Friday, June 1, 2007

Fresh Air

We had the perfect afternoon today. A couple of weeks ago when we went to the garage to get our purple plastic elephant wading pool out of the garage, we discovered that it hadn't weathered the winter too well. And by "hadn't weathered the winter too well," I mean, "had cracked and broken in multiple spots along its trunk line." Turns out the shelf life of a purple plastic elephant wading pool is two summers. Fair enough.

Sam and Quinn and I went to Toys R Us this morning while Jack was in school to find a new pool, and, oh my God, did we find a pool. To some of you out there, it might look like just some regular old wading pool, but it is The Best Wading Pool in the Whole Entire World:

It was harder than you might expect to cram it into a minivan already full of two kids. Hard enough that a kind elderly gentleman saw my struggles and stepped in to help. Fortunately for someone who doesn't care to accept help from strangers, especially men, especially when I'm with my kids, I had just gotten it into the car. (Thank you, Chrysler, and your kick-ass Stow 'n Go seating.)

Of course, Sam had to be moved to the front seat (thank you again, Chrysler, for your automatic front airbag shut-off based on passenger weight) and Quinn had to have a roof of wading pool over his head. And I got to drive home, albeit next to a very excited child ("I can open and close my window whenever I want!"), wondering if it is actually illegal to put your 5-year-old in the front seat of the car or just tragically unsafe.

Anyway, by the time all three boys were home, fed, and the pool was set up and filled, it was 1 p.m. and time to play. Now, one of the great things about pool play is that you can't leave your kids alone in the yard with a giant tub of drownin' water. You can't clean your house. You can't wash your dishes. You can't work on the computer (unless you have Wi-Fi in your kids' swingset fort). All you can do is hang out on the back porch and relax. I mean, I guess I could weed or something, but I'm really not that person.

Sam and Jack LOVE the pool. And they LOVE the slide. And they LOVE that they can use the top of the slide as a jumping platform, something it took them all of about four minutes to figure out. Quinn? Well he was less excited. He did not care for the pool at first. He splashed around a bit, but refused to get in, which made Sam increasingly sad. The water was coldish, he hadn't been in a wading pool for a long time, and there was some splashing going on.

But I think that the real reason he didn't want to get in—and you knew this was coming—was because he had to poop. He was really uncomfortable for a couple hours this afternoon, I think partly due to all the fiber we've been pumping into his system. And don't tell him, but I snuck some MiraLax into his chocolate milk at lunch. He finally pooped and then promptly fell asleep in my arms. (And I know you are probably really tired of intimate details of Q's bowel movements, but to give you an idea of the sheer magnitude of this one, I'll let you know that I had to clean it out of my watchband.)

My point, I suppose, was that it was 4:10 before Quinn happily checked out the pool. But even he eventually had some fun in it. He sat on the slide steps, he played with a couple beach balls in it, and he even went down the slide a couple of times. All told, we spent three and a half hours out there today, and it was awesome! There is, happily, a pool-size patch of shade near the bottom of my steps that lasts most of the afternoon, and we have no shortage of buckets, balls, and little boats to play with. Plus the two big guys spent some time rinsing off the sandy deck.

Best. Afternoon. Ever. (Except for the poopsplosion.)

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