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Mom asks if she was wrong for not taking blind child swimming, then lying about it.

Mom asks if she was wrong for not taking blind child swimming, then lying about it.


We got one last really nice warm day, and I said I would take my son and his friends to the pool this morning. When he was texting everyone he told me one of his friends had a cousin over and asked would we be able to take her as well. I asked how old the cousin is and if she knows how to swim. He said ten and yes, so I said of course.

We get to the house, and I meet this cousin, and she is blind. Right away, I felt nervous. I was going to have six kids with me, and no other adults. I've always been a little neurotic about water safety. My son is a great swimmer, and so are his friends, but I've never met this girl before, and I don't know if she is a strong swimmer.

I was worried that I would be constantly watching her the whole time, and that would mean I wasn't paying enough attention to the other kids. I decided to take the kids to the park instead.

The kids complained, but I said there was a problem at the pool, and they got over it. Eight year olds have short attention spans. The cousin is getting along with the boys, even though she's a couple years older. I did text all the parents to let them know where we are, for safety. The aunt of the little girl just texted me back asking me what happened to the pool plan.

I texted back that I decided on the park instead. She asked why, and I said six kids at the pool is a lot, and the park is less stressful. She asked if I didn't take them to the pool because her niece is blind. I said six kids and water with one adult is just a lot. She said I was fine with five, and it seems obvious I just didn't want to watch a blind child in water.

I responded that even if that's true (which, yeah, it is, I just didn't want to admit it) would that really be so bad? If I'm not comfortable in my ability to keep the kids safe in water, I shouldn't supervise them in water.

She said if I can't keep kids safe in water I'm a bad mom and that I was being a bitch to a ten year old. I like this girl, she is so sweet, but I get anxious about water safety. Am I being a bitch? Should I have taken them to the pool?

Here's what people think:

0biterdicta says:

Plenty of blind folk swim quite effectively. She was told the blind kid was a strong swimmer, that likely includes knowing how to compensate for her own lack of vision. I doubt the parents would send her on this outing if they thought it would be unsafe.

Whereas a park has plenty of things (and people) to bump into, trip over etc. especially if the child isn't familiar with the park layout. Tripping and smashing your head on a hard park structure is just as dangerous as drowning and happens just as quickly.

So no, I don't think I should hold off on having kids just because I assume the disabled person and their family have a better idea of what they are capable of than a random stranger.

RottenMomIsMe OP responded:

Hey, I'm sorry, but I just have to say, tripping isn't as dangerous as drowning. That simply isn't true. Water is incredibly dangerous.

I don't let the kids climb the trees in the park, and the slides have rails that make falling incredibly unlikely. If the kids trip and fall they are landing on mulch, and since they are all less than five feet tall, it's not much of a fall. It's incredibly unlikely they will be seriously injured if they trip, especially since the city recently got rid of all the metal playground equipment and replaced it with softer materials.

Water kills, quickly, silently, finally. It happens every day, even with strong swimmers, it happens in seconds and it happens right under your nose.

Right_Bee_9809 says:

One adult with six kids, one of whom is blind, seems like a recipe for disaster. I feel stressed just imagining it. NTA at all. BTW, acting like a child who is blind and being placed in unfamiliar environment is a non-issue, is just stupid.

lunchbox3 says:

Also a very mature move after being put in a super awkward situation! Who just doesn’t mention the kid you don’t know who you are taking to the POOL alone with other kids is blind?!?

If I’m looking after any new kid I want a bit of a rundown, but especially if they have a disability and might need some adjustments to keep them safe?!

OP has absolute class and a sensible head.

neverjumpthegate asks:

Info: if six kids was too many (which I agree is a lot), why did you say yes to begin with?

RottenMomIsMe OP responded:

Because she's ten. Ten is right at that line where you still need to be watched by water, but not as closely as younger children. But I've never watched a blind child in water before, so I would have needed to pay more attention.

elsie78 asks:

Question... does the pool have lifeguards?

RottenMomIsMe OP responded:

No, it's swim at your own risk

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