Pond diving & the parenting fail…


I mentioned yesterday on the blog that I had an epic parenting fail, and that Edie fell in the pond, and as I result I had a few messages across social asking me what had happened and to put the full story on the blog.

I apologise if you’ve seen it on Instagram, but for those of you that haven’t, I thought I’d share.

It was a few weeks ago now, the day after we’d been pond skipping in our garden pond, catching water beetles with our bug kit from RSPB. Obviously we had nets, everything was supervised etc but it gave Edith the illusion that the “don’t go past the pond barrier” rule the boys know so well, was optional. It’s not. I’m very strict with the pond – big advocate of garden ponds – and we have a rule that you can’t go past the mini wall line without an adult present. I’ve never had an issue with the boys and following this rule, but Edith… Well, Edith is a law unto herself. By which I mean she is a sod who rarely does ANYTHING she’s told to. I believe the fashionable mums call it “free spirited”. Yeah.

Anyhoo, the kids were in the garden and I had noticed Edie had started going to the pond, throwing stones in and generally being cheeky. She was told off multiple times, had her hands smacked and was made to come inside several times to no avail. Eventually I went with the principal that while she was playing on the climbing frame with her brothers I was safe to head inside and do the dishes while I watched them through the window.

Stupid, rookie mum move.

I afford my kids a lot of trust, I think it’s super important not to be hovered over as you grow and learn. How can you properly learn and enjoy life if you aren’t given the space to spread your wings?

While I still stick to that and I wouldn’t change the way I parent because of this little fuck up,  I do have to say this was a monumental cock up.

As I went inside Edith tottered over to the pond and reignited her passion for decorative stone destruction. Roo ran over, as I asked him to “keep an eye on her sister” (though, it’s not really keeping an eye on her when I can see her through the window) and shout me if she’s naughty, and picked her up to take her away. Unfortunately she screamed at him, hit him with her spade (ABH) and promptly ran back to the pond. Reuben bellowed “Mummmmm Edith’s being naughty, she won’t…” And then the screaming started. “Edith’s drownding! Edith’s drownding”!

Obviously I heard the scream before I really realise what had happened and the next thing I know I’m hip deep in our pond hauling Edith out by her romper and walloping her head on the decorative rocks she was so keen to demolish.

Two things; firstly Reuben was hysterical. He was shaking and almost convinced that Edith was dying and it was his fault because “mummy asked me to watch her and I couldn’t stop her… She just fell”. Shit. In this instance, the only thing to do was to explain to him that by shrieking that she had fallen in the pond, he saved her and was the hero of the day – which is technically true. The last thing I would want to do is give him to misconception that Edith wasn’t in any danger as he may think that bodies of water like ponds and lakes aren’t dangerous, and I didn’t want him to think that ANY responsibility for this lay on his shoulders – it didn’t, it rested it’s ugly body firmly on my shoulders, like a cloak of guilt.

Secondary to this, Edith actually SWAM. Not flailed around in the water, but swam from one side of the pond to the other and was about to perform her hold on when I got to her. The years of effort and money we have put into Water Babies swim classes (Edie started at 2 weeks) have paid off in dividends and, though I’m mortified that my child had to use her safety training, she had the skills to not only swim in a situation fraught with panic and shock, but to attempt to climb out or hold on to something until help arrived.

Has this whole experience put me off garden ponds? No. Has it made me more cautious of allowing Edith’s outside without my presence? Yes.

If nothing else, my phobia of being in the water of fish has officially been top trumped by mother’s instinct… Deadpool and Nemo are still, reluctantly, fishy members of the family.

Have you had a parenting fail recently?

H x


  1. August 18, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Ah must been so terrifying for you all. I am so glad she’s okay and how amazing that she used the skill she had learnt at water babies thats just amazing! xx

    • Harriet August 22, 2016 / 8:28 am

      Thanks Amy, oh it was awful!

