A picture is worth 1000 words.
There are no pictures with this post… so I’m aiming for 1000 words.
Babysitting can be frustrating and it can be rewarding. Today was the first day that felt like summer on the West Coast. It doesn’t help that where I’m staying is in the shadow of Golden Ears Mountain and daily it seems clouds encircle the summit and set themselves there for the day to enjoy the sunset. I suppose.
Today it was positively hot.
With three young ones, all under 3 1/2 Uncle Byron heard to the order to dig out the purple plastic toddler pool for the wee ones to find some summertime cool on this balmy day. It took a while to fill the shallow tub with water but it proved to be well worth it.
The three wee ones slide foot-first into the frigid water, which led to the first set of tears as my youngest niece slipped on the plastic bottom and splooshed into the snow-fed cold waters (since my father’s water source is from the river, which is fed by those same snow-capped Golden Ears). The shock of the water, the cold and the slip brought out the waterworks and being the nearest adult, my reward was to clutch a crying, shivering child to my bare torso (it WAS hot so I was maximizing my sunlight intact) and feel the joy of her chattering tears while she soaked my shorts.
Kylianne, the oldest at 3 1/2 wore her swimsuit since she’d spent the past two days with Grandma and down at Rockcrest (which has a pool). Aisling quickly stripped down to her diaper and small purple pair of shorts – she’s 22 months old with the vocabulary of a 12 year old. Nolan (2 months younger than Aisling) proved to be the star.
Nolan, is a riot. He is his father reborn. Which is enjoyable for everyone, except maybe his dad, personally I think it’s karma paying back my brother for being oh-so proto-version Nolan. Nolan will SCREAM if he doesn’t get his way. Nolan will clench his fists, flex every muscle, scrunch up his face and make the sound of an enraged ostrich is he doesn’t get his way. Reminds me of his dad.
Nolan also shows some true flashes of unabashed pleasure, like he did today. He started out by falling backwards off the plastic pool since he still doesn’t have good balance and sports a giant heeeeeead. He bounces (literally) and quickly splashed about the shallow pool. Soon his shorts were lost as they drooped down below his diaper. Next his shirt found the lawn, as that wasn’t required either. Finally the final piece. Mom, in her infinite wisdom (?), removed Nolan’s diaper.
Naked baby in the pool!
And his joy was infectious. He is big for his age, but he is all head and belly, massive hands and feet. Now a small little boy stood naked as the day he was born, a shock of red-orange hair atop an ivory white body. All the baby fat is still there. And yes, his tiny penis beneath his swollen belly only added to the image.
But whereas his first year of life was a real struggle for Nolan, today he proudly claimed his spot in the pool and struck a pose and released a roar of unbridled pleasure.
Naked and free and