Picture it. It's a partly cloudy, humid, late spring day. It's the last day of school, and the kids have been playing outside in the glorious weather since setting off rockets at 11:30-ish a.m. They've colored the sidewalk, driveway, and a good chunk of the cul-de-sac with chalk, ridden bikes, taken walks, eaten lunch on the front porch, and just really, truly enjoyed being outdoors with nowhere to go and nothing to do.
Then they went into the woods to entertain themselves. I, for the first time all day, hear silence. It is good. I take advantage of the moment to go through e-mail. Soon, the back door opens.
"Mom, we would have stayed out there longer, but we both found ticks on each other," M1 announces.
"And I don't like ticks. Can you check my hair?" corroborates M2.
Dutifully, I check their hair and find nothing but sweaty scalps (thankfully... the ticks have gotten absolutely horrendous all of a sudden, and I have now informed the children that they need to make sure they put on bug spray before they go into the woods any time between now and... whenever tick season is over. Anyone know when that is? I'm assuming fall/winter).
The children are not at all deterred by the abrupt change in their plans, however. They have a goal. Or, rather, M1 does.
"Mom," he continues, "since we're staying inside, can we watch a movie?"
"Oooooo, yeah!" M2 chimes in. "Which one, M1?"
"I was thinking the tornado one," he answers, referring to "Tornado Alley" by Sean Casey, which he checked out of the library earlier this week.
"Oh." M2 deflates. "Can I watch a different movie, Mama?"
"Um... and just where, exactly, do you plan on watching a different movie?"
"And just where do you think M1 is going to watch his?"
I am greeted with silence. This has not been thought through.
"So can I?" M2 finally replies, deciding to ignore the fact that I've asked a question at all.
"No. You can watch the tornado movie with him upstairs, or you can watch nothing with me."
M1 is pleased and announces that he is going to take a shower to make sure there aren't any more ticks hiding anywhere, because "once I found one on my butt," which I highly doubt, but he is a 10-year-old boy and likes saying the word 'butt' as much as possible.
"Wait... does that mean we have to get into our pajamas?" M2 wants to know.
"Well, you don't have to," I answer, "but if you aren't going back outside, it's certainly an option."
"I'm going to watch the movie with M1," she decides. "Or come sit with you. And I'm going to take a bath, too. And maybe put on pajamas. Or not."
"Right," I answer. "You do... that."
And off they trot.