Some days, I decide to have fun with Baby, instead of making dinner.
Before you begin questioning my priorities, and my daughter’s health, let me clarify. We still eat dinner on these nights. We just eat chicken fingers (the frozen kind that you pop in the toaster oven) or pasta with sauce from a jar. I don’t love feeding my family frozen, processed food. But I do love time to just hang out with Baby.
So, tonight was a chicken tender night.
And this afternoon, Baby and I had an epic swim session.
I filled up her kiddie pool and she promptly dumped in her pool toys – a bucket, a small watering can, and an assortment of shovels and spoons. She then hung out on the outside of the pool, completely uninterested in stepping in. I let her go for a little while and busied myself with watering the flowers on our deck. Who am I to dictate the right way to have fun with a pool full of water?
But it was HOT today. And she started to wilt a little. So I stepped into the pool (standing in a couple of inches of water can be surprisingly refreshing!) and asked her if she wanted to stand in there with me. Her face lit up in a brilliant smile. One of my favorite things about my little girl is how excited she is to do what I’m doing. She stepped in there with me and we started dancing and singing some random little melody that I made up on the spot. Then we sang several rounds of ring-around-the-rosies (she didn’t seem to mind that only she would fall down at the end). Then we sang several more rounds of ring-around-the-rosies, but FAST! (Baby’s new fascination is to do things FAST!).
Finally, we slowed down. Baby delighted in dipping her head in the water and feeling the water from her hair drip down her face. Together, we practiced blowing bubbles in the water.
Years from now, neither of us will remember that we ate chicken fingers tonight. And she probably won’t remember our time in the pool. But I will. And she’ll know that sometimes, it’s ok to let go of all the things we should do, and just enjoy a summer afternoon.