined it. Behind him I see the banks where the two boys now stand. They look at me awkwardly, while their mommies scowl. I wonder if they did anything wrong and hope not. Smiling I wave back, hoping to see them again soon, but they don’t respond. Mommy notices it and shows at something ahead.
"Look there a bird!"
I turn around and discover it in the three.
Mommy laughs and gives me a hug.
"Oh, my little pirate."
We find a meadow in a different corner of the park. At first I think is boring compared to the playground, but then mommy places a blanket on the grass, puts Skully on it and pulls a ball out of the rucksack. We kick the it to each other, having Skully as referee. I have so much fun and when I feel my short hindering me I remove it and the shirt, too, for I feel really warm.
Playing just in sandals and training-pants feels even better. Finally mommy gives me another good pass I stop by jumping on the ball, holding it with my arms and laughing hard. Mommy decides it is enough and she beckons me to come on the blanket. I run to her, holding the ball and let myself fall besides her on my padded bottom, smiling from ear to ear, as mommy makes a photo with her cell phone.
"The sun is happy today, too," she chirps "Time to protect someone’s soft skin."
With this she begins to rub in sun lotion, starting with the toes and ending with the nose she makes a white point on.
"All done," she says, making another photo. "Do you need a little sleep now?"
I shake my head, feeling not tired at all and playing with the ball is so much fun anyway.
Mummy smiles and pulls a tetra-pack with apple-juice out of the rucksack.
"Well then," she notices, putting the straw in it. "Why don’t you then just lay your head on your clothes while you drink a bit?"
I nod, take the tetra-pack and lay down, drinking more thirsty than I had thought to be. It is clear mommy thinks I will just fall asleep, but there is now way I...
When I open my eyes again, I feel some time has passed, since the sun stands in another position and I feel really refreshed. Mommy is tipping something in her laptop, so since I don’t want to disturb her I grab the tetra-pack. While I drink the rest which is pretty much the half, I notice my training-pants is a bit wet. Since I still feel pressure on my bladder, don’t see any toilet near and not want to leave the meadow for the world, I let go. The stream comes easy, so much easier than the first time, when I had to work really hard to get my bladder to relax and this even while lying instead of stand.
I empty the tetra-pack and make some slurping-sounds with it, making mommy look up from her desktop.
"Oh Johnny you’re awake."
I smile. "Wanna play."
Mommy returns the smile. "Well then."
She instantly puts the laptop away and I grab my ball.
"Someone made a tinkle!", mommy says noticing my wet training-pant.
I don’t deny it but smile, remembering that I can make a cross in the diaper-training-plan back at home. Mommy smiles and ribs open my training-pant, removing it before cleaning my groin with diaper wipes. I giggle at the feeling, but instead of putting another training-pant on me she just places the old one aside.
I feel insecure seeing some people walking on the way not too far from us and some teenagers playing nearby.
"Like a jaybird," mommy agrees. "But your skin is sensitive and needs some air from time to time. Besides I bet you play better without something on."
I feel hesitant, but she grabs the ball and throws it at me. As I run after it I really enjoy the feeling of the wind all over my body and as we continue to play I am too busy to feel things like modesty. It is when I see a group of three older, maybe 9 year old children playing with a Frisbee, that I remember playing with the two boys at the playground and suddenly realize what has really happened. They found out, or rather their mommies’ did, when they told them I beat one of them at the game. Falling to my knees while catching the ball, I look up at mommy. She didn’t want me to know and I won’t tell her I found out, but now I feel like a weight has been put on my shoulder. More than this I feel naked and am happy to have the ball in front of my groin.
"Do you feel tired?", mommy asks, noticing the look on my face.
"Well you really played like a pro! Time to eat something."
I smile on this, but the praise which would have felt great moments ago, now sounds false to me, as false as I feel right now. Sullenly I sit down, grabbing Skully to cover my front and not letting mommy know about it. When holding him I feel slightly better again. Beginning to feel hungry, too, I grin as mommy opens a box with crackers, carrots and grapes and we eat silently.
