In Oerlikon, Zurich, a toddler, anchored absent-mindedly by her grandfather, lay on the broad ledge of a fountain frothing with stark white bubbles. Again and again, she dipped her pudgy hands in and filled her mouth with bubbles and water. She blew on the foam in her palms and ‘disappeared’ her hands in its mass below her.
When the old man discovered what she was doing he chastised her. I wondered, was he angry at her for exploring or himself for neglecting?
Perhaps he was worried but as Dr Spock, that saviour of parents in the sixties, stated, “If a child is so carefully watched that he never has an accident, he is being fussed over too much. Bones may be saved, but his character will be ruined.”
Still, fun as it is to suck up bubbles (especially small ones rising from the bottom of a long-stemmed glass) one can’t help but be a bit concerned about what’s in them and the water.