Trying So Hard to Get to the Pool

Our plan for the day was camp in the morning followed by lunch with one of J’s friends over. They could play while  I finished my “to do” list, which included writing an article for Kids Out and About. Then we’d all head to the pool for the afternoon.

And yet it seemed that I was thwarted at every turn. Pretty much entirely my own fault, like when I accidentally instituted the beauty parlor-kitchen head-wetting thing (which we’ve mostly gotten bored with, although I’ll have jinxed myself by saying so).

So, things went awry this morning. We have this unkempt, unruly perennial garden:

But, you know, it’s pretty, too:

J, who remains deeply interested in fairies, decided that the garden needed a fairy house, and then she asked me to help her write a note in teensy fairy letters, asking any prospective fairy to please write back. Here’s the house:

So, of course, while the girls were at camp and I remained entirely focused on my to do list, a fairy wrote back. She used a teensy, curlicued script and seemed to have some sort of brogue, using words like “ye.”

When M, J, and J’s friend arrived home from camp, I still hadn’t finished that article, and they were over the moon about the evidence of a magical garden fairy. In fact, they immediately went to work cooling her off with a pool (M helped herself to one of my ceramic serving bowls before I noticed). Of course, M was wise to the origins of the note, and she plunged right in to assume the identity of this fairy. Now instead of finishing my article, I was providing pipe cleaners for tiny ladders and ceding the computer to M.

M called the fairy Rachel and described herself (per the little girls’ request) as red-haired, green-eyed, and freckled (so maybe there was something to that brogue, after all). There was quite a bit of excitement among the girls, and I didn’t get much accomplished at all.

Finally enthusiasm waned, things simmered down, and the girls ate lunch. Then just as we were almost headed to the pool, the girls heard the ice cream truck. Argh! Gleeful, they ran up the street, then stopped. Mr. Ding-a-ling was making a house call to our neighbors party. Well, that’s awkward. At my urging, M & J were ready to turn back, but J’s little friend, who hardly ever sees the ice cream truck, could not be dissuaded. “Let’s get ice cream at the pool,” I suggested. “But,” she protested, lip trembling, “the pool doesn’t have the fudge pops that the ice cream truck has!”

Oh, all right. So we crashed the party.

And we finally, finally made it to the pool!

It wasn’t really this empty. I just caught it at a quiet moment.

As soon as we got home, the fairy note-passing continued. J found the perfect place to store the special notes.

If you look closely, you can see that it’s been broken and re-glued in several places. I made this little fairy box for J when I was pregnant and waiting for her to arrive.  In fact, I made it at the baby shower of today’s playdate. At the time I was just trying to even things out, because ‘d already noticed that the second child was clearly not going to get nearly as many cutey-patootie doodads as the first child had. But the subject matter proved happily prescient.I finally finished that stupid article half an hour ago.

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