There are firsts, and then there are firsts. Kitty, Elma and I all had our first paddle in the splash pool a couple of weeks ago, but it’s not really the first splash of the year until we’ve taken H along with us too.
He may not have thought he was going in the splash pool, he might in fact have merely thought that he was just going to the park to take some photos, and perhaps have an ice cream. But then again, he reckoned without his eldest daughter!
Kitty knew we were going to end up in the splash pad even before she saw that I’d packed the swimming cozzies and towels, after all this is the girl who has been gazing longingly through the shut gates to the empty pool all the way through the winter; I think if they’d put water in it in January she’d probably have asked to go in! And so once we’d finished up our ice-creams (why yes I do believe in post-photoshoot bribery and corruption, how did you guess?), we headed over, got her changed and watched as she charged straight into the middle of the pool, twirling and throwing the water up into the smidgen of sunshine peering out from behind the clouds.
But a splash pool, wonderful thing though it is, is not quite as exciting as a splash pool with Daddy, and sure enough it wasn’t long before a certain someone approached her father with somewhat of a mischievous glint in her eye!
There was no getting out of it. After all it’s hard to claim that it’s too cold when (a) you claim to hail from the Great White North while your wife is from Devon and your daughters from the midlands and (b) your three year old is already running around in her bathers telling you it’s very warm and the one year old is eyeing up the pool in a way that rather suggests she’ll be in there as soon as she’s finished her ice cream.
I’ll admit I rather side with the girls on this one. For one thing, it’s really not that cold once your feet have got used to it, and for another, flying around in a circle while your toes tickle the top of the water looks like a lot of fun.
Of course this year it’s not just Kitty who wants one of Daddy’s “spinny spins”, but Elma too; tottering into the middle of the pool with all the confidence of her big sister, one hand tightly gripping my finger for balance until she gets to “mine Dadda” and the chance for her turn. Last year this pool was our constant companion for the summer; we spent long afternoons splashing here and keeping cool while a tiny Elma napped in the pram on the side, and I think this year is going to be remarkably similar – just as long as we get a little sunshine!