Today was the first day all week I woke up and wasn't immediately wishing for (Sunday and Monday) or turning on (Tuesday and Wednesday, thank God we finally got it installed) the air conditioner. The weather was nice, not too humid, and I hustled the kids outside to play.
Of course, it had rained the night before and no one wanted to play on the grass. Yesterday when it was boiling and I was worried about them being in the heat too long they were DYING to play in the sprinkler and dump the wading pool and roll around the lawn, but I guess it's not as fun if it doesn't result in a dramatic spike in the water bill. When the mosquitos started in, I asked who wanted to go inside.
"Me!" Mary said, abandoning her attempts at making a "fairy garden" out of sticks and clover in my as yet unplanted corner garden. (Tomatoes. Someday. Maybe.)
"I go inside" Lily babbled, heading for the gate. "I go inside. SHOES! SHOES! SHOES!"
"I want to stay out here," Anna said. Now, our yard is totally fenced and Anna can't work the gate on her own, so I gave my consent, reminding her that the door to the house was open and I'd be watching her through the window (so for the love of God, leave the hose alone).
We weren't in the house five minutes before I heard Anna come in, stop, and then open the door again.
"Anna! Enough with the door!"
"I gotta get Ducky!" she called from the yard. "Ducky needs to get warm!"
"Ducky is a stick she found," Mary informed me. "A little stick."
Fine, okay, whatever. You have rooms of toys but you want to play with twigs, go for it. The other day Baby G licked the fireplace. You learn to roll with it.
I should have seen it coming. Anna came in with Ducky. Mary and Lily then decided all of the toys in the house paled in comparison to Anna's arboreal offering. I was down the hall but I could hear the arguing begin and it wasn't even lunchtime.
In case you were curious, no, we do not in fact live in an area devoid of trees and foliage. Ducky was not the only stick in the yard, but it was THE only stick worth fighting to the death over.
The other two lost interest relatively quickly but Anna ran around for 15 minutes making quacking noises before curiosity finally got the better of me and I wanted a closer look.
"Anna, come here for a sec," I called. I had already posted on Facebook about Ducky and wanted to take her picture. She came down the hall, proudly holding her twig aloft.
"Quack quack," she crowed. (That sentence looks like it shouldn't make sense but it's totally what she did.) I looked. And damned if that stick doesn't look like a duck after all.
Sorry, kid. Mommy just thought you were nuts. I know I'll be going nuts when, inevitably, at some point today the wail goes up: "Where's DUCKY?" Because these are my kids and Mary still mourns her missing fava bean from November.
Quack quack, kid.