Wednesday, May 27, 2009


So I was watering the driveway the other day...

OK, not really, although it certainly looks that way, doesn't it? Actually I was trying to water that teeny, brand-new flower bed in front of the telephone pole, but my hose was a little too short, and the sprinkler that would have shot water more directly was ALL THE WAY AROUND THE BACK OF THE HOUSE. So, basically I watered the driveway, and incidentally the little flower bed got wet, too.

Bug thought a sprinkler in the driveway was a fantastic idea. She looked at me in a speculating manner,

"Can I jump through it?"

"Sure," I said.

"In my clothes?" she asked hopefully. She was wearing a brand-new summer outfit.

"Yep," I told her, "But you have to change into play clothes." She dashed into the house and reappeared 20 seconds later in likely the first two articles of play clothes she could lay hands on. Thereby explaining the complete lack of matching. What makes being allowed to get wet in your clothes so awesome to a kid? She honestly couldn't have been more excited and kept trying to convince Bear to join her by emphasizing "and Mom said we don't have to wear bathing suits!"

This was this first afternoon Bear had ventured outside since the Holy Hell Pollen Levels we'd had over the weekend. She was not up for cavorting under her enemies, the trees, and opted to hang out on the porch with a book.Bug didn't seem to mind going solo. She was still euphoric over being allowed to get wet in her clothes.

"Hey, Mom! Look at this!" she'd call, and then delightedly wring out her t-shirt onto the driveway for me to see.

"Pretty cool, Bug," I'd tell her. I think I've mentioned it before, but one of my parenting philosophies is that occasionally you need to let the kids think they're getting away with something (even though they're totally not).

For example, one summer the girls tricked me and pushed me fully clothed into their wading pool. Bear was seven, and Bug was four. I could hear them hatching their scheme from six feet away, where I was weeding the garden. They weren't exactly subtle.

I saw them get out of the pool and call me over, "Mommy! There's, butterfly drownding in the pool!" Bear called. Behind her, Bug giggled like a hopped-up chimpanzee, covering her mouth with both hands when Bear hissed, "Shhhh," at her. Oh, they were smoooooth.

And I was hot. And sweaty. And tired of weeding. I took one look at their devilish little faces and feigned instant concern, "Where?"

"Come to the pool! Come to the pool!" Bug danced from foot-to-foot and pointed at the water.

"Look, Mommy! Bend over and look!" Bear shouted, then giggled, kind of blowing her whole concerned-about-the-butterfly facade.

Keeping a carefully straight face, I leaned over the edge of the pool, "I can't see him."

"He's DYING," Bug threw in dramatically, as I bent for a closer look. They crept into position behind me and shoved. I obligingly tumbled in with maximum splashage, and they leapt in on top of me laughing hysterically.

Six years later they still talk about the time when they tricked me and pushed me into the pool. You can get a lot of mileage out of selected rule-breaking.
Eventually, Bug noticed that I was photographing her sprinkler antics.
She immediately whipped out a few of her trademark moves. "Camera shy" is not generally a phrase that people apply to Bug.
Bear had adopted an aloof pose, positioning her book in front of her face when she saw me take out the camera. Still, she couldn't resist peeking to see if I was taking any photos of her. GOTCHA, babycakes. I'm always threatening to call her babycakes in front of her friends. That or sugar buns. I just like to see the face she makes when she's trying to gauge if I'm serious or not.
It's exhausting work, sprinkler-jumping. Finally, Bug took a less aerobic approach to getting wet and just plunked herself down in the driveway. She sat there for quite awhile, happily soaking wet and (gasp) wearing clothes.

Oh yes, we're quite the rule-breaking rebels around these parts.


Jen on the Edge said...

Oh, the joy!

Anonymous said...

I am so with you on letting them think they are getting away with things. Tomorrow I hope to post a pic of my boy playing with the water hose over the weekend. Both Indians thought it was fantastic that mom told them to get their swimsuits on and "have at it!"

Mojavi said...

i have no midea why... but this post brought tears to my eyes. I don't know if it was how beautiful it was to see your bug playing in the sprinkler or your bear curled up with a book, or if it was how sweetly you talked of them. but it was good. really good

grandma said...

I'd say Bug is ready for the water hurdles in the summer olympics! Someone needs to invent such a venue. Tops was her ballet pose at the end. Dance lessons has paid off. Our hearts ache for Bear suffering so badly from allergies this Spring:-( Hang in there girl, better days are coming.

The Chic Chauffeur said...

These pictures look idyllic. I want to come spend a week with you!

Happy Summer!!!!!