Long, Lazy Days

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Every year I long for them.

The long, lazy days of summer.

And now they’re finally here.

A friend asked me the other day what I remember most about summertime when I was growing up. I thought about it and it wasn’t big family vacations or camp or anything “big” like that. What I remember most is doing nothing. I mainly remember playing with my cousins, the smell of freshly-cut grass, and baking in the sun with my friend Becky. We slathered down with Hawaiian Tropic and listened to Axl F on my little purple AM/FM/cassette mini boom-box while we talked about boys.

I wonder what my kids will remember and I think it might end up being something like this:

Stopping mid-pedal on a bike ride to watch a roly poly on the sidewalk or to scrutinize “a herd of ants.” Picking a buttercup to put in your hair. Making “tree-tents” and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Making daisy chains. Pulling off the road when you spot the world’s biggest dandelion. Having a popsicle (or two. Or three). Stomping in the creek. Eating dinner outside on a blanket.

Staying up late to catch lightning bugs. Squirting each other with the hose. Sweating profusely and hoping for a breeze. Looking for butterflies. Slicing up watermelon. Looking at dinosaur-shaped clouds in the sky. Retreating to the A/C and collapsing on the cool couch with a big glass of iced tea and the latest episode of Wild Kratts. Staying up after dark. Dirty feet. Swinging on swings. Climbing trees.

And what will I remember about these days with my children?

“Mom, come and play ball with me!” – Sadie, age 10

“Mom, I need a hug from you!” – Josie, age 8

“Mom, wet’s go for a bike wide!” – Jed, age 3

CRASH*BANG!!BOOM* then: “Everything’s fine, Mom! Don’t come and check on me!” – Adelaide, age 6

These little moments, these little arms around us, these tiny dirty feet running through the summer grass. These are the moments we will remember – not the big stuff.

Or maybe we’re getting it wrong – maybe it is the big stuff.

I hope your summer days are long and lazy and full of “nothing.”

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Sleepover Madness

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The word that strikes fear into the hearts of men:

Sleepover.

As soon as my husband figured out (I kept it from him for as long as possible) that we were having a birthday sleepover for Adelaide’s 6th birthday, he said, “Um… I think I have some work to do that night. Yep, I’m pretty sure I’m busy.” Then he proceeded to disappear for the evening.

Even Adelaide’s 3-year-old brother had to flee the scene, albeit for different reasons. Adelaide wanted him gone because she didn’t want him around her friends all night “bugging us and breaking our stuff and picking his nose.”

It’s hard to argue against that logic. So Jed spent the night with Grammie and Grampie. He had a good old time catching frogs, playing ball, and doing other boy-type things. But that was fine, because at our house, we had a nice, girly time.

Since the weather was beautiful, everyone stayed outside until almost 8:00pm. There was much hose-squirting, playhouse-playing, swinging, racing, and swimming in the baby pool (I think kids would swim in a dishpan full of water and be happy about it.) No one had brought a swimsuit, but since we always maintain an unnatural overage of suits at our house, everyone found one that fit.

Oh, and there was squealing. Did I mention the squealing? There was lots of that.

After races, chases, and numerous other games I was unable to figure out the premise of, the girls had a picnic outside. Then they came in for presents. One little girl cracked me up when she said, “I hope you like your present, Adelaide, because my mom went out and bought it without my consent.” One of the best things about hosting sleepovers is overhearing all of the things that little girls say. My other favorite quote of the night was from Adelaide’s little friend Caroline: “Wow! That doll looks ferocious!”

Adelaide loved sitting in “the birthday chair” and opening all of her presents. She had been anxiously awaiting the one from her Grandma – a brand new handmade Dorothy dress just her size (with a little room to grow into.) She had outgrown the one her Grandma made for her 4th birthday and had unsuccessfully been trying to stuff herself into it like a plump little sausage. Now that she has a new one, the old dress has been relegated to Adelaide’s bedroom where she sleeps with it under her pillow.

Next, we headed to the kitchen for cute purple and pink kitty cat plates, pink lemonade, and cupcakes. Adelaide flatly refused to put on her party hat before she blew out her candles. According to her, the hat would make her look like “a weirdo clown.”

