Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Playdate to Remember

Feeling cabin-feverish, I invited a friend and her young sons to our home on a chilly January morning. After a snack the "big kids" – our two three-year-olds – went upstairs on their own to play.

All was well until my friend's son came downstairs – shivering, drenched from head to toe, and naked from the waist down. While his mother interrogated him, my daughter Lydah tiptoed downstairs, also drenched and half-naked.

Turns out our two preschoolers had discovered the fun of filling up a half-gallon-pail of water in the bathroom sink and dumping it out in various places in the bathroom – like on the walls, the cabinets, the toilet and floors (they somehow missed the bathtub) – and of course, on each other. Our deep-sea divers must have decided the jig was up when they got cold, so they depants-ed themselves and went in search for dry clothing. (I know this because I followed their little wet trails all over the upstairs bedrooms.) And finally, out of desperation, they decided to ask their mothers for advice.

After a few chilly minutes in her time-out spot, I toweled off my sobbing daughter and explained to her that there are certain messes that are okay to make, and others that aren't. “We don't make messes with water, Lydah. You can make messes with toys or books, but not water. Water is too hard to clean up."

"Just milk next time?" she asked genuinely. (We have had similar discussions before, like when I discovered she'd used the contents of her sippy cup and a pair of socks to "clean" furniture.)

“No Honey,” I pleaded. “Please, not milk.”

Meanwhile, my friend had no choice but to clothe her otherwise quite masculine son with a pair of Lydah's lacy underpants.

After helping me soak up the mess, Lydah said with a fresh set of sobs: "Mommy, I'm sorry I had a bad attitude." Which, when translated into adult English, means, I'm sorry I covered myself and my friend and the whole bathroom with water.

"It's okay, Lydah," I assured her. "I forgive you."

She smiled at me, wiping the tears from her face. "I forgive you too."

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