Summer '08 is now in full tilt, and the boys and I have been spending our days wetting ourselves. Waterwise. It was a challenge to experience wetting in all its forms, and to meld these forms with some sort of baseball-related activity. But this week, I think we hit for the cycle:
Monday was a day of ocean-wetting at Manasquan Beach, home of the Usurious Markup. (I mean, $4.50 for a burger? And not even an exciting burger. I'm talking a tepid, fixin'-less, meatlump-on-an-untoasted-bun burger.) The tide was especially ardent that day, and Robert's attempts at body surfing, which usually entailed flinging his body into the waves, routinely swept him dozens of yards northward. A situation made all the more challenging by TwoBert, who was especially enamored of the stuff that beached itself southward. Luckily, TwoBert is also a big fan of the DaddyFling, whereby he wades seaward, hangs onto Daddy's thumbs, taunts the waves as they bear down on him, and laughs maniacally as Daddy pulls him from harm's way at the last minute. TwoBert will play this for hours, or until Daddy's trapezius tears away from his spine because Daddy forgot to lift with his legs.
We also got a set of those Velcro-paddle-ball things, which Robert finds miraculous because you catch the ball every time! So he demanded throws that were away from him, so he could nab them with spectacular dives and rolls that enabled him to take much of the beach home in his hair. Later that night, at bathtime, we shook it all out and filled the catbox.
Tuesday began innocently enough with a sprinkler in my sister's back yard. Then we started playing baseball, and the sprinkler became third base. Then there were disputes over who was up, and where the foul lines were, and why TwoBert denies the existence of strikeouts, and before you knew it we were attacking each other with the hose for about three hours. If they haven't already, family therapists should consider a Group Hosing as a way of venting frustrations, because you can cathartically imagine striking someone repeatedly with a death laser when all your really doing is shoving water up his nose. And killing your sister's lawn.
Wednesday it rained. So we played baseball in the rain. Not as exciting, but almost as wettening.
Thursday we were back in the city, poolside. It was a great facility, not least because it was almost all shaded. So I didn't have to nervously hope that new sunscreen that sprays on like bug repellent would stay on my kids for more than four minutes. Plus there was all that chlorine, which is so great at making colors their whitest.
While Robert and his friend were off swimflailing, a nine-year-old girl named Destiny asked if she could take TwoBert for a swim. So I looked TwoBert in the eye and asked him, "Would you like to swim with Destiny?" He went for it, and as he paddled away I felt there was a life lesson in there somewhere.