Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pool naps, eczema, and getting married

Andrew took the van in for a tune up today, in preparation for its maiden (at least at our hands) voyage across the continent, so the kids and I walked to the pool this afternoon for a swim. In the past we've often walked, but in recent history walking to the pool and then swimming and then walking home has been a little tiring. Nevertheless, it's what we did. And we had fun.

We played for a couple of hours and Zoë even had a nap.

She can get quite wild at the pool, jumping in, paddling over to the side, and climbing out to do it all over again. She didn't ever want anyone to catch her, screaming at them, "No! No! No!" while waving her little palm at them (her older sisters, in particular, kept trying to catch her). She's quite confident in her little puddle jumper (and even without it).

Eventually she got plum worn out and wanted me to hold her, which, in the pool, I can do!

Not lifting anything over 20 lbs. is quite a difficult command to follow when the little 20-something lbs. person in your house has been used to being carried around for her whole life. We still get some good snuggles in the rocking chair or sitting on the couch or lying in bed together, but it's just not the same as being carried around.

Sure, she's gained quite a lot of independence since I began refusing, at my doctor's orders, to pick her up (if by "independence" you mean "allowing Rachel to carry her around," which I do, because in the past she was a strict "momma only" girl), but I think she feels like there's a part of her life missing.


Mostly I've realized how many times a day I ordinarily pick her up: to sit on the potty, to wash her hands, to put her in her high chair, to put her in a swing. The list goes on and on. She knows to run and grab a stool for most things now.

In the pool, though, there's a little thing called buoyancy which means I can hold my toddler in my arms and let her rest her head on my shoulder as we walk around the deep end. She settles right in, quite content to cuddle forever. This afternoon she drifted blissfully off to sleep. I could hardly believe it because this child never naps.

Even more remarkable is that she also went to bed at her regular time!

She took a (forced) nap a few days ago because she was not humaning well at all. It was only a twenty minute nap but she was up for hours that night, unable to fall asleep.

I guess all the time at the pool wore her out.

Rachel ended up sunburning her face while we were swimming. She later confided that she must have forgotten to put sunscreen on her face at all, which I had been wondering about because no one else got burned and it was only Rachel's face that was suffering. She put some aloe vera on her face.

The last time she got a sunburn she put Vaseline on her face because that's what she uses for her eczema and I was like, "No, no, no! Wash it off right now!" I explained that Vaseline doesn't soothe everything and, in fact, will exacerbate a burn. Aloe vera was what she wanted.

Now that she knows, she was sure to pick aloe vera this time around, but her eczema had been acting up and something in the aloe vera solution was irritating her patches of eczema (my guess: the second ingredient—alcohol).

"Is aloe vera supposed to hurt when it gets on eskimo?" she asked me. "Because it's certainly hurting my eskimo."

For the life of me, I can't get her to pronounce eczema any other way.

After dinner we headed outside for our traditional post-prandial stroll. Sometimes when Andrew's home and is walking with us, we'll make all the kids run ahead so that he and I can actually enjoy each other's company. We've explained to the kids over and over again that mom and dad don't really get to go out on dates very often so this is our date time. They still think it's cruel and entirely unfair (but we simply tell them to stop rolling their eyes and stomping their feet and to get a move on). They're usually jumping all over him when we're at home, so it's not like they aren't getting any attention from him. It's just that they still want his attention while we're out walking.

But when it's just me with the kids, as it was tonight, they walk clumped around me. Zoë was in the stroller and she and Benjamin were holding hands as we walked along. He leaned over and kissed her hand and announced, "I just married Zoë!"

He says that every time he kisses her hand (which is pretty much any time he gets a hold of her hand).

And that's the basic summary of our day...

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