The Great Outdoors

It dawned on me, as the day made it up to a scant 90, and the breeze blew, that our crappy air quality we’ve had until recently has done it’s nasty, destructive little job. We have become an exclusively indoor family, pale trolls, huddling in our craptacular home, excavating through the toy detritus for something interesting to do.

Today, I thought, I’d take the little kids outside on a NON-pool day, and let them play in the backyard. How charming. How suburban. How getting-the-hell-out-of-the-dustbowl Dodge!

And for about fifteen minutes, it was adorable. Seriously–totally charming. The Cave Troll sat on the stoop and played ‘guys’. I knit. Ladybug stripped down to her bare ass and sat in the wading pool with her new stuffed dog. (Yes. You read that right. Stuffed. I said it was charming, I didn’t say there were no toy casualties.)

And then Ladybug spotted something floating in the pool. Remember last year’s near miss with the brown thing in the pool? Uhm, yeah. I wish.

So she walks up to me with the, uhm, brown thing, that had been floating in the pool, and I do the mature thing indicating that I am a grown-up. (You know what’s coming, right? I thought so.)

I scream so loud that she drops the, uhm, brown thing on the ground at my feet.

And then the dog ate it.

And while I was contemplating the horror and utter disgustingness (is there a better word? C’mon, out there–a bunch of you are English majors, help a sister out!) of the dog’s, uhm, ‘snack’, Ladybug went back to the wading pool, rinsed off her hands and picked up her wet (ugh!) stuffed dog.

She brought it back to me, and I picked up yesterday’s towel to sop up the water. There were some ants on the towel.

Ladybug, apparently, is as mortally afraid of ants now as she is of flies.

By the time I calmed her down, convinced her that the ants were okay, that ants were all good, they were baby ants and really, baby ants were harmless, The Cave Troll had gone inside for more Spiderman toys. Everyone knows all the good ones are in the toy detritus and not on the stoop, right? But I’m still hoping for some idyllic time in the cool summer sunshine, so I”m persevering, and Ladybug seems to be getting into the bugs. She squats over the concrete and introduces me to them. “See, i’s an ANT. I’s an ANT mama, I’S AN ANT!!!”

“Uhm, no…” I say, taking a closer look at one of them, “I think that’s a baby spider.”

She gets this look on her face that I can only describe as a ‘hurt cringe’. “A spider, mama?”

“Yeah, sweetie, a baby spider.”

Her lower lip sticks out, and she sort of shrinks into my arm and my knee. “Mama,” she says miserably, “Less go inSIDE. Less go in-SIDE, mama…wan go in-SIDE.”

Oh well. Maybe tomorrow we can make it to 30 minutes.

0 thoughts on “The Great Outdoors”

  1. Galad says:

    You probably all got enough sun to replenish your Vitamin D so all is good.

  2. Louiz says:

    mmm, yeah Kathryn seems to have got an instant aversion to ants too. They make her tummy hurt, apparently.

  3. Julie says:

    Disgustingness is a good word for that situation. An excellent word. And I’m a former English major, so I guess that’s a stamp of approval.

    My kid mostly learns profanities in situations like that.

    Add in my kid sunburns in five minutes, maybe a half hour with sunblock on (seriously), and seems susceptible to heat stroke… yeah. Lots of time inside. Yay.

  4. roxie says:

    You can cram more education into twenty minutes than most teachers manage in a whole day. What did we learn? Stuffed dogs do not swim well. Baby ants don’t hurt us. When Spiderman plays outside, his young relatives come to visit.Sunshine feels nice, and pools are more fun naked. You’re a GREAT mom!!

  5. Outside is overrated. But then bugs still get in the house.

  6. Donna Lee says:

    How nice that you all got some quality time outdoors! And nature lessons as well. I’m waiting for the less hot weather so I can sit outside again. Although, we ate dinner outside on Saturday and today you can play connect the dots with the mosquito bites on my legs and get a nice abstract picture.

  7. TinkingBell says:

    At present it’s not snowing (that was yesterday) the sun is shining and I’m trying to get the kids out on to the trampoline. They won’t go. Because I’m insisting they wear clothes and not PJs
    Dudes – it may be sunny but it’s still coooooold!
    Clothes are non-negotiable.

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