I drove to the club alone, but my Mom met us there, to sign us in.
It was 5pm, and windy, and the baby pool was not in the sun anymore. The strong sea breeze was making tiny ripples across the water.
I changed Faith first, then handed her off to Mom, who helped me to hold on to her. Faith was raring to go, costume or floats on or not. But she had to wait till I changed Isaac. After I placed him back into the pram, I started to inflate the floats.
While I was blowing up Isaac's float, he decided to have a pee... while sitting in the pram... in his swimsuit... without any diapers on.
We rushed over to get him out and to soak up the wet seat with tissues. He and his perfect timing.
I let Faith go once her arm floats were on, and she ran right into the water to play. Isaac I placed into his circular float with the built-in seat. He was a little frightened and sulked at first, crying to be returned to dry land.
So I took him out of his float and held him for a while, splashing the water to make him laugh away his fears. Once or twice, I let him stand in the pool, holding on to him while he found his footing. He was tall enough to stand in the shallow end, and he did it holding on to me. I gently splashed the water around him, occasionally pretending to splash water at his sister too. When he was sufficiently entertained and more confident, I placed him back into the float.
There was only one other little girl in the pool with us, and she was in her own ring float, watching us play. Faith was splashing around and doing her duck dunks, where she would stick her head into the water, both arms sticking out in the air, like a duck looking for fish to eat.
The little girl, whom I thought was younger than Faith (she looked smaller), then came up to me and asked, "How old is he?" looking at Faith.
I smiled, and said, "Who do you mean? My son or my daughter?"
"Him, is he a boy or a girl?" she asked, looking at Faith again.
Then I realised Faith's short hair did make her look a little like a boy.
"Oh, she's a girl," I said.
"What's her name?" she asked.
"Her name is Faith," I said. "And what's yours?"
"Desiree," she replied. "Faith is a very nice name."
"Why thank you," I said, very surprised at her politeness and eloquence, "Desiree is a very nice name too."
"How old is she?" Desiree asked.
"Four, she's four years old, and how old are you?" I asked.
"I am four too," said Desiree.
Then she is older than Faith, I thought, because I had rounded up. Faith would only be four in March. To think that Faith was a good half a head taller than this very articulate young lady.
"I see. But although Faith is four, she cannot talk yet," I said, wondering why I felt a need to tell her that. Perhaps I did not want her to think Faith rude for not chatting with her.
"Why? Her teacher never teach her?" asked Desiree, curious as to why a child the same age as her is not able to talk yet.
"No, it's not because her teacher didn't teach her. Faith is special, and she needs to learn in a different way. And some things take longer for her," I tried to explain in the simplest way I could.
Desiree nodded her head, and went back to looking at a giggling Faith splash around the baby pool.
I took Isaac out to have his shower, as his hands were feeling cold already, and some blue veins could be seen. I stayed back to let Faith play a little more.
Later when it was time for Faith to get her shower, and we were about to go, little Desiree asked, "Is Faith going home?"
Children have such a wonderful memory, an adult would not have remembered names like this, our minds always full of other things.
"Yes," I said, "Are you staying here?" referring to the chalets in the club.
"No, I stay somewhere else. Does Faith like it here?"
"Yes, she loves swimming here."
"Is it because she likes the pool, and the nice water, and the cool wind, and the way the wind blows the water and makes the water move?"
"Yes, Desiree, all that. And she likes to swim."
We said goodbye, and I carried a reluctant Faith to a waiting towel held open by Grandma.
Maybe one day, when we meet Desiree again in this pool, Faith would also be able to have a conversation with her, and talk about the pool, and the nice water, and the cool wind, and the way the wind blows the water and makes the water move.