It is hot. It is put-the-back-of-your-hand-to-your-forehead-and-faint-on-the-divan-hot. But this is not news. I have no news. This, of course, has never prevented me from hittin' the old blog.
I'll come up with something. Just give me a minute, give me a minute...
The girls can't play outside for long before wilting; they are sweaty little things, all flushed cheeks and exasperation, dirty feet, and weird songs. You can't overlook your underwear! I guess it's the "over" & "under" that makes them laugh. They eat their lunch while lolling on the porch, make flower crowns while moving in slow motion, and then shriek to life when they hear the bells on the ice cream man's cart. He's making a decent wage off of us this week. They order those neon-colored Powerpuff Girls popsicles with the bubblegum eyes. Afterwards, their mouths are blue. If you're keeping track, that makes them: sweaty, flushed, dirty-footed, and blue-mouthed. Oh, and there's the matted hair.
Late afternoon, when they are tired and snippy, is the most challenging part of the day. This is always true, but the heat makes it impossible for them to untangle their own emotional mess, which is something they routinely do themselves. In fact, today was the first day in I can't remember how long that I had to distract them with an activity in order to save them from themselves.
Here's a good way to keep kids interested: tell them that you're doing something, but don't tell them what it is. The not telling them part wasn't difficult today. Why? Because I had no idea what I was doing. I just grabbed some paper from my printer and started taping it together. This was enough to drive them nuts. "What are you doing? What are you doing? Can I tape it? Can I help?"
"Be right back!" I said, after we'd taped six pieces together. I ran into the den and grabbed the first thing(s) I saw lined up (well, really sort of squashed into the books) in front of the bookcase. These fancy Filipinas in doll-form:
I brought them back to the table. The girls looked at me, doubt clouding their little brows. I placed them down on the paper with dramatic force. I still wasn't clear about what to do. But I asked—again with dramatic force—for a crayon.
"What color, Mom?"
"Everybody close their eyes! Close your eyes! Tight!" Suckers! "Now pick a color."
"Oh. I don't know. Vida. Vida, pick a color."
To make a long and boring (I've faced it; so should you) story short, I ended up drawing a three-pronged path along which the fancy Filipinas might amble, take in a bit of scenery, and plot a way to ditch the ternos and shimmy into some shorts. The scenery aspect being the responsibility of the girls, of course. They quickly divided the paper into "Risaland," "Vidaland," and "Lealand," and went to town with their crayons and stickers and whatnot:
And what, exactly, did this buy me? Well, let's see. They busied themselves with the project for about 25 minutes, after which time they were fast friends again and disappeared for more than an hour.
Give it up, ladies and caballeros. Give it up for Desperate Mom.