  2. August 18, 2016 / 6:59 am

    OMG, this is a pretty scary situation. Good job it all was good in the end.
    It reminds me of when I was 4-5 years old and my mum told me hundrets of times to not go to the berry bushes whilst walking in forest with her. Next thing she was running back home with me in her arms covered in spikes all over my body and screaming. Luckily, I don’t remember this 😉

    • Harriet August 22, 2016 / 8:30 am

      It was! That sounds awful!

  3. August 18, 2016 / 1:34 am

    Oh My God, what a terrifying experience for you all to go through in that split second. I’d have been beside myself. Good on you for jumping straight in. Sounds like those swimming lessons were well worth the money xxx

  4. August 17, 2016 / 11:53 pm

    Hey, these things happen! Everyone lived to tell the tale and hopefully Edie will learn that no means no… Don’t beat yourself up too much 🙂

  5. hannah
    August 17, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    The main thing was that they were alright. Glad to see that they are doing fine now.

  6. August 17, 2016 / 10:13 pm

    OMG what a huge fright for all of you. We’ve never had a pond, but in our old house which had a huge garden, we fenced a smaller area off nearest the house to childproof it

  7. August 17, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    Goodness me how scary! But what a clever little fish managing to swim. Ha to the Water Babies prices, they’re extortionate, aren’t they!! Glad you’re all ok x

  8. August 17, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    Oh my god you mus thave been so scared, I am so glad that she’s okay x

  9. August 17, 2016 / 9:59 pm

    How amazing is water babies hey? I don’t think you should beat yourself up hun. Accidents happen and you’ve safeguarded as much as you can by helping her learn to swim. Remember teddy falling down the stairs and you telling me not to beat myself up? Well i’m doing the same now 😉 you’re a fab mama xxx

    • Harriet August 22, 2016 / 8:32 am

      Haha yes I do remember – you are such a sweetie! Thank you xx

  10. August 17, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    Oh no! It’s awesome that you had the foresight to invest in those swim lessons. Reuben did a great job letting you know what happened.

    • Harriet August 22, 2016 / 8:33 am

      Thanks Liz, he did!

  11. August 17, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Oh my gosh! I can’t even imagine how scared Reuben must have been, let alone you! But it’s crazy how you just go into power into survival mode when something like this happens. I haven’t had a parenting fail recently but I can tell you I have had so many along the years! I’m so glad that Edith is okay xxx

  12. August 17, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    Oh how harrowing for a parent. Glad that Edie was ok and the swim classes came in handy. Glad you were by her side quickly too. Clever edie.

  13. August 17, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    oh, poor baby! I’m glad to know nothing serious happens 🙂 I don’t have children, but I can imagine how difficult it can be paying attention to every movement they do! your baby it’s really cute, btw xx

    • Harriet August 22, 2016 / 8:34 am

      Thank you! It is so tough!

  14. August 17, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    Oh crikey, glad there was a happy ending. That must have been terrifying xx

    • Harriet August 22, 2016 / 8:35 am

      Thanks Steph, it was super scary!

  15. August 17, 2016 / 1:47 pm

    Oh bless you both, I am sure you both had quite a scare but you haven’t got eyes in the back of your head and Edith is clearly inquisitive bless her, I am she is okay though x

  16. August 17, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    That must have been terrifying. I’m glad it was all ok in the end. I have to admit to not being a fan of garden ponds for that reason – we recently went on holiday and there was a pond in the garden. I spent the week in a state of paranoia!

    • Harriet August 22, 2016 / 8:36 am

      Ahh thanks Rachel!

  17. August 17, 2016 / 10:13 am

    It must have been a bit of a shock when the little one fell in. Glad they are ok. I don’t trust my mini man outside on his own he gets up to all sorts of mischief x

  18. August 17, 2016 / 9:13 am

    Oh my gosh that’s sounds terrifying for you all. Maybe she might now stay away from the pond, although by the sounds of it your little tinker breaks all the rules and will probably be throwing stones in it again next week.
    I took Luca to baby swimming lessons and it is so reassuring to know that God forbid anything does happen like with Edith they can help themselves. Glad your investment paid off!
    They like to keep us on our toes don’t they, monkeys! Glad she is ok though.

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