It was Kid Weekend at Carolina Gypsy. On Friday, about the time the heat wave melted the beltline, I showed up at my niece’s birthday slumber party, commencing at the outdoor pool of the Holiday Inn at Crabtree Valley with the six-to-nine-year-olds.
I am pretty sure now that, when I die, I am going straight to heaven.
The party, actually, was great. There was a pool contest, and pizza, and presents and stories and bed-jumping. When things really cranked up, we did nail painting and hair-feathering. Since I have a design degree and was the only one in the room who would admit to being able to paint anything, I was in charge of nail polishing, and the subsequent addition of hearts and flowers with a teeny tiny paint pen. We ended up looking a tiny bit like Vegas showgirls. The sugar crash from the cookie cake hit around 10:00, when all the girls were lined up in rows across the beds with covers up to their chins. Little girls are just easy that way.
Saturday morning I left slumber party number one and headed for slumber party number two. This one was in Virginia; my friend Mary and her precious family moved up there a couple of years ago, and Julia and I are godmother to one of her twins. We road-trip it up there fairly often to
teach him swear words and feed him candy work on his alphabet and set a good spiritual example.
Julia figured I’d be a little worse for the wear from slumber party number one. She showed up at my house with a giant coffee. Bless her heart. We hit the road. We had a big time. We stopped for gas station sunglasses, because that will improve your mood in a hurry.
We got there just in time to kiss all over these little faces before naptime.
For a weekend chasing three children under the age of five, it was remarkably relaxing. Of course, it’s like herding cats, and someone is always trying to flee:
These two are likely to hop on that scooter and take it down the road and buy some gas station sunglasses of their own. But mostly they were happy to read books, and talk about trucks.
We taught Twin # 1 how to take pictures with an Iphone,
and did some yoga with big sister, and then went to the pool. Even in a heat wave, standing in a baby pool with a solo cup of wine is just darn pleasant. Everyone splashed around and poured things from big containers into little containers and played with kickboards. Twin # 2 and I investigated how many ways we could float leaves in the water while dangled our feet in the big kid pool.
After all the pool fun, we wrangled the kiddies into bathtime and pjs and stories and bed. If there is anything more precious in this world than a baby in footie pajamas toddling over to you and climbing into your lap with a picture book, I don’t know what it is. Then, suddenly, they were all asleep, at the same time.
After that the grownups misbehaved, but in a contained, three-children-sleeping-upstairs kind of way. We drank too much wine and watched a cataclysmic thunderstorm and stayed up hours too late, talking through months and months of catch-up since we’d all been together. We told ridiculous stories. We sorted it all out.
Morning came early.
We read more books and played on the scooter and formed a rock band, and then everyone had the loudest meltdown you have ever heard, and then it was all fine and we ate blueberries for lunch.
They are growing up so, so quickly. Since we were all together last, they have learned to talk; nothing complicated, but they are pretty clear about “yes” and “no” and “I want that” and they giggle all the time. It changes everything when they start communicating. They tell you all kinds of things.
One of the many reasons a kid weekend is great is that, when you’re that age, pretty much everything is new, and everything around you is fascinating, and every day you are learning as fast as you can. You cry a lot, and you fall down a lot, and you get frustrated, but you also laugh a lot, and ask a lot of questions, and try new things every day.
It’s not a bad example to follow. It think I’ll make that my summer plan.