Pool sweet pool

By Mir
June 21, 2008

The children arrived home, today, after the two longest weeks of my life.

Believe it or not, they’ve never been gone from me for that long before. Ever. Honestly, I think I did pretty well. Sure, I had to demolish my entire dining room and paint fifty-seven coats of various substances on it to keep my mind off the kids, but whatever.

(I started the topcoat on the plaster at 7 this morning. At 11:45 I finished the final—third, if you must know, because navy blue would be second only to RED in the “impossible to get even coverage” category of paint colors—coat of blue beneath the chair rail, and then collapsed in a heap of blisters and delirium.)

This afternoon the children came back, and I hadn’t so much as managed to get hugs from both of them before they were asking—nay, BEGGING—to go swimming. Please please please PLEASE CAN WE GO IN THE POOOOOOOOOL?

Sure, I tried to tell myself that really, they’d missed me but were just having trouble articulating it… but mostly I think they missed the pool.

So we schlepped their suitcases and paraphernalia inside, and then left the whole mess and went swimming. Obviously. What, I was going to demand they unpack when I had the chance to be the good guy for once? Nuh uh, dude.

They swam and splashed and hooted and bickered and belly-flopped. I ran the pool vacuum and watered my tomatoes and swam a little and then sat and watched them turn into happy little prunes. Eventually I hauled them out and made them go take showers while I got dinner ready.

I was peeking in the oven when Chickadee wandered into the kitchen. “I miss Otto,” she muttered, back to me, poking at the counter. “When’s he coming home?”

In that moment I forgave the kids for being more excited about the pool than me, and started making plans to buy Chickadee a pony. Even if now the order of things deemed important had changed from 1) Pool 2) Mom to 1) Pool 2) Otto 3) Mom.

We had dinner and snuggled on the couch and read a book together (at which point Monkey patted Otto’s customary spot on the couch and said, “We need Otto!”) and then they went to bed quite willingly.

I’m sure that tomorrow I’ll be the horrible mean mommy again and they’ll get back to irritating the snot out of each other, but let’s just say that right now I am REALLY glad we have a pool. Or something.


  1. Em

    Welcome Home, Chickadee and Monkey! Your mother really needs you to distract her from the dining room. Seriously. She is on the edge.

    Glad they are home safe and snuggling has commenced. There is no better feeling than having everyone safe and sleeping under the same roof.

  2. Burgh Baby

    You have the best kids ever.

    I took the Toddler to the Zoo without the husband today and after a loooooong day without him, she couldn’t stop talking about how she wanted to see him. As soon as she walked through the door, she searched high and low for her precious Daddy. When she finally found him, she said, “Hi, Daddy. Watch Bunnies now!” All she wanted him for was so he would turn on the TV and let her watch some silly bunny-filled TV show. Oh, the love.

  3. Mandee

    So glad they are home. And that they have obviously adjusted pretty well to their “new” life.

    My sister (whose 2.5 year old is currently on a 2 week visit with his biological male parent)had to go all the way to Vegas to get adequately distracted. One more week +1 day until we can exhale again.

    She painted the playroom during his last (4 day) visit.

  4. Heather

    Welcome home, kids :-)

  5. Jill

    Glad they’re back, safe & sound.

  6. All Adither

    Better a pool than a Wii.

  7. Sue

    Nice, cozy little nest you have for those chicks, Mir. And the dining room walls are SO glad they are home too!

  8. Fold My Laundry Please

    Welcome home, Chickadee and Monkey! I can’t imagine how rough it is to have your children away from you for that long. I’ve never been away from my kids for more than four hours at a time. But that’s because I tend to be neurotically overprotective!

    I know I don’t comment that often, but it’s only because I am intimidated by your superb beauty! I need your help! I’m trying to start what could be a rather large project. Come check out my blog to read about my very exciting idea for a bloggers video. And don’t forget to drag your friends and readers into it, too. Kicking and screaming if you have to. This will only turn out great if lots of people get involved! You know you wanna do it!

  9. juliness

    That feeling of ‘family’ can’t be manufactured, my friend. When you’ve got it, you’ve got it. Pool or not. Soak it in.

  10. StephLove

    Welcome home, happy little prunes. I think your mama missed you a wee bit.

  11. annie

    Oh, I know those “chance to be the good guy” moments all too well! You did the right thing.

  12. Elena

    I remember when David had Zac for A MONTH during the summer when he was two. I, however, did no such constructive thing as remodeling. There MAY have been a lot of dating, clubbing, and possible imbibing of alcoholic beverages.
    Thinking back on that hellish time, it’s hard for me to regret getting back together with him. At least, right now, while he’s asleep, and not doing anything anything irritating, like talking to me, or trying to tell me that Zac can’t go to my mom’s later on in the summer. I almost killed him last night when he came out with that one.

  13. Randi

    Awwwww!!! As a child whose parents were divorced and whose mother didn’t find that “special someone” in her life until after she was grown (wow that’s a tricky sentence), I’m really, REALLY glad that they have Otto in their life. And you too Mir, of course :).

  14. Cele

    That is the kewlest gift.

  15. getsheila

    Wait a minute, THIS ISN’T THURSDAY

  16. LiteralDan

    I think you forgot cookies and ice cream in that list.


  17. getsheila

    Oops, the keyboard faeries hit submit when I wasn’t looking.

    What I meant to say was it is nice to know love happens all week long, and even on the weekends. :)

    And just how close is that dining room to being done? Pictures! Pictures! Um, please.

  18. First Rough Draft

    So sweet! I love how much they miss Otto. What a wonderful sign that they have accepted him fully and acclimated to their new lives. And I wouldn’t feel too bad about the pool thing. I’ve been deprived of both the pool and my partner’s company for the last week thanks to hellacious overtime demands and a new job search, and I think I might miss the pool more than I miss her. But just a tiny bit!

  19. Flea

    Mir, you truly are Cinderella. :) I’m so happy for you!

  20. Lori (apparently one of several)

    Thanks once again for making me laugh and cry at the same time. And thank god kids do recognize a good thing when they’ve got it!

  21. dad

    Told ya!

  22. Asianmommy

    Awww…sometimes they are so sweet!

  23. jennielynn

    That is about the coolest thing I’ve heard all weekend.

  24. Dani

    Wow. And it isn’t even Love Thursday. Cool.

  25. Megan

    I think we need Otto back as well – how else will we get truly artistic photos of those darn walls?

  26. mommytherobot

    thats so sweet that they miss otto! i’ve never been away that long from my child, but i guess its easier when they’re older? btw my banana peppers refuse to bear any peppers after the one.any suggestions? fertilize more?

  27. Barbara

    there’s no place like home. and home is you, well otto, the pool and you. kids know. hugs and love girlie…

  28. Elicia Basoli

    I have such fond memories of pools as a kid – we did not have one, but there was always a neighbor willing to let us take over theirs for an afternoon every summer. The only bad memory – well, with blond hair, the chlorine sometimes turned my mop into a not-so-pleasant shade of green. Great post, Mir! Always a great read :-)

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