Wednesday, June 04, 2008

As Perfect As It Gets

Today was one of those rare days in parenting when everything seemed to go just right. Wait. Let me say it again: everything today went right. Ah, it feels so good. I don't think I had to threaten, cajole, or raise my voice even once. I had so much fun with the girls today.

It didn't seem promising when I woke up this morning after a restless night: we had a tight schedule for the day which included a berry-picking field trip with S's preschool to which I also had to bring my toddler, L. To top it off, we're going on the fourth day of R being out of town (which generally leaves me unsettled). Suffice to say, I was prepared to be grumpy. But lo and behold, everyone was cheerful, cooperative, and well-behaved -- including me.

Berry-picking was great fun! Each girl had her own bucket in which to carry berries. I didn't expect L to pick her own, and I really wasn't prepared for her incredible display of berry consumption. She must have eaten her weight in strawberries! I started out picking berries for her and dropping them into her bucket -- I assumed she would just carry it around filled with berries. Yeah, nice image, but so far from the truth. As soon as I dropped a berry in there, her chubby little fingers were darting in there to pluck it out and shovel it into her mouth. Then she decided to start picking berries for herself. She ate white ones, she ate the stems, she ate dirt, and even some dried grass. Her hands were stuffing things into her mouth so quickly that I couldn't move fast enough to prevent it. In no time, her hands and mouth were covered in a sticky mixture of berry juice and mud, and her clothes were splattered all over with pink splotches. This picture doesn't even do her justice. She was one grimy little kid! Notice the straw or grass or something hanging out of her mouth.

By the time we got home, we all needed a bath so I filled up the big tub in our bathroom. The three of us climbed in and scrubbed the dirt off of our bodies. Then it was nap time for them, and exercise time for me once the babysitter arrived.

After my workout, I packed them up and took them to Aunt M's for dinner where they played with LS and E. The four of them play so nicely together. Just six months apart, S and E were thick as theives -- at one point M and I looked over to see the two of them with their heads bent close to each other whispering and giggling. It doesn't bode well for us in the future -- M and I are going to have to keep our eyes on these girls. And at almost seven years old, LS is such a little mother hen; I hardly had to watch little L as she was constantly shadowed by her older cousin. After dinner, we threw all four girls into the tub, put on their pajamas, and I took my two back home to bed.

It was a great day -- one of those smooth and idyllic days that give you the fuel you need for the rest of them.

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