Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Saturday, 4 February 2017

How can something like this happen?

Surely we had safety precautions??

Yes. We had a pool fence, and also baby gates* on the 2x sliding doors leading to the pool-deck. One of these doors was never opened anyway, the other we kept mostly closed usually, and ALWAYS had the baby gate closed. I was the one always nagging people to make sure it was properly closed, and to make sure he was never out there alone  - despite the net.

Andrew had also decided he wanted to get another line of defense. A pool fence. He'd gone so far as to find and buy one too. He found it on Gumtree and I had gone to fetch it after work on my last work day before the Christmas break. He'd said once the fence was up we could take the net down, and I was adamant that no, the net would stay. You can never be too careful, we'd have the net, fencing AND keep the baby gates.

While Andrew was working that last week he had been trying to make a plan to get the fencing installed. We had a discussion about how he was trying to hire the large drill bits needed to install it, but everywhere he'd contacted was closed. I assured him it could wait until the following week when everything opened up again (again, what a stupid fool I was!!!). And that it was ok, that everyone took a break to enjoy that special down time between Christmas and New Year. Where life slows down and the days are long, relaxed and magical. So the gate which had actually been lying around the pool ready to be installed, got bundled into the garage to wait for the next week....

I had recently started teaching Natey basic pool safety while enjoying swimming with him during the summer break. "Hold on to the sides." "Monkey walk" "Kick kick kick" "Careful on the step, don't slip".

And we even had a book, 'Curious George goes to the Aquarium'.  Where the baby penguin who can't swim yet goes to the water's edge without his mommy, and slips. Luckily George was there to save him that day.
Natey knew that story well and would frequently mention how he mustn't go by the water without mommy. That last day at the World of Birds when we past the penguins he even said, "The baby penguin can't swim, so he mustn't go near the water without his mommy". He KNEW about this.

So how could this have happened?

Well, we had just had a swim. Instead of pulling the net closed - which was difficult, to the point of not even possible for me to do properly alone - I decided to leave the corner open, in case we wanted to swim again with daddy when he got home.

And then the gate. That damn gate. Did I close it behind us? If I did, did I make SURE the top and bottom were clipped closed? I think so... I always did, so why wouldn't I have? And then in our comings and goings over the next hour or so as we were pottering around did I open it again so he could go out and wee (we were potty training him and would prompt him to wee in the drain on the deck every now and again)..? Did I? I don't know. I just don't know. I know he knew how to open the gate, but he shouldn't have been able to easily get out. I wish I knew HOW he got out...

How can something like this happen??? It seems true that you really never can be too careful. The number of stories I have no heard of other little ones that have fallen in water. Many may saved (thank-fully) and many also ending in tragedies such as ours. It's just too sad. And to much to bear.

* We still had about 6 baby gates in the house, at one point we had about 10.


  1. Jane, maar I come and check on you often to see how you are doing. I feel your loss, the searching for answers. This could be all of us. 💜 I wish you peace and so much of love. ((hug))

  2. You were a lot more careful than we ever lived in SA that I can tell you for sure. When I think back at the number of times things could've gone wrong it just makes me go cold.

    As always, sending love and thoughts. Xx