We don’t really have a deck. A patio and a porch. Both of which has seen plenty of our dirty bare feet this summer. Since we had a weird last two summers we’ve been wanting to be outside as much as possible this time. We’ve made it pretty and comfy. It also helps that been to the spray park quite a bit- more times in June than all of last two summers combined. Twice I’ve made the 8-minute trek from our house pulling 60 lbs. worth of offspring plus a bag of towels and sunscreen and a cooler of drinks and snacks. I think I was insane those two days. The other times I drive to my favorite parking spot on the opposite side of the spray park “entrance” and have short sidewalk that takes us right to the baby fountains. You may find a sign that designates my parking spot. It says “Crazy Red-Head Mom Parking Only”. I mean how many of us can there be in Ashland? There is a $50 fine if you park there and get caught. It will be put towards re-sealing our driveway.
Miles has befriended two little girls who belong of a friend of mine from high school who are just a couple houses down and I think he’s a little obsessed. He tries to lure them both down here by singing “Wagon Wheel” or “The Hootie Song” as he calls it. He made me turn it up in the car today and pop the hatch so they could listen to it in our driveway while they rode bikes. It’s not uncommon for me to hear my son yelling “AAAHHHHDDDDYYYYYYYYY!” like he’s Marlon Brando. He’s also learning the ways of girls. There was some disagreement (whatever 4-year olds can disagree about- bandaids and chalk- something like that) and Miles wanted her to tell him she was sorry. Well a day passed and the next day they were playing like nothing happened. When Miles saw me again he told me he said sorry to her. Then he paused. “HEY! She didn’t say sorry to ME! MOM! How come girls don’t say sorry all the time!?” Ah, son. Get used to this. I’m sure your father thinks the same thing about me. There’s that, and then there are evenings where I call Miles in to go to bed and the riding of bikes together has to end. “Goodnight! Sweet dreams!” Miles says. Then she blows him a kiss. And he looks different. He looks like a spell has been cast over him. It’s cute but wrenching for me. My boy is 4. And time is passing at an accelerated rate. Sometimes in the mornings he’ll ask me if the girls will like the jean shorts he chose to wear for that day. And he fears for their feet safety when he sees them without their flip flops. He doesn’t seem to notice when I don’t wear MY shoes outside! Don’t worry, my tetanus shot is still good until 2016.
Clementine is enamored with my iPhone. She is able to accidentally put music on and loves to dance when it comes on. Her only problem is that the back and forth dancing she likes to do shakes the song to a new song. Puzzled, she stops and looks at the phone the way my son looks at me when I shut off “Wagon Wheel” after the 17th time. The technology of the iPhone is not convenient for dancing toddlers.
For some reason, she also thinks that to make things move on the touch screen, she has to first put her finger in her drooly, tooth-garden of a mouth and then touch my phone’s screen. “See? It just opened up the voice control Mom! And I “Liked” that feminine product company that Facebook suggested you should like and highlighted in your Activity so your friends could see it in their Newsfeeds and do the same!” Gee, thanks, child. Gimme that. Didn’t we get you a fake one that doesn’t have batteries?
Why can’t kids ever play with things you actually want them to play with? Oy.
Next door, we share a small veggie garden with our neighbors and our friends. Neighbors who are our friends. Was that confusing? It sounded odd. Anyway, there is a massive amount of lettuce growing and we can’t keep up. One leaf on a burger here and there is not doing this stuff justice. I guess I’ll just have to make one of those things called a salad sometime…
It’s also a great way for kids to be tricked into eating a green. I didn’t realize how fun it was for my son and neighbor girls to pick a leaf of lettuce and nibble on it like a rabbit. But they like it. So parents, let your kids eat right out of the garden. If they throw a fit once it’s prepared and put on a plate, who cares. At least you tricked them while they were helping you weed. It seriously even works with the youngest of kids. For instance, Clementine (age 16 months) ate almost the entire pick of my raspberries- fresh and from out of my hand on the porch. In the morning I gave her a bunch with breakfast on her tray. Do you think she touched them? Yes. But they were smeared and mushed all over her hands and said tray. The red stain from her mouth was the berry she instantly spit out when I fed it to her. I think another “Oy” belongs here.