Friday, August 14, 2020

Walking by the wibber

 We went out today. We haven't been out since...the last time...which was six weeks ago. July 2. I just checked my phone for pictures (that obviously never made it onto the blog) and I remember that was the day we discovered that the playgrounds were open again but then Georgia descended into absolute chaos, as far as coronavirus is concerned, so we just haven't gone out again and although Georgia is doing nothing to stem the flow, aside from just hoping that our numbers go down, we went out into public because staying at home is hard, especially when you're watching everyone else carry on as normal, and it's so maddening to know that if everyone would have just stayed home between July 2 and now (that's six weeks of staying home) we wouldn't have had such a spike in cases and also would have had things under such good control that we could have opened our school doors with much less worry and I'm just so made at our entire society that we can't manage to suck it up and make any sort of sacrifice—whether staying home or agreeing to wear masks or whatever (we can't agree on anything to do and so we continue to do nothing and—guys!—I am just. so. mad. about it).

So we wore masks to the park because we knew it would be populated because, well, it's a popular park. We didn't stop to play at the playground, nor did we stop to play by the river because we got there just at lunchtime and there were a lot of people picnicking and playing in the river. Instead we wandered into the woods towards the children's "Paradise." 

Once we were deep enough into the woods we decided we could safely take off our masks, though here are a few pictures of the children with their masks on:

There were a few people at "Paradise," but they were kicking a soccer ball back and forth in the parking lot. We stuck to the trees and ditch. The kids almost thought about playing around in their beloved bushes but after seeing how overgrown they were and thinking about all the spiders and snakes and things hiding within they decided that was probably more of a wintertime activity than a summer one.

(His nose is just fine. Thank goodness. It was so swollen when we put him to bed the other night but it's looking pretty normal now. You might be able to see some red blotches around the bridge of his nose, but otherwise it's looking good so I've gone from 90% sure it's broken to 90% sure it's not.)

So we goofed around for a while until we decided to head to the river. Here's Benjamin doing some spectacular leaps:

Here's Rachel messing around:

Here are the wee ones:

And here's Miriam looking cute:

When all the kids were all jumped- and climbed-out, we headed back through the trees to the river. 

There we (finally) found an unoccupied path to the river (the ones upstream were all taken, filled with people fishing and tubing). I'm not sure why it was so muddy looking today (though, honestly, it probably wasn't the best day to pick to go wading...seeing as the E. coli count was like 397 (which is high) but, to be fair, I told the kids not to put their faces in the water and they all showered when we got I'm thinking to myself: which is riskier—E. coli or coronavirus?). Oh, well. We played in it. Well, the kids played in it while I held the stuff and played lifeguard.

They were a little timid at first...

Especially Alexander.

He didn't want to get wet or dirty at all. He didn't think the water looked inviting and he didn't like the sticky, gooey mud that would make him get all dirty.

"Do you want to get in the water?" I asked.

"No fanks, no fanks," he said. "It's yucky water. It would get me dirty and yucky and gross."

But Benjamin splashed on in (of course) and looked like he was having so much fun that his sisters soon splashed on in behind him.

Alexander still preferred to just watch.

But then he saw some rocks on the ground and thought those might be fun to throw into the water, so he spent quite a bit of time carting rocks down to the river and chucking them in....

...while his siblings played in the river.

Alexander eventually warmed up to the mud. He came to find his treks up the path to find rocks too arduous and clumps of mud made just as satisfying of a plop, so he resorted to throwing handfuls of mud into the river, yelling, "Water fountain!" each time.

And just now—he's here beside me watching me type and looking at pictures from our day—he said, "Tan we doe dere anubber time and I tan frow more mud into duh wibber and mate it be a water fountain?" So I'd say he enjoyed himself, even if he didn't leave the "wibber" soak-in-wet like his siblings.*

We spent quite a lot of time splashing about (in E. coli infested waters).

Alexander got "wo muddy" (he's realized that /b/ isn't the best substitute for /s/ and now uses either /w/ or /f/ depending on the circumstance (but also sometimes still /b/); we'll get that/s/ sound eventually):

When we were all rivered- and splashed-out we climbed back out of the bank and headed for home.

Rachel is helping the little ones up the embankment because I was carrying All The Stuff.

The kids, who earlier today (and all this week, really) had been at each other's throats were skipping through the trees laughing and chatting (while poor Alexander hustled to catch up to them (story of his life)):

Here he is turning around to say, "Come on, Mom!"

And off again, hot on their heels!

He caught up to them at the bridge. He's getting better and better at keeping up with them, which means more and more he's leaving my side. And somehow it's both warming my heart and breaking my heart. Watching children grow always seems to do that to me.

We put our masks back on after we crossed the bridge, before we entered the main part of the park.

*Our children have all in turn used the phrase "soak and wet" instead of "soaking wet." So we've explained several times over the past 1.5 decades that it's really "soaking wet." Most recently we've been explaining this to Zoë and today in her schoolwork (the kids were writing an exposition on how weather affects their mood), Zoë said that she likes rainy weather the best because we can "play in the rian and get soke-in-wet" [sic] and I just think it's so great that none of my children have ever been able to grasp that phrase.

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