Finally mommy dresses me again and we go back the car. Stripped in my car-seat I expect we return home, something I welcome after what has happened at the playground, but instead we stop in a parking area I don’t recognize at first. Only when mommy takes me out I recognize the building. It is the Southern Public Pool, where I used to go quite often. Surprised I look up and mommy nods.
"It is swimming time."
We walk to the building. Well, mommy walks while I drag her along. The idea of swimming feels like so much fun! It isn’t until we enter and mommy goes to the little shop instead of the ticket desk. There she buys a floating tire, a plastic ring, a set consisting of buckets of different sizes including a shovel and a little boat. I still don’t realize, that going to swim was a spontanous idea of mummy until she grabs swim suits for us both. At the ticket desk the cashier throws a look at me which makes me feel uncomfortable.
"Children of three or under need to wear swim diapers," she notices ignoring me again. "Even if already potty-trained."
"Your tip?" mommy asks.
The cashier hands her a pack of two swim diapers from Huggies.
"Little Swimmers. Never had problems with those."
Mommy nods and pays. Meanwhile while being ignored I look around, discovering the pool-rules nearby. Despite my decision to leave reading to grown-ups, I go over them until I find the relevant part. To my surprise they specifically provide this for everyone biologically under the age of four. I guess not everyone takes this as easy as I do.
In the changing cabin mommy undresses me and finally puts the swim diaper on me. I feel so cool that is is blue and has Nemo at the front. Plus it fits extra tight. This feeling and the prospect of swimming makes me smile from ear to ear
"You know you don’t need have to show what a great swimmer you are today," mommy whispers in my ear.
I nod, feeling a bit down remembering how much fun it cost when I tried to play with the big children. We leave the cabin and after mommy puts our things in the locker we go to the showers. I run a bit ahead, feeling anxious to finally get in the water, until mommy catches up and picks me up from behind.
"Where are you going Johnny?" she asks playfully.
Surprised I look from her to the shower room for men I was about to enter.
"Little boys shower with their mommies, so they are extra fast done."
Of course I forgot, so I smile sheepishly at her as I nod.
Mommy carries me to the women’s shower.
"Do you need to potty first?"
I think a moment and then nod, so we turn right to the toilets. It feels like ages since I sat on a grown-up potty, so after mommy pulls my swim-diaper down and places me on the seat I have a hard time to balance on the edge, needing mommy to hold my hand not to fall in. Still my hanging legs don’t allow me to build enough pressure to push as I do on my potty or even could on the toilet back home with the help of a step-stool. I’m about to ask mommy to help me squat on the toilet, when someone speaks.
"Potty problems?" a female voice asks.
Mommy turns around and discovers another mother with her maybe four year old daughter in a blue bathing suit with frills and Elsa on it.
"The toilets are quite high here."
"They really are," the woman agrees. "If they had better toilets they could lower the age the children need to wear swim diapers. Luckily we have a solution. Give it to the nice lady Andrea."
The little girl smiles and silently hands mommy a toilet seat just the right size for toddlers.
"Thank you this is very nice," mommy replies and Andrea smiles. "I’m Cathleen by the way and this is Johnny."
"I’m Nicole and this is Andrea. Say hello Andrea."
The little girl quickly hides behind her mother.
"She is a bit shy," Nicole says apologetically.
Mommy puts the seat on the toilet and puts me on it. I let go nearly at once and grin proudly at the women.
They laugh and mommy goes through my hair, waiting until she is sure I’m all done until she sets me down and begins cleaning my but and front. The little girl looks clearly interested from behind her mother’s leg, but I don’t feel in any sense of shame. After all she is little older than me and the adults are mommies. Besides I once again feel eager to go into the water and don’t care too much if I do so naked at this point. Looking at Andrea I see the shimmer in her eyes telling me the same about her and it is this which makes us two instantly connect. I’m still naked we are instead herded into the shower though and I stop short of it, when I see the naked women there.
