It was late one summer evening, and my wife finally caved. My daughter had asked her time and time again — as three-year-olds are known to do — to go swimming in our community pool. My wife finally agreed, and the two of them walked over to the pool.
Part of the reason my wife was hesitant to go to the pool was the lack of a swim diaper. While my daughter was mostly potty trained at this point, we still had her wear a swim diaper to the pool in case of a potty accident. My daughter did well using the bathroom at home but sometimes had potty accidents if she got too involved in a fun activity.
My wife and I talked it over and decided our daughter could head to the pool without a swim diaper. We would risk it and hope she could go without an issue. We were wrong.
Potty Accident at the Pool
I forget the exact reason, but I stayed home while my wife and daughter went to the pool. I simply remember them coming home much earlier than expected, and my wife had a horrified look on her face.
Apparently, after a quick dip in the pool and some playing, my daughter had a potty accident on the deck. The lifeguard noticed and immediately shut the pool down. Since the pool was only to be open that day for another hour, the lifeguard told everyone to go home.
My wife was mortified. She quickly grabbed my daughter and most of the stuff she brought to the pool. She was not in a hurry to go back to see if she left anything. As far as potty training accidents go, this was probably the worst one we had — not because it was particularly bad but that it affected other people.
One of the biggest challenges of potty training is knowing when your child is ready for the next step. My wife and I thought our daughter could go to the pool for a few hours without a diaper because she had been accident-free for a while. In hindsight, though, we were only a few months into the potty training process. While she went consistently to the restroom in the controlled environment of our house, she was not ready to be out in public.
Although we laugh about the accident now, at the time, my wife was especially embarrassed. It took her a few weeks to go back to the pool. In fact, she asked me to take the kids so she would not have to face the lifeguard who got angry. After I went a few times and had a few normal conversations with the lifeguard (it is a small community pool that usually had one of two lifeguards working), then my wife would come back.
There will be a time for all parents when they face a potty accident. I try to remember that no kid is perfect. As parents, we should have had a swim diaper, but we also would rather our daughter have a fun time and have faith in her than just sit out. In our hearts, we felt like she was ready. We learned quickly that she was not.