Last Tuesday we took Auntie Josie for a little walk down by the Eno River.
Here's everyone on the suspension bridge:
I thought that the fact that it was December would keep the kids out of the river, but I was wrong and everyone ended up with at least wet feet, if not more.
Everyone had a lot of fun hopping from (slippery) rock to (slippery) rock and then posing on little rock islands for me, the designated camera holder.
I eventually handed the camera to Andrew, though, because Zoë wanted to do some rock-hopping, herself, and she wanted me to help her do it. Not that she's particular or anything.
Here we are walking a little farther down the river:
We found a nice pebbly beach and I thought I'd let Zoë free so she could throw rocks into the water and whatnot but the minute I let her go she ran straight into the river. She's never been able to leave a body of water alone, has she? So she was the first one to wind up soaking wet.
The water wasn't warm, but it wasn't freezing either. It was definitely warmer than, say, a glacial lake or even a Kananaskis mountain stream (I have some very chilly memories of swimming at YW camp) but certainly not as warm as the pool in July. Honestly, though, while the kids were unpleasantly cold, no one even got goose bumps (so it couldn't have been that cold).
Here's some pictures of a wet, little Zoë playing by the river:
Rachel and Miriam were determined to cross the river.
They got pretty far before they chickened out...
As you can see they are almost to the other side. Why they didn't just finish crossing...I don't know.
When they chickened out they chickened out hard. They were on the rocks weeping and wailing and begging for a grown up to come and rescue them. I think part of the problem was that they didn't want to wind up soaking wet.
Benjamin, meanwhile, had no problem making his way back to us.
When Zoë saw Benjamin's walking stick she quickly found one for herself. She parrots just about everything Benjamin does (and if you knew everything Benjamin does you'd understand why I'm so worn out—because I have to deal with everything he does twice (and you might not think that she is capable of doing everything that he's capable of doing...but somehow she just finds a way)).
Auntie Josie—Snap Chatter extraordinaire (she's the only person I ever snap to)—is so good at capturing small moments with her phone. She caught Benjamin going from laughing to pouting in this little clip. He was having fun splashing in the water but also wanted our sympathy because he fell in and was cold.
Here's Zoë being upset because she's a little bit dirty:
Josie noted that "Zoë likes to be clean," and I guess that's true because she doesn't ever fuss about bath time or being scrubbed down after dinner. But...she also likes making big messes...so I don't know why she was so fussy about this little bit of dirt on her hand.
Once Benjamin got a little bit wet he decided trying to stay dry was pointless and got braver and braver with his wading.
Eventually he "slipped" and sat down in the water, which was a bit too much for him.
He may or may not have had help falling from this "innocent" looking fellow:
Meanwhile the girls were still trying to pick their way back over to us...
Miriam was the first one to make it back to our side:
And with four wet children, one wet aunt (Josie got her feet wet trying to help the girls at one point), and one wet daddy (he'd worn shoes with holes on the bottom because he didn't want to get his new shoes dirty) we decided to call it a day.
Zoë wanted to be carried but I didn't want to get my clothes wet so I tried carrying her like this:
But she didn't love it and can be very...persuasive...so eventually I just gave up and carried her on my hip, soaking my shirt. So much for being the only one to stay dry...
Here's Rachel balancing on a cool vine she found:
And here's Benjamin, pouting in warm, dry clothes:
He's still upset with Andrew about making him fall into the river. Every time we drive over the river (which is all the time) he says, "Dad pushed me in the river! Why did he do that?!"
The girls had certificates for a free lunch at Moe's (from school) that expired at the end of the year and we had a couple of buy-one-get-one coupons so we decided to go there for lunch. Turns out, kids eat free at Moe's on Tuesdays anyway so using their coupons was somewhat pointless. They still enjoyed ordering on their own and handing over their certificates though so I guess it was worth it.