I saw naked women before in the internet of course and in more intimate ways, but this is different. First of all it is real. Four women partly covered in foam, but still the private parts very much exposed. More than this, their vaginas are just in the height of my head for me to stare directly at and staring I do. It isn’t sexual attraction which makes me stare as I no longer have the hormones for it, but the wonder at the strange sight and a sudden rush of fear. What if they find out I’m pretending? Having little boys seeing this is nothing they care too much about, but if they knew I once had been an adult the one under the shower in the left wall would make them really angry, so much I know. I blew the cover in the playground, what if I do so now?
Indeed a woman with long red hair turns her intelligent green eyes to me. There is no way I can know what she thinks, but somehow I do. I need to do something any toddler would do, something which came so naturally to me the last days, but I feel petrified.
Andrea saves me by rushing forward, eager to go under the free stream of water. Once there she jumps giggling up and down. My instincts kick in and I rush after her with an energy only a toddler has, jumping up and down, too, in an urge to imitate her. As I laugh, too, the woman who had looked at me turns away, smiling at this innocent scene and my fears are replaced by a wish to please mommy who comes nearer with Andrea’s mother.
"Don’t run here Andrea," Nicole say as she undresses her, but does so with a smile, signaling her she isn’t mad.
Our mommies undress, too and then we all get wet. How I love the feeling of warm water! A moment later we are already dressed again and enter the hall of the pool. Nicole kisses a man waiting there and when Andrea giggles I know it is her daddy. Having to hold our mommies’ hands so we don’t rush forward, I and Andrea walk forward so very slowly. While the adults talk I feel awe at the sight surrounding us and don’t register many words of the conversation. Having been here as grown up I remember a hall, big, but not very much and not exciting at all. Now all seems gigantic. The hall’s ceiling seems to hang in the sky, the adult’s pool is an ocean and the smell of ozone in the air is so exciting. Best of all is the sight of the small area for little kids, though. I saw it before of course, but never took more than a fleeing glance on it for no one to see the longing in my eyes. It never seemed very interesting, though.
Now no one minds me starring at it with wonder. How wrong I was! It is the best pool of all! A water-mushroom, a small slide in the form of an elephant and so much more! I press pull mommy forward who laughs, but gives no quarter.
Finally we reach the pool and our mommies let us go. Laughing I and Andrea run into the pool, letting us fall into the warm water. Andrea quickly goes for the elephant-slide and I toddle behind. This slide isn’t too high, hardly higher than my head and clearly for babies, but it looks like fun and when I slide down I laugh with excitement. I and Andrea do this a few times, then she runs without warning to the water-mushroom and I follow close by. There is water running from the edge of the top, creating a curtain of water. Andrea rushes in it and when I follow her she is already out. I stay inside and look around in wonder. The water-curtain creates an amazing effect, diluting the outside world. I feel something I can’t really describe by this view accompanied by a tingling feeling inside. A faint warm feeling tells me I tingle a bit in my swim-diaper, but I don’t care. Magic. This is it. I grin happily. It feels like magic.
Andrea comes rushing in again, giggling and clearly teasing me to catch her. I won’t shy back of such a challenge, so I instantly race after her. In and out of the curtain of water we rush laughing wildly as we in change hunt each other. Finally she leaves the mushroom and let herself fall into a bubbling circle of water, giggling as I let myself fall besides her. I feel too much out of breath after chasing her to laugh, but I smile satisfied of not having given in. Andrea isn’t out of energy yet though, as she begins touching me with her feet. I do the same, but find myself in disadvantage since my legs aren’t as long as hers. Suddenly I notice a small cloud of yellow coming from between her legs. It isn’t much, but I realize that Andrea has let go, too.
