… but I’m not, which is why you get this humorous blog post tonight.
Tricia called to say she was at the little beach on her neighborhood lake, inviting us over. After a lengthy discussion with Oldest of secession, Lincoln, states’ rights, federalism, responsibility to people you know vs. faceless bureaucrats half a country away, and a number of other topics (the newly-minted seven-year-old insisted she understood all of it… mostly), I decided that school was done for the day.
Ever notice how fast kids can move when properly motivated? “We are going to the lake now with Mrs. Tricia, if you do what I say…” The laundry was off the line and in the basket, the table cleared of lunch dishes and wiped, the floor dustbustered, the dog’s water checked, shoes on, sunglasses grabbed, baby sister in tow, and they were out the door in record time.
I, of course, was not ready for this alacrity. I grabbed the baby bag, a Coke, youngest’s sippy cup, the car keys… am I forgetting something? Too late- they’re in the minivan. Set the house alarm, scratch the dog’s ears and tell him we’re coming back, and bolt out the garage door.
As I was settling into my seat, a voice from the back asked, “Momma, what about towels?”
If I went in to grab the towels, I’d have to turn off the alarm, trip over the dog, grab the towels, reset the alarm, shove the pathetic-looking “you’re leaving me again!?!” dog out of the way, and get back to the garage before a fight broke out in the back seat. Not fun. And it was 72 degrees and breezy. Who the heck is going in swimming in that weather?
“Guys, it’s pretty cold, so you’re not going swimming. Maybe up to your toes. If you want to do that, I’ll help you get your shoes off and roll up your pants. If your feet get wet, we’ll borrow a corner of Mrs. Tricia’s towels.”
Ok, they all agreed.
I should really be smarter than that by now. (I mean, I bet you can see where this is going… In the middle of it, however, I didn’t. Or I believed I could prevent it. Ha!)
We got to the lake, I got to talking with Tricia and her friends from the neighborhood, and oldest showed up within five minutes, asking for help getting her shoes off. “You can do that yourself, sweetie.” Shoes off, and toes into the water. Youngest showed up within minutes, kicked her shoes off at my feet, and ran away giggling. Middle son ditched his shoes against the wall when I wasn’t looking.
Next thing I know, I shift from watching Youngest, and see Middle son wet up to his knees.
“[Full baptismal name]! What are you doing?!?” Oh, well, he’s wet now. No point in fussing.
So, of course, the sisters had to get wet farther up, too. I don’t think they exactly planned it… it just happened.
Then Middle son got wet up to his waist, chasing a boat. “[Full baptismal name]! No wetter! I don’t have clothes for you; you’re going to be wet until we go home!”
By the time we’d been there half an hour or so, I glance away from Youngest in time to see Middle dive underwater and swim a few strokes.
After an hour or so of uproarious fun, piggyback rides all around, and bouncing on her big sister’s knees while holding onto her pants like they were reins on a horse, Youngest finally shivered her way out of the water, dripping from the ears down, came up to me, and stuttered, “Cold!”
“I’ll bet you are!” I replied.
No towels, no change of clothes.
Fortunately, Tricia is a much more compassionate mom than me, and she had extra clothes in her vehicle. And towels.
Youngest dried off pretty well, wrapped in a towel. Middle son lost his shirt and was told this was the consequence of not listening to Momma… and the sun was warm enough, anyways. Oldest… well, I tried a sarong-wrap on the towel, but that didnt’ survive the playground very long. Personally, I thought they should all just ride home pretty much naked. Get ’em in the van, strip down, buckle up, drive home, and unload everyone inside the garage, and straight upstairs for baths.
As I said, Tricia is more compassionate than me, and insisted on loaning us pants and a shirt for Oldest and a shirt for Middle. Youngest rode home wrapped in a towel, which made it pretty snug in her car seat, and she was sound asleep by the time we pulled out of the subdivision.
Everyone was bathed and dressed. Then we went out to Cracker Barrel for Oldest’s birthday. Then to Wal-Mart for a basketball hoop (technically for Oldest’s birthday… even though she suddenly insisted that no, she wanted an accordian for her birthday). My husband is still outside assembling the stupid thing. I mopped the floors and finished washing sandy clothes. Oh, the thrilling life of a housewyf. Woo. Hoo.
But I guarantee they’ll remember the day Momma let them go swimming in their clothes for a long, long, time… so it was worth it.
(See? I do have a life besides politics. I may even get back to more specifically religious topics soon.)