Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Summer Toots, It Wouldn't Be Summer Without Them

This was the first week of our regular summer "Babysittin' the Cousins" schedule. Because each day started with picking the kids up after school, we had been doing all of our babysittin' at their house. Now that they're out of school, though, we're doing two days at their house and one at ours. I gotta say, I like the day at our house. Freckles told me that she had been looking forward to seeing Thumper "in his natural environment." I don't know if she's making a documentary or what she may have learned about him from her observations, but it certainly is easier for me to take care of him in his natural environment, mostly because I don't have to haul two or three bags of baby shtuff and a portable crib around. I also want to tell you that Freckles, after walking through our front door, exclaimed, "You’ve even got a baby, and your house is still WAY cleaner than ours!" But I think it would be rude to mention that, and I don't want anyone to think that I'm being prideful or unpleasantly critical of someone else. So I won't. Mention it, that is.

I think this summer needs a name. I've been thinking about "The Summer of Cousins," because not only are we babysittin' two cousins, a third has been joining us on several of our excursions. The Dallas elements of the family will also be coming to Austin to enjoy a day at the lake with us, so we have a pretty good chance of shoving a few more of 'em into our "Summer of Cousins." Freckles asked me what my other nephew was to them on the way to pick him up. I told them I didn't know. Second cousins? Removed cousins? Those are phrases I hear all the time, but I have know idea what they actually mean. I told them I'd have to look it up. I probably won't. I'm lazy like that.

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, the summer needs a name. It's "The Summer of Cousins," but it also is shaping up to look a lot like "The Summer of the Pools." On Wednesday, when we were talking about going to the pool in our subdivision, Freckles and Robert McGee told me that they'd been to a pool every day since Sunday. I said, "Oh, well, if you're sick of swimming we can find something else to do." No no! They were going for a record! It was their ambition to dip their bodies into one pool or another every single day for a week. For at least a week. We wish them well in their ambition, but since it's just Thumper and I today, we're going to stay as far away from the pool as possible. Maybe we'll see what he thinks of RadiJazz. Although, if I raise the stakes like that, he may never be satisfied with the mall playground again.

So, yeah. Cousins steeping in pools. Baking in the sun. The Summer of:

Cousin Soup?
Cousin Tea?
Cousin Suntea?

Or maybe "Rootin' Tootin' Summer." As I may have mentioned, Thumper's been regularly testing the containment capacity of his diapers. We've suddenly found ourselves on constant overflow watch here. And it's not just the cloth diapers; we tried a couple different brands of disposables, including the extra-absorbent overnight variety, and still, each morning a sense of expectant dread drifts through the house as we approach his bedroom door: will it be a toxic Superfund site today?

So naturally, we watch him closely for the Sign of the Poop, any sign, no matter how subtle. Yesterday, at Little Stacy, a thoughtful, faraway look came into his eyes, and I felt his abdomen tighten up. We were out of the pool quicker than if the lifeguard had shouted, "Lightning!" Luckily, we didn't contaminate the water. I'm pretty sure that would be embarrassing.

We're constantly sniffing him, too. I don't know how many times I've said recently, "Nope, no poop. He must just be gassy." It must be annoying when you do your best to quietly, discretely let one slip, and bam! you find yourself face-down with someone peering into your underwear.

And speaking of discrete, Robert McGee was, uh, bakin' some brownies yesterday. Knowing him, as I do, to be a seven-year-old boy, I was pleasantly surprised that he did not make loud and vulgar mirth from the situation. He and I both quietly pretended that we did not hear anything. Twice. I even refrained from instructing him to excuse himself for fear of drawing attention to the undeniable humor inherent to that noise. I figure that if I don't want to be called out on mine, I best not call anyone else out on theirs. Except for Thumper. If he rips one, you can bet he'll be shooting straight up off that white carpet like a rocket, tout de suite!


Aerie (aka Mrs. Rodius) said...

So which one of us gets to sleep in tomorrow and avoid the inevitable biohazard clean up? I'm voting me, though I'm also entertaining the idea of working out early before the boy is up. You probably want Sunday as your sleep in day. Of course, we may both be up if the little guy is still running a fever. What is brewing there?

Jennie said...

A second cousin is the child of a first cousin - like, your grandparents are cousins. Your parents are then second cousins. And you would be third cousins. Shout if you want a personalized diagram - I'm a genealogy nerd.

Jennie said...

Also, my honey refers to all that as "BSE" - "Baby Support Equipment". He's kinda like Vin Diesel in that movie.

I, Rodius said...

Ok, Jennie. If one is the child of my brother, and the other is the child of my wife's sister, then what are they to each other? Nothin', right?

Jennie said...

Yeah, not really anything. Like I call my honey's brother's wife my "sister-in-law-in-law". But they can still be pals!

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