She looks at me critical a second then grins again, probably realizing her secret is safe with me. Instantly she has new plans and stands up, running out of the circle. Once again I follow and so we run to my mommy and Andrea’s parents who still talk, sitting on deck chairs near the pool. I can’t believe that they are still talking and missing all the fun they could have. For a moment I wonder if I disliked that much talk when I was still big, but then mommy picks me up and places me on her lap. Instantly I stop thinking and don’t even listen to the words, but lean on her breast, hearing only the soft thumb of her heart. Opposite of me Andrea is doing the same and I smile at this, instinctively letting my thumb wander into my mouth. All the worry of the day is forgotten.
I don’t know how long I sit there, but finally mommy stands up and place me on the deck chair.
"What do you say Johnny?"
I look up perplexed at her, having no idea what to say and so keeping sucking my thumb.
"Will you play with Andrea and her daddy while I swim some lines?"
I look at the man, seeing he is smiling and nod.
"Play!" I say, releasing my thumb.
Mommy smiles, handing me a bucket with a shovel and some forms in it and also the little plastic boat. Then she shoos me back to the children’s pool and walks with Andrea’s mommy to the big adult pool. I feel a sting of sadness when I remember how much I liked to swim a few lengths, but already Andrea’s daddy is leading me into the children’s pool, probably fearing I would run after mommy. Andrea is already running to the slide again, but I feel a bit awed by her speed. This is when I realize it is that because she is older she has more energy and larger legs to run, even more even if I could still swim properly I probably wouldn’t have the energy to make even half my former lengths.
Sitting down I unpack my toys and think about it. Sure, I can’t swim the lengths anymore I could as adult, but back then I couldn’t play with toys(didn’t even have a single one as scary as this now sounds), or go into the shower with mommy, or have fun at the children’s pool, or play with Andrea. I let my plastic boat swim through the waves and grin. Yes, in the end I have much more fun here this way.
As I shovel water in the bucket I realize another thing. I still can swim of course. Not by myself, which would be dangerous and suspicious, but with the floating tire it should be no problem. Feeling much better I shovel more enthusiastically and look for my boat. It has drifted near a woman sitting in the water while holding her baby between her legs. The baby is really little, looking like it has trouble sitting on its own and having a serious expression. I smile at it though, not least at all because it wears a swim-diaper with Nemo on it just like me. It scowls, but its mother smiles in return.
"Look Gerry. The little boy has send you his boat. Isn’t this nice?"
She picks up the boat and holds it to the baby who looks at it a moment and then ignores it, his legs beginning to twitch nearly on their own.
"Who needs Hawaii Gerry?"
The baby begins to cry. The woman pushes the boat in my direction, waving friendly at me, before picking the baby up, holding it close and rubbing its back to console him. I shortly wonder if this baby is an ar-virus-victim, too, or if I just see things, but then my boat reaches me. Finding it more fun right now than to think about those things I press the boat in the water, laughing as it comes up again all by itself.
Andrea comes back racing to her daddy.
"Daddy throw the ring!"
Her daddy laughs and pulls a red rubber ring out of a bag.
With this he throws it over his daughter’s head and she plunges after it laughing wildly. She throws it back to her father who must walk into the water to pick it up and throw it again. The next time he throws it I race after it, too, but Andrea is much too fast. Yet the next time it lands much nearer to me, so I catch it before Andrea, bringing it back to her daddy. On and on it goes, somehow both me and Andrea catching the ring in turn and having the best fun.
When I see our mommies returning I quickly run out of the pool to our deck chair, catching my floating tire still in it package. I want to catch her between the children’s pool and the one for adults and ask her to swim with me in the big pool using the floating tire, so I race extra quick. Too quick. Half on my way to mommy my feet slip on the wet ground and I fall.
I bawl instantly. I can’t help it. The pain is instant and hot. Consuming and seemingly everlasting. At last it seems an eternity to me before mommy picks me up and holds me close, making calming noises. It doesn’t help at first and without me noticing it, she carries me back to our deck chair and sits down with me on her lap. There she begins rocking me very softly and slowly I begin to calm down, still having tears running down my face and snot running down my nose.
A swimming pool supervisor, of about my former age, appears, giving me a consoling smile and my mother some dry paper towels. Thanking him she begins cleaning my face and makes me blow my nose.