The weirdo clown comment prompted much girly discussion which was followed by a zombie-face-making contest. Who knew that such cute little girls could make such hideous zombies?

Then it was movie time. Everyone decided on Lady and the Tramp II (I didn’t even know there was a Lady and the Tramp II) and it was a huge hit.

Next was what I like to call “the teeth-brushing bedtime shuffle.” If you’ve ever had kids sleep over at your house, you know exactly what I mean.

Surprisingly, everyone settled down fairly quickly after that and they were all asleep by midnight. I checked on them and heard snoring (which I’m pretty sure wasn’t fake, but I’ve been fooled before.)

Basically, the whole thing went off without a hitch. No one cried or got hurt. There wasn’t even any drama – which never happens when you have 7 little girls under the age of 10 in the same house!

It went so well, as a matter of fact, that we might have another one for my soon-to-be-9-year-old’s birthday which is only a month from now!

But I’m not going to tell my husband that.

Even though he could he could probably use the overtime anyway.

Poop in the Driveway

Jedidiah is 3. In our family, 3 has always been the “magic” potty age. As soon as they turn 3, they “get it.”

Not so with this guy. While he totally understands the concept, he much prefers the Great Outdoors as his own personal bathroom.

Even though I fear that someday my son may hate that I shared this, a bigger part of me thinks that since he already has his dad’s sense of humor, chances are he’ll probably get a kick out of it.

Now that we are actually through this phase (I hope I hope), I feel like it may be safe for me to talk about it. Sharing lessons the horror… doesn’t it?

The door slams. I hear Jed’s older sister yell the words that no mom wants to hear: ““Mo-om! Jed pooped in the driveway!”

Excuse me? He did what now?

He had, in fact, dropped his pants and pooped RIGHT IN THE DRIVEWAY. Our poor neighbors.

I patiently explained to him that we do NOT go poop in the driveway. Then I told him he had to help me clean it up. His response? “Oh no I not! Dat is GWOSS!”

Another day, I hear the pitter patter of little feet and then “Mo-om! Jed peed in the trash can!”

He WHAT? “Jed, you did WHAT?”

“It felt wike pee was ‘bout ta come out. In da stwash ban,” he reported.

In order to make this happen, he had carried out an elaborate plan. He went down the hall to the BATHROOM and carried the large wooden stepstool from the BATHROOM all the way down the hall and across the kitchen. Once there, he strategically propped the leg of the stool up so that when he climbed on it, it would press down on the little step-lever and the lid would pop open. Then, the peeing could commence.

(My question is, if you’re going to go to the trouble of getting the heavy wooden stool, why not just pee while you’re already IN the bathroom? I don’t get it.)

He told me it was Gatorade (it wasn’t.) So I made him help clean it up – he informed me that this task was also “gwoss,” but he hasn’t done any trash can peeing since, so that little lesson must’ve worked.

But that’s not even the worst of it. At least we were at home. (I won’t mention the numerous other times similar incidents occurred when we had people over for dinner!)

And now, I would like to apologize to any parent (or child) that may have been a witness to what I’m about to report:

It was a nice day. We were at the park. So were lots of other people.

Then, I guess you could say the moment struck him. I turned my head for ONE SECOND to look at my little girl over on the swings. When I looked back to where Jed was next to the slides, there he was: pants down around his little ankles, little butt shining out to the world, squatting on the PLAYGROUND and getting all set to DO HIS BUSINESS.

Oh, the horror! I grabbed him under his arms and whisked him away (pants still down) with my arms held straight out – and I ran with him all the way to the conveniently located park restroom. But if I hadn’t been super quick on the draw, so to speak, something terrible would’ve happened right there next to the curvy slide.

Like I said, it hasn’t happened in the past couple of weeks, so I’m really hoping this little phase is over.

But when he says the magic words – “Hey! I’m ‘bout ta poop!” He means it.

And I had better get him to the bathroom…

Or just get out of the way.

Um... perhaps we should slow down a bit on the drinking.

Um… perhaps we should slow down a bit on the drinking.