A polite request

FamilyMattersJackson Biko appeals to other parents to follow his small pool etiquette

This is a polite request for the adults with big elbows to please get out of the baby pool. Yes you, Baldy. Don’t look around, there isn’t anybody else balding in that pool, is there? I beg you. Just get out of the baby pool, please? Yes, right this moment, if it isn’t too much trouble. Why? Because you are lying there like a seal and taking half the space in the pool – and scaring the kids out of their wits while you’re at it. That’s it, atta boy, careful you don’t slip and fall, ah, there you go… thank you!

The Christmas holidays are here, which means you probably have family plans to go down to a resort by a beach and have fun with the family. Which means if you have very young kids and you are a dad, you won’t be on holiday because the missus will grab an old magazine or book and lie on a lounge bed by the swimming pool the whole day, ignoring the book (and you) while you run around with the kids. You’ll be busy making sure they don’t drown and fetching them pizza or ice-cream every three minutes (because kids are always eating). You’ll be dragged down to the beach to pick shells and run around, then you’ll have to walk back to the room half a kilometre away to get an extra diaper for the little one (because he won’t stop eating), or go to look for monkeys in the part of the hotel that has loads of palm trees because the eldest saw a monkey and she thinks it would be fun if you looked for it after all the running around you have been doing.

On top of all this, you will find it hard to deal with the adult in the baby pool. The adult in the baby pool is usually some chap who, while the rest of us were learning how to swim, was learning how to play the piano. So he doesn’t know how to ride a bike or swim, and when he goes on holiday with his kids, and he wants to show off his new swimming gear, he will invariably join them in the baby pool. He will bob about there, splashing water and making strange gurgling sounds and poke your child’s left eye while he’s at it.

The whole point of holidays is to spread a little cheer and interact with other holidaymakers. You have to admit it’s going to be a tad difficult to do that when you run into Baldy at the buffet table at dinner and strike up a conversation. You won’t even be able to look him in the eye.

So please don’t get in the baby pool no matter how tempting it may look. Don’t do it – for the sake of humanity and the spirit of Christmas. Be selfless. Walk away. History will remember you fondly.