This blog by children's book author Melissa Wiley originally appeared at ClubMom.com. All posts and comments have been moved here, to this archive. Comments are still open, so feel free to chime in. For new posts, please visit www.melissawiley.com.
Today's unpacking marathon revealed treasure in the middle of one box: the small plastic shark and orca that Beanie and Rose love as dearly as if they were made of a precious material like, say, chocolate.
Of course this meant they had to take a bath RIGHT AWAY OH PLEEEEASE MOMMY. Since we'd spent an hour in the middle of the afternoon at a local park, where there was actual SAND on the ground instead of that spongy recycled tire product used on our favorite playground in Virginia, I enthusiastically supported the bath idea.
So there I was washing grit out of Beanie's curls while her shark made shark-like lunges at Rose's orca. Beanie was singing, and it took me a minute to realize I was hearing one of Scott's favorite Beatles melodies.
"What did you just sing?" I asked Bean.
"It wasn't me," she said. "It was my shark."
"Oh. Right. Could he sing it again?"
"He'd be delighted to!" When you're Beanie, even sharks are obliging. She lunged him at the orca again, singing louder.
"I wanna hold your fi-i-iiin, I wanna hold your fin!"
Beanie's hair is like an eighth member of the family. (Oh my goodness. We are a family of seven now. I am still getting used to saying that.) This time of year, it embraces the humidity and exhibits more personality than ever. In certain weather, the child looks ready for a Welcome Back Kotter reunion. It is glorious hair, the kind you can't keep your hands off, the kind no passing stranger can resist commenting about.
Today we were headed home from the pool, depressingly dry. Thunder and lightning had commenced just as the kids kicked off their flip-flops, and the life guard somberly shook her head. We turned to trudge home, the rising wind whipping Beanie's curls into a frenzy.
Our friend Lisa met us in the parking lot. "Hey, Fuzzhead," she greeted Beanie affectionately.
Beanie (who seldom glowers) glowered. "I don't like being called Fuzzhead," she said quietly.
"Oh, I'm sorry!" said Lisa. "What do you like to be called?"
Beanie pondered. Her eyes brightened and she nodded with satisfaction.
Well, of course. Monkey is ever so much more dignified than Fuzzhead.
Our neighborhood pool opened on Saturday. So far we've clocked a good seven hours there, and that's not even counting today; we aren't going until Wonderboy gets up from his nap. We really shouldn't be going at all until we make tomorrow's planned excursion into town for new swimsuits: my kids have been a pretty ragtag bunch at poolside this weekend. Jane's suit is too small, and the other two girls wore out their suits through almost-daily use last winter. And I don't mean at a pool: I mean right here at home. I don't know what it is about a swimsuit that gets my kids so excited, but all winter Beanie and Rose kept wanting to get into their suits and "go swimming" on my bed. Maybe they were inspired by my blue comforter.
They'd swim for hours, burrowing under the sheets and calling it diving. They fished for the stray socks that always seem to accumulate at the foot of my bed. (This drives my husband nuts—the accumulation of socks, that is, not the girls fishing for them. What can I say? I go to bed with cold feet. Sometime in the night they must warm up and I guess I kick them off. Whenever I change the sheets, socks go flying everywhere. Or they did, until the swimming game started.)
My pillows are the diving board, and this has not been great for the pillows nor the bedsprings. But there's no denying it's great for the kids. They're in their own blue heaven, two little Esther Williams minus the bathing caps. You can almost hear the soundtrack of cheerfully splashy music behind them. They float, they thrash, they chat with fish. They dance with mermaids and they shriek at sharks. They adorn themselves in seaweed (more socks) and take rides on passing whales.
The last time it rained, they spent the whole afternoon this way. Later, after dinner, I called them in to take a bath. Their faces fell.
"Do we HAVE to?" wailed Beanie. "Baths are boring. There's nothing to do!"
The posts on these pages originally appeared at The Lilting House, my ClubMom blog about home education, fun learning resources, and special needs children.
When I decided it was time to wrap up my work at ClubMom, I moved all the Lilting House posts and comments to this archive. Comments are still open, so feel free to chime in on any post that interests you. I love to hear what my readers have to say!
These days I am doing all my new posting (including on many Lilting House topics) at my primary blog, Here in the Bonny Glen. There you will find posts about my books, other people's books, my family, home education, and many other topics.