Ainsley decided to jump into the pool without looking first, and she landed smack on top of another little girl, who had to be pulled, crying and sputtering, out of the pool.
I made sure the other girl was okay, and then turned my stern mom voice on her.
Ainsley, I said, we never jump without looking. That's dangerous. You need to apologize to that little girl.
No, said Ainsley, as she floated on her back toward the middle of the pool.
This obviously infuriated me, and I told her to get out, now.
No, she said again.
Ainsley, I said, aware that approximately 40,000 eyes were glued on our little scene, you come here right now.
Ainsley. If I have to put on my swim suit and come in there to get you, I promise you will be in big, big, BIG trouble.
One, I counted.
Two, I counted.
I marched over to the tables and retrieved my suit from the swim bag, hoping this would clue her in that I was serious.
Ainsley, I said. Come. Here. Now.
And with that, my fate was sealed. The 40,000 eyes waited and watched, wondering if I would follow through on my stupid, stupid threat. Ainsley floated serenely. I stormed off to the locker room and threw on my suit - no cover-up or towel, because I hadn't thought this plan through, obviously. I stormed back out, past the hijab-clad locals, past the 20-something Peace Corps volunteers, past the appalled colleagues, and jumped into the deep end with no thought to hair or make-up.
It's hard to tow a 3-year-old to shore when she doesn't want to go. But I managed to throw her out of the pool, and then I carried her, kicking and screaming, all the way across the pool deck to our table - conveniently located between two hijab-full tables of Jordanian families.
Ainsley screamed while I dried off and thought about what other non-embarrassing threat I might have better employed. None came to mind.
A lifeguard approached.
You know, he told me, gesturing toward the rescue rings and hooks hanging all around the pool, the next time you have to pull her out, we can just use one of those.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone. I'll try to post pictures of our Embassy event shortly. You'll especially love the action shots of the RSO in the dunk tank.