Seventh Summer, Day One
My granddaughter will be seven this year. Since she was about four, I’ve kept her three times a week, with longer days during vacations.
Because we went to the coast on the first day of vacation, today was our first long day. I had such high hopes of fun times and no hassle. I plan to have “art camp” and other fun, creative activities. Once again, I ask myself, “What was I thinking?”
Today’s activity was “potions.” She loves fooling around with mixtures and messes, sand, paint, colors, anything like a test kitchen, a lab or a cooking show. We had some discarded toiletries—old lotions, salves, shampoos and other hair products. I added small food coloring bottles and the test tubes, pipettes and other accouterments from a kids’ science kit, and turned her loose in the courtyard, which is still fairly coated with sand from spring’s entertainments. So of course she mixed it all up—sand, coloring, shampoo, an excellent latte with whipped mousse on top, drizzled with red stuff. There was a mixture she called “blue fever,” which I contracted. Then she gave me the antidote, green something-or-other.
We also played with a new puzzle of the United States (made, of course, in China), and very soon Tennessee was torn and Indiana and New Hampshire were lost. I mended Tennessee, and Chloe discovered the two missing states underneath others (they were “understated.” Sorry.)
We had a couple of meltdowns, one when she didn’t “need” a break from swimming, but when I finally pried her inside she had two eggs, some cheese, a piece of toast and two glasses of juice. (And ate a good dinner three hours later.) She is at an age when she’s trying to assert her independence: “You’re not the boss of me.” “You’re taking away my rights.” And so forth. “Yes, I am the boss of you when I’m responsible for your well-being and safety, especially in the swimming pool,” but try to get a six-year-old to understand.
It’s going be a long summer.