When you take your child swimming, do you always watch them?
We went swimming yesterday, spur of the moment when a friend called to say she was in town. So, we met her and swam for the last half hour she was there.
Well, her 3-4 yr old daughter was hanging onto my daughters floaty in the shallower area of the water listening pretty well and staying by her mom. Our friend turned to talk to her other two girls in the water with her (they are 7 and 8 I think) and some little boy came up and started pushing my daughter, flying across the frickin water, with my friends daughter in tow. I see, try to rush over and grab my daughter's floaty...which now two children are hanging on to making it super easy for my daughter to tip out. This kid actually moved it so I couldn't grab it... So, I grabbed his life vest that he was wearing and simply picked him up and moved off my daughter's floaty, setting him down with an, "I don't think so!" I did not yell, curse, scream, or lay into him. I simply moved him by the means available to me. I did not hurt him. I did not rip him out of the water violenty or even toss him aside. I'm estimating this kid to be about 7-8 years old.
Well, more than five minutes later, his mom appears and starts yelling at me telling me not to lift her kid by his vest.... to which, all I said was, "He was damn near tipping my daughter into the water!" I didn't yell at her either. I just said it, and she told me she didn't care. I turned around and ignored her, but am fuming over this. Well, within a couple minutes, her kid and another boy are attempting to make me mad by screaming, loudly babbling, and kicking right near us. Trying to throw each other to the point where they could possibly hit another person (not just my kids or myself, but my friends daughters and other playing children and adults), and just being spoiled rotten little brats. I ignore them, but I do pass my daughter back by her Daddy because I don't want to deal with those kids with my daughter. Glancing up to shore... wouldn't you know, his mom is NO WHERE to be found the WHOLE time we were there. No where. I couldn't see her from the water, which means she could not see her kid from where she was either.
I'm wishing I would have told that woman something on the lines of, "You need to consider teaching your child that he shouldn't touch people he doesn't know, and property that isn't his. He could have drowned my daughter by tipping her over! I think lifiting him by his vest is the least of your worries." But, I just thought don't make an even bigger scene, though people knew I was pissed. He took my almost two year old daughter to use as her personal toy and floatation device... had he of tipped her, his mom would have gotten more than an ear full of words and I can tell you, they would have been colorful too. Had this had been reversed and it was my 5 year old (who is allowed to play in the water without an adult right next to him, but I am constantly searching for him and he is to stay where he can touch unless coming out to myself or Daddy), not only would I have appoligized profusely to the other parent, but I probably would have whooped his rear end right no the beach. He is five...a little slow for understanding some things, and he even knows NOT to use his sister's floaty...
When we left, she was up on top of the hill talking with other adults in the pavilion. There is no way she could have been watching her child from where she was. No way.
So, my question is, Do you sit back and trust a life vest to watch your child for you? Or do you actively, at least, sit on the beach and watch your own child?