Spontaneity. I am beginning to think that it is the purview of adults.
Having finished the errands and details of the day by 3 p.m., I decided to spring the kids’ from their summer program early, take them for ice cream, then let them spend some hot afternoon sun time in their new twirly sprinkler. They were jumping up and down squealing when we got into the car. Seems ice cream is always a hit. Adia practiced her reading skills and told Malaika all about initials while they ate their junior twist soft serve cones. (Don’t worry, mom ate ice cream, too. Gotta love those Blizzards; today I tried Heath and Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies…mmmmm!)
At home, I changed out the old hose and hooked up the twist and twirl sprinkler (thank you, Aunt Toni!) while the girls got into their bathing suits, then the water was on. I think the grass was the only one happy about it. “Eeewwww, it’s COLD,” Malaika screeched. Adia just stood cross-armed and scowled at the water that danced through the air inviting her to join. She was having none of it. “I want it warm,” she declared and tossed her head for emphasis.
I was in and out of the house busy, but the screams – not of joy – brought me to a stop on the deck. “What are you girls doing?” I’m sure that I planted both hands on my hips with my right hip probably cocked a bit higher than the left. The girls pointed at one another and in stereo, “She hit me!” I issued a warning and told them to get into the sprinkler. The grass, still, was getting the best end of that deal.
After about 15 minutes of backyard squabbles and grass watering, I went out and turned off the sprinkler. Adia ran after me hollering, “No, no, don’t turn it off! Move it to the other side where the other side where the warm water is!” Apparently, she mistook the relief of a sprinkler in Saturday afternoon’s hot for water from the hose being not so cold when it came from the other side of the house. Malaika stuck with, “No, I do! No, I do!” with a little rolling on her back in the grass to boot. She is still convinced that this move will eventually work, like Jerry Seinfeld’s character from The Bee Movie, “Maybe this time, maybe this time, …” I told them they could play, go out and swing, anything, but the water was off the table. When they kicked each other on the way to the swing set, I sent them both to their rooms for time outs.
Adia went kicking and screaming, but with a little back rubbing, she finally fell asleep. Malaika took hers quietly then came down and played with her happy meal toy at the kitchen table. I was able to make a couple of phone calls before the end of the business day. After the nap, things looked a little brighter and the evening proceeded without much ado.
I guess maybe the best bet is to save the fun stuff for the weekends. Either that, or I should don my own swim suit and go out and join in the twirly sprinkler’s dance.