Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Summer Splashing with Cousins

This past summer, the boys made one of their regular visits to visit Grandma Joan and Grandpa Wil's home in Kumquatville. Mommy likes these trips because they provide opportunities for her to visit old home haunts plus they let the kids to play with animals that she knows will never come home with her (a variation on the trick that men who don't want kids use on their wives/girlfriends -- give them a baby to play with but make sure it goes back to the parents).

The boys like these trips because they get to play with their cousins Lucky and Gordon. Grandma and Grandpa like these trips because they can get some slave computer-tech labor from Daddy, plus some log-splitting exertion from both Mommy and Daddy. Now, you might've noticed that we haven't said what Daddy gets out of it. We're still trying to figure that out! But he's a good sport.

During one of our recent trips, the weather was beautifully warm and cloud-free for one of the days, so we took the boys to a local park with water features and turtles for jumping. Cousins Lucky and Gordon joined us for frolicking, while Grandma Joan and Aunt Elspeth watched from the sidelines.

The boys have always been a bit finicky about getting wet. When it comes to bathtub time or a hose, they're all about staying in the water but when it comes to sprinklers, jets of water from the ground, or swimming pools, they're pretty hesitant. So, it took some coaxing to get Helios to play in the water. Once he was there, he hemmed and hawed in the sidelines before being tricked into following Mommy through the "water rings," something he regretted almost immediately afterward.

Helios went running over to his latest mistress of his heart, Aunt Elspeth, where he griped about his wet clothes...and decided to try and take them off in the park. Aunt Elspeth is pretty cool under pressure but was unprepared to deal with a naked 4-year-old. She's getting her master's degree in negotiation and conflict resolution...and is trying her skills of persuasion in this picture, trying to talk Helios into keeping his clothes on. He was having none of it. Fortunately, Mommy intervened, leaving Aunt Elspeth an opportunity another day to try her negotiation skills after she's had a bit more training.

Meanwhile, Hesperos had become a statue over under the water spouts. Once he was placed over there, he just stood under the mist, occasionally moving an inch or two deeper into the water, and then hopping back three or four steps. At one point, some of the local bikini-clad bathing beauties flounced over to enjoy the cool water themselves. Hesperos was in seventh heaven as he stood surrounded by pretty girls ranging from 8 to 18, awash in not only the cool water but with opportunities galore.

After water play, we all went back to Grandma's and Grandpa's home where the rest of the evening followed a predictable pattern. The boys passed out, exhausted, and Mommy and Aunt Elspbeth beat Grandpa Wil in a few hands of gin rummy...while Daddy labored on the computers. (This is actually characteristic of Daddy's experiences wherever he goes - there's no such thing as a vacation for him as long as a relative needs help on a computer.)

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