Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Thing #20: My Backyardigans

My lovely and talented friend N is one of the most creative thinkers I know. She writes a blog about the fun and interesting things her family gets up to down in Southern California. I stole my idea for today's New Thing from her. She built a series of tunnels around the house out of pillows and blankets for her little person and he loved it. I thought it was such a great idea and I was confident that the LP would love it. Perhaps if I had exactly followed what N did, they would have. Instead I had to divert and modify and...it did not go as planned.

See, I thought that if I made what LP1 calls a "tent" but I would call a "blanket fort" outside, I would accomplish 2 things: get the LP outside and make something they would enjoy playing in. LP1 is always asking Daddy to take a blanket, drape it over furniture and build her a tent. Which, by the way, he does quite willingly, although I question the integrity of his construction, as it is always falling down. Usually on LP1's head. If you want a secret hiding place built on your couch, my advice is not to ask Daddy (just kidding, honey, if there was a competition, you would for sure get the gold medal). I pushed aside some of the patio furniture, clothespinned an old comforter to lawn chairs, laid down another comforter on the patio and sprinkled it with toys. I had visions of many happy hours spent in our little cosy tent.

While I was in the backyard, I also thought I would dump out the water in the kiddie pool and refill it. As I meandered over to have a look in it, I saw something that made me let out a screech that could probably only be heard by bats and then run around in a circle, shaking my wrists and drawing my knees up to my chest as I ran. I'm pretty sure I looked mentally unhinged.

There was a dead bird in the pool. THERE WAS A DEAD BIRD IN THE POOL. A dead bird. In the pool. Floating in the breeze. I want to throw up in my mouth just thinking of it.

I dislike birds. I dislike many creatures, actually. But I particularly dislike dead things. And dead things floating in my children's pool? Sends me into a fit that looks as if I am running barefoot across hot coals. I immediately stopped what I was doing and ran back into the house. I had to think. If I left the bird in there and the LP saw it, would it scar them for life? Probably. It was in full rigor. They might be scared to swim in their pool again and given how much they enjoy it, I didn't want to take that away from them. Could I just keep them inside until Daddy got home? Well, yes...but it was such a nice day and the humidity had finally broken, so it seemed unfair to do that, particularly when they love being outside. I couldn't call Daddy to come home to remove it. Should I call Grandpa? No, Grandpa said he was trying to get caught up on some things at home today. If I went to the neighbour's house and knocked on the door for help, they would probably laugh at me (provided they didn't happen to be looking out their windows at the time of discovery because I'm sure I looked like a fool). Hmm.

There are moments in your life when you have to just suck it up and be the grownup, even if you don't want to. Sometimes I can avoid doing this, like when I hear a scary noise and can make Daddy go investigate. In fact, in Daddy's job description it clearly states that he is responsible for investigating scary noises, disposing of dead creatures and picking up dog poop. None of these are in mine. Unfortunately he was unavailable. So after two attempts of walking back out into the backyard, looking at the dead bird in the pool and running away, I gave myself a stern talking-to. "Self," I said, "it is time to Mom up and get rid of this thing before the LP catch on that you are running around shrieking in the backyard." I gathered all my courage, marched to the shed, got an industrial-sized dustpan and, with much shrieking and cringing, I scooped Dead Bird into the dustpan, held the dustpan as far away from myself as I could, and dumped it in the garbage can. Mercifully, today was garbage day so it wouldn't be in there for long. And don't tell me I should have buried it. YOU come over and bury it. Ugggghhhh.

This is taking too long. Once the bird was gone, I dumped out the pool, rinsed it and refilled it. When both LP were up from their naps, we headed out to play. I excitedly brought them to the "tent".

Fun time fail. LP2 liked it for a little while but LP1 was not interested in playing in here. No sir.

After trying to convince the LP to play in my painstakingly-constructed "tent", I gave up. You can't force small children to have fun. I decided to let them do whatever they wanted. At first they wanted to play together in LP1's car. They both squeezed in and took turns pretending to drive. At one point, LP1 was pushing LP2 across the lawn in it. They were both laughing and very much enjoying it.

Hey, it's good on gas!

Eventually they grew bored of that. LP1 was itching to splash in the pool and several times I had to chase her out of it. I wanted to give the water a little more time to warm up. We hit the swings up next. LP2 particularly loves the swing and has been known to fall asleep in it, while making little baby sounds of contentment the whole time. He stayed in the swing for quite awhile. LP1, on the other hand, had only one thing on her mind. The pool.

His and hers swings. The slide is for anybody.

I finally decided that the water was probably not going to cause hypothermia and declared it was time to go in the pool. The LP were more than happy to climb in, splash around and play. They probably would have stayed in there all afternoon, but it was naptime again. They reluctantly came out, lured by the promise that we could do it again tomorrow.

I will try the tunnel idea another day. So the tent New Thing didn't work. Oh well. We still managed to have fun. And really? That's all that matters.

No comments:

Post a Comment