Kids and the P Word
There’s something far too engaging about being in a pool that makes it hard for kids to get out. You know what I mean, don’t you? That certain letter of the alphabet that conjures up adult dismay, and it ain’t “A.”
Actually it’s the only letter that comes to mind that summons up a great sense of urgency: it’s “P.” Kids know immediately what you are talking about, of course. In a young child’s mind bodily functions are an endless source of interest and discussion. Truth be known, many of us never seem to leave that zone!
But kids are down to earth about it, which in some ways is refreshing. They don’t need to speak in code about what makes perfectly common sense. It’s only we adults who resort to ridiculous alphabetical code. By the way, would you care for some “T”? O.I.C. you prefer coffee.
Well, anyway, to try to stop school kids from adding something extra to the pool, we used to warn them that the pool owners sometimes use a special additive that immediately makes the water go black in the presence of what shouldn’t be in there. This usually induces a look of knowing fear across little faces and a certain commitment to get out of the water when necessary.
Now, I don’t know whether the black dye thing is a hoax or not. But it does have one powerful property: it makes kids hang on. And that is definitely better than watching twenty-four kids in the water and someone loudly declaring, “O. P!”
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