The rain subsides early in the morning, as the sun pushes its way through. Hours of sunshine dry the earth, leaving isolated puddles throughout the drive. Unusual warm weather for the middle of March, this early spring has seemed to reawaken our neighborhood. The bell from the ice cream man has rung it's familiar tune, as the shouts and laughter of the children next door seeps through our open windows.
Abandoning heavy coats and hats, for wellies and sweatshirts, they cannot exit the front door fast enough. The porch has been transformed overnight, as Bry brought up the wagon filled with t-ball set, jump ropes, and chalk, a basketball hoop, and their scooters.
Spring has sprung, and eagerly my children have answered that call!
Alternating between chalk and the t-ball set, the two amuse themselves for nearly a half hour. Occasionally I am asked to pitch a few balls, but for the most part I can just relax and watch. Checking the clock for end time, I have five minutes to spare.
"Let's go girls," I say, "Mama has to check on the banana bread".
"Okay" they respond in unison.
"As long as we can come back out!" negotiates Mo.
"Of course, just stay right here on the porch," I command. "I'll be right back."
Opening the front door, the buzz of the oven greets me.
Removing the bread from the oven, I grab a butter knife from the drying rack. Sticking it to the dough, I pull it out to find wet batter. Setting the timer for 7 minutes, I toss the dirty knife into the sink and head back outside.
Back to the grass we go, as balls are continued to be hit. As a stray wiffleball heads down the drive, Mo spies the large puddle.
A long ago discarded pile of dirt, meant to fill in the back garden, has taken permanent residence on our drive. The puddle sits immediately to the right of the dirt. Instead of being clear, murky water lies still.
"Mom!" Mo yells, "I got on my boots. Can I jump in the puddle?"
Fidgeting with some stray mulch, I casually respond, "Sure, just be careful. We've got to go back inside in five minutes."
"I go jump!" Maeve now at my side, galloping up and down begs.
"Of course, babe! Have fun and be careful!"
" 'kay mom!" her voice trailing her body.
It only took a minute.
The familiar cry fills the air.
"MOOOOOOOOMMMMM!" Mo shouts, "It's Shiny!"
Racing over those few footsteps to the side of the house, not knowing what to expect.
Maeve meets me there, at the top of the walk.
Her cry is loud, and filled with fear.
I hold back to the laughter as I spy her.
Covered from head to toe in wet, moist dirt.
Chocolate milk consistency and colored mud, runs down from her head, covering her eye, cheek, and chin. Her once pink hoodie now saturated and multi=colored, drips down onto her equally wet and dirty pants.
"Mommy! I wet! Hold you, hold you" she repeats open arms wide.
I hear the beep through the window.
Freaking banana bread is done now too.
"Mom, don't touch her! Her gross!" Mo adds to the commentary. "Maeve you gross!"
"No Mo-Mo!" Maeve cries.
While I agree with Mo's assessment, being the adult in this situation I can't agree. Instead I beg my dirty kid to walk to the porch. There's no way I'm picking her sopping, dirty body up right now.
"Stand here baby, " I begin, "Mama get you a towel!"
Entering the house, I pause.
Do I get the camera?
God, she looks hysterical!
her poor body,
I need a picture of this!
It takes every fiber in my body NOT to pick up the camera and snap away.
Ever the good mom, I head upstairs, and pick up an old purple towel. Peeling the layers of soiled clothes and boots off, I strip her to her diaper.
"I dirty mommy" she says. "I bath".
"Yup" I say, as I hear that annoying beep from the oven yet again. "Sit here girls," gesturing to the bottom step, "while I take out the banana bread."
"So mom," Mo begins. "When we go back outside?"
"What?" I yell, through the door frame.
"When we go back outside? Shiny take a bath then we go back outside, right?" she continues.
"Um, Shiny will get a bath. No more outside" I say, as I reappear in their presence. Sweeping up a dingy diapered Maeve, I start up the stairs.
"NO!" Mo screams at the top of her lungs. "We will go back outside! I not done playing!"
You have got to be kidding me?
"I dirty mom" Maeve repeats as she places her hand on my cheek. Looking at me, she insists "I bath".
"NO! We will go back outside NOW! I NOT DONE PLAYING!!!" screaming at the top of her lungs now, her body shaking with anger. The tears fall from her face, as she goes on. "I GO OUTSIDE NOW!"
"Shine, you need to walk up the steps right now. Mama needs to take care of Mo!" I interject between the primal screams of my eldest.
"No! No! No!" she maintains.
"Okay, mommy" Maeve responds, "Mo-Mo naughty!"
"I NOT NAUGHTY!!" she howls, from the step just below me. "I. NOT. NAUGHHHHTTTTTYYYY!"
Reaching down, I grab a stray foot and arm. Lugging her up the stairs, she continues her chorus of "I Not Naughty!" .
"Mo-Mo naughty!" she taunts, her nearly naked body runs away as I make it to the landing.
Opening Mo's bedroom door I toss her in, screaming "I'll come back and get you when you've calmed down. You need a time out and need to be out of my sight right now!"
I fill the tub, and Maeve eagerly enters. Having the space alone is a novelty, as usually she must fight for access to the spigot. Mo's rants slowly fade away and within minutes the only sound is the water flowing. Turning it off, I head to Mo's room slowly. A body part has hit the door with a thud, as I reach for the knob. Who knows what is going on in there now?
I enter the room to discover my nearly four year old, stripped completely naked.
Between fits of laughter I ask, "What are you doing? Why are you naked?"
"Um," she starts, "I didn't want Shiny to take a bath all by herself."
"Get in the tub!" I command, as her naked body streaks across the hall into the bathroom.
|All clean now and ready to jam!|