DIARY OF A NEW DAD: Ben Keenan takes to the water with his son, Tom

Ben Keenan takes to the water
Ben Keenan takes to the water
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My son had his first bubble bath when he was seven days old. We ran the water, dropped in our babysafe temperature monitor, added sleep-tight lavender bath bubbles and triple checked to make sure his bath chair was securely attached.

We then placed the boy as gently as we could into the water and watched as the world’s most nonchalant baby did absolutely nothing. Where were the giggles and splashes that I’d seen on adverts? To be honest, I felt a bit cheated but thought that perhaps it was the bath chair that was causing the problem. So in I climbed for what I was sure would be the beginning of a life-long fascination for the water but alas, he was impressively bored, so we dried him off and watched some cartoons instead.

Six months later and nothing much has changed. We thought it might be fun to take the boy swimming to see if such a large body of water would inspire some splashy giggles and set off armed with inflatables to Bury Leisure Centre. We changed, we showered and after several minutes of trying to crowbar my son into baby swimming trunks, we headed for the water. The sounds of other babies playing seem to energise the boy and, as his mummy waved to us to join her from the warm and inviting water, Tom and I wallowed into the pool for his first ever swim. And as the gentle waters soothed and caressed, that same look of extreme nonchalance glued itself on to his face and Jen and I had to admit defeat. We pushed him around that pool for almost an hour but not one giggle smile or splash were we rewarded with. We resigned ourselves to the fact that at the moment, be it an Olympic-sized swimming pool or a half filled bucket on a hot sunny day, Tom has yet to embrace to wonder of water. But credit where it’s due, the customer service we received at the leisure centre was impressive and when Tom is ready, the Keenan’s will become regular visitors.