"Do you have a patch for his knee?" mommy asks and the supervisor nods, going again.
It is then that I realize the pain is coming from my left knee instead from all over my body. Looking down I see that it covered in blood. I start crying again, this time from shock and fear, but mommy prevents it from getting serious by rocking me again, humming softly and rubbing my back. By the time the supervisor is back I have caught myself a bit, but I still whimper when she cleans the wound with a towel.
"It is alright Johnny, we only need to clean it a bit. There ready already." She takes the plasters. "Look they have dinosaurs on them."
I look up and not. Little bright pictures of T-Rex, Triceratops and a long necked one. Seeing their shapes and bright colors makes me feel better somehow. Before mommy puts two plasters about it I notice that wound which felt gigantic isn’t that large at all, just like two scratches really. Mommy thanks the supervisor and tells me to do so, too, but I don’t feel like talking and instead lean close to her, sucking my thumb. The grownups don’t seem to mind and when the supervisor walks away mommy goes through my hair, giving me a kiss on the brow. A moment later she seems wrinkles her nose a bit and though I don’t understand at first why she pulls back the behind of my swim-diaper a bit.
"You made a little stinky Johnny," she noticed amused.
I’m surprised at having not felt anything, but mommy already places me on the deck chair, making me lie down. Then she places a towel under me, opens the sides of the swim-diaper and opens it. There are people nearby, I know, also that some are watching, but I don’t care, still too occupied with the feeling of pain in my left knee. I even don’t care when mommy grabs both my ankles with one hand, raises my butt and begins cleaning it with one of the paper towel left. Mommy will make it all right, this thought, more a feeling really, is all I know at this moment and all I need.
Andrea’s mommy is standing close by, offering to throw away my old swim-diaper. While she does so, mommy makes me stand naked on the ground before making me step in the second swim-diaper of the package and pulling it up.
"Good as new."
I give her a faint smile and feel that this crisis is over.
"Do you now want to swim with mommy in the big pool?"
Actually I am not so sure about it anymore, feeling a bit tired out. Even more, looking at the pool now it appears larger than ever before. Still mommy has already unpacked the floating tire and begins blowing it. Quickly the piece of plastic transforms into a giant yellow ring with a duck head in front of it.
"Ducky!" I giggle.
Suddenly I can’t imagine not trying it out. So we walk hand in hand to the grown-up pool, me being extra careful this time because my knee still hurts. Andrea and her mommy come too and she is wearing bright yellow floatable armbands. Mommy places me in the ring. It even has a seat under it! I put my legs through the two openings feeling extra safe as I float without any effort.
Besides me Andrea jumps into the water with a big splash. She giggles and I laugh, too. The water is cooler than in our pool, but I don’t care. Eagerly I move my legs and already swim forward. Mommy is helping a bit by pulling a wing of the duck by the side, but I don’t think it really matters. In no time it seems to me we reach the other end of the length, even before Andrea who is holding on to her mommy’s back. I grin from ear to ear as I now know I can still swim lengths.
Things happening from this onward become increasingly foggy, when I remember them later. I still play a bit more. I slide the elephant-slide and show mommy my boat, but then we seem already be under the shower with mommy putting shower gel on me. Somehow I am then back in my car-seat. The sun is getting lower which I star at in wonder and mommy is asking me something I mumble something uncomprehendingly on. My next memory is of home, being undressed by mommy and placed on the potty. I believe I tinkle, but am not sure. My last memory of the day is being tucked in my bed. The thickness of my night-time-training-pant between my leg is wonderfully comforting and I notice Skully by my side. There is so much I have to tell him!
Mommy is there, too. I want to talk with her about the day.
"Swim mommy," is all I manage to say.
She smiles down on me and goes through my hair, giving me the feeling she knows everything I want to say.
"Yes Johnny," she says and bends down to give me a kiss on my brow. "Swim."
With a smile on my face and the feeling of her kiss on my brow I drift to sleep, dreaming of fun in warm water.
To be continued...