It’s Friday morning. The bus comes in 5 minutes. This is always the time Girlchild brings Captain Schenanigans the hairbrush and petitions him to un-snarl her golden locks. Mommy is prone to pulling too hard at tangles and has been banned from this activity. This suits everyone just fine.
Generally Girlchid wears her long hair down loose, or in 1 or 2 braids down her back. Today she got a wild hair (ha, ha, get it), and ran from the room stating ominously that she needed “more things to put in my hair”. She returned with a fist full of bands and bobbles, then proceeded to ask Captain Schenanigans for 10 braids. His face contorted with confusion as his jaw somewhat dropped, then her request was denied. 9? 8? 7? Girlchild was trying her best to negotiate, but I knew Captain Schenanigans was uncomfortable with the request and unsure of how to proceed. We had no rules against over-braiding, we just hadn’t done it before.
Once it came out that Girlchild wanted a head full of braids like her friend had, I decided to accept the challenge. While Girlchild’s friend most likely sat for over an hour to get her braids, we now had 3.5 minutes. Captain Schenanigans and I each grabbed a side of Girlchild’s head and began braiding wildly. We managed six braids before we ran out of time and hair.
“She looks cute”, the friend’s mom said at the bus stop. While Girlchild could wear a bucket on her head and still be ragingly gorgeous, I have to admit I hadn’t even noticed. I was more proud of the fact that Girlchild was braving a hair style that no other lil white girl in her school would be sporting, and was happy to have it. I was happy for her too! May you never bow to peer pressure, and always accept new challenges, my girl.
The week-end continued with more sun than we’ve had all week ’round these parts. Everything looked brighter and clearer, and the colors just popped. The birds were a constant soundtrack through the day, and sung their hearts out to praise their Maker. Manchild managed to squeeze in some alone time in the sandbox before joining Girlchid in the hammock and convincing her to push him high enough to stop my heart a little. Perhaps heavy rain has the power to wash away the past expereinces of falling face down out of a hammock. But it can’t wash away gravity, so some boundaries from last year had to be re-established.
Sunday, today, was my niece’s first time taking communion. We celebrated with her and joined in a large family party at her home. Naturally, half-way through lunch Manchild needed to bolt to the potty. Seeing as I am tired of changing wet pants, I wildly encouraged this journey. Manchild was so fast that I actually did not see him enter the bathroom, but it was fairly close by, so I confidently leaned in and called through the (locked) bathroom door “Do you need help getting your pants up?”
No one answered. I waited a silent minute, then turned around and saw Manchild, lounging on a bench in the hall. No!!! Who did I just offer to help get their pants up?? Seeing as how Manchild still had not used the potty, we were forced to stand there and wait for the door to open. I hate waiting to be embarrassed. It’s such a sinking feeling.
Turns out the bathroom was occupied by another mother who was helping her little boy in the bathroom with his pants. She was more than understanding, but that was a close one.
Apart from the near miss with the social awkwardness, the day was lovely. A bucket full of cousins ran wild through the house and yard, an ebbing and flowing wave of energy and volume. A mighty force that barely comes up to your elbows.
Girlchild spent the better part of the day hanging by her knees, swinging on the trapeze on her cousin’s swing set. Her sweet little Sunday dress covering her head, and revealing her thick, gray My Little Pony tights for all the world to see. No one cared. They were having fun outside being kids on a pretty day. That was all that mattered.
Manchild spent his time alternating between climbing out of the wooden playhouse windows head first, and swinging on the 2-kid glider on the swing set. As much as Manchild loves to fly high on the glider (think back to the hammock), he also loves to share fun experiences with others. So when an eighteen-month-old girl was taking a turn perching on the glider, Manchild took it upon himself to give her a good shove up to the sky so she can share in the joy of free-falling backwards. While Tinygirl managed to stay on for her ride, she failed to see the joy in it. She began to howl and was soon rescued by her nearby mother. Manchild still has no clue what set her off, after all, girls can be confusing.
After this taste of summer week-end, I dare say I am ready for school to be out. I can’t wait to run wild through the creek with my kids, perform my athletic water fitness moves at the pool, and catch fireflies while dodging mosquitoes. Bring on the pretty weather and wild energy. I’m up for 20 braids on a random Friday, and taking risks on playground equipment. While I have definitely learned my lesson about yelling through bathroom doors without written documentation of its occupants, I am no worse for the wear, and will most likely find new ways to embarrass my kids soon enough. I think it’s their turn.