Water Baby


It was the early 90s, and I was a young business owner in Peterborough, Ontario when I laid eyes on the album cover for Nirvana’s Nevermind. Of course, the concept itself of someone ‘fishing for babies’ with dollar bills was awesome, I was more astonished that a baby could be so comfortable totally submerged in water for the shot. I thought it was faked (it’s not).
Nirvana's Nevermind

You see, I come from a family of swimmers. My brother and sister were more competitive and professional about it than I was (decades later my sister is seen doing triathlons while many months pregnant). I am so comfortable in water that free-diving 25 feet along shallow reefs to bring up treasures is a highlight of any vacation. So understandably, my hope is that Baxter will become confident in all the waters that this beautiful world has to offer: local pools, northern lakes, big waves of the eastern shores or warm and wonderful Caribbean reefs.

So the water journey begins in our shower where Baxter is tentative but calm. I learned a patented hold from our midwife and can safely scrub, rotate and rinse, getting all the niggly bits. I’m very careful (but not nervous), then Mom is at the ready to receive and towel him off. The bath seems under-stimulating in comparison and has thus become second fiddle (plus an accidental peepee is a little self-defeating).

Our friend’s pool was the first test of his bathing suit, and Baxter was comfortable with a few small dips.

I’m not sure we have to go the route of ‘water baby’ classes, totally submerging our baby tomorrow. I’m just happy he’s comfortable with the water he’s experienced. Slowly he’ll discover that there is another magical world on our planet where he can swoop and fly, flow and go—in, on or under. There is a freedom to be explored, and as a new dad I’m discovering this is just one of the real experiences I am compelled to give Baxter.


Leave a Comment