What do you say to a middle-aged, toothless woman who wants you to look after her half-dozen little children while she takes a refreshing ride down a waterslide?
If you are the lifeguard at a Milwaukee County pool, you say with authority, "I'm sorry Ma'am, I cannot leave my post because I have to watch all the people in the pool to keep them safe".
That is one of the surprising lessons my son is learning this summer.
He is coming home with eyebrow-raising stories of what goes on at the pool. For instance, the two "large ladies" as he described them, who got into a fight and used their children as weapons, throwing the the kids at each other! The adult man who was fooling around on the deck (the pavement around the pool) whom he had to tell three times to stop, then had to order him to sit on the side until he could follow the rules. He did it! (my son is only 17, but has developed a commanding "lifeguard" voice. Of course the megaphone helps)
And, the best experience he has had in only his first two weeks, is saving a kid from drowning. He saw him struggling in the pool and went in to bring him out of the water. He said that changed HIS life.
And, don't get me started on the items the lifeguards fish out of the pool when cleaning... that's a whole different post!!