I’m in my son’s backyard with 3 of the Littles….2 ½, 4 ½ and 6. We are trying to beat the heat—-in a wading pool the size of well, you know, a wading pool. Twelve inches of water have been splashed down to eight, there is bubble wand residue floating in and among the grassy pieces and the extra sunscreen lathered on them has washed off in the water.
They do not care. There is splashing galore and yelling and ‘watch me!’ every 60 seconds. They are running and jumping (into the 8 inches of water), landing knee first with a thud. Their leaps are getting fearsomely close to each other, landing on top of one another and I’m wondering what kind of order can be put in place to insure there are no broken bones or head wounds.
The youngest has taken to simply standing his little brown suitless body at the edge of the pool, behind first, then tumbling in. Without looking, of course. The other two catch on and it’s ‘plomp’ into the pool, back and bottom first and oh! that was a close call.
“Nana, Peter pushed me!”
“Abi got in my way Nana!”
Paul (the 2 two year old) is wailing because there’s no room for him to do his running jump into the water.
Of course the patio is too slippery with bubble soap, so I don’t want them trying their flying leaps from there.
I holler at Paul to run on the grass.
When he tries this, of course he is not looking, just heading pell mell for the pool and, “Ahhhhhhhhh, Pauly!
Nana, Paul crashed into me.”
And on and on it goes.
I hit upon a plan—I’ll limit them to ten minutes apiece by themselves in the pool and the other two can blow bubbles or play at the water table while they wait their turn. Seems like it should work. I’m just really not in the mood for cracked heads and broken bones. And the yelling is getting to me.
“Okay, everyone out of the pool. Abi, you get your turn first ‘cause you’re the girl. Ten minutes all by yourself to run and jump and splash all you want. Paul and Peter you play at the water table or with the bubbles—got it?”
Abi is delighted to jump up and down and up and down—‘Watch me! Watch me!’ and have the small space all to herself. Peter inserts himself in the water a couple of times and Abi yells, “Peter, get out! It’s my turn.”
I concur and he removes himself.
Paul sidles over, one chubby brown leg over the side of the pool and Abi yells again, “Nana, Pauly’s getting the pool!”
“Paul—get out, you wait your turn. Everyone gets 10 minutes all by themselves. It will be your turn soon.”
I’m reasoning with a two year old…..and it hits me—I can really make all the plans I want to keep order out there in the noisy, hot backyard but I really have no control over what those children will do.
I decide to let it slide and simply continue Nana patrol. My son brings out the 8 month old and asks me to hold him.
I noodle around the patio and wander over to the pool while Paul is splashing. Next thing I know Peter (the 6 year old) has dumped the entire bottle of Coppertone Baby Sunscreen on himself and the patio and is shaking his hands like a wild man, flinging globs of white stuff everywhere.
At the exact same time (I kid you not), Hanan, the oldest, proceeds to spray himself in the eye with ‘Off’ bug spray….seriously.
I run to the sliding door, haul it open and cry for help….and I am rescued by my son.
The day ended busily, noisily and sadly when we finally had to leave that evening.
No children had gone to the emergency room and a good time was had by all. Really.
We honked and waved our goodbyes, relishing the 3 hours of peace and quiet as we drove home to Seattle.
In the think time I comforted myself with thoughts of the next 5 or 6 days. I was looking forward to some me-time at the beach for my birthday. I had 3 nights reserved on the Coast and had invited my sisters and girlfriends to drop in for a beach day and maybe dinner one night.
I’d be all alone…quiet walks on the beach in the morning, time to write. I wouldn’t have to take care of anyone, I could do whatever I want….sit in the sun, read a book. It would be marvelous.
While I was daydreaming, It occurred to me to check my cel phone for messages.
My younger sister.
“I’m so looking forward to your visit down here for your birthday. It will be great to see you. Hey, I really need to get out of Dodge and get away for a few days.
Do you think I could come stay with you at the hotel? I need some sister time and
I remember you said you had an extra bed. Yeah, I really need to get out of Dodge.”
I smile to myself and think, ‘God, I really do not have control over anything, do I?”
“In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.”
It’s a crazy peace.
son Aaron and Family with Grandpa–goin’ to church
Sharing with Laura for Playdates, Jen with SDG Community and Jennifer for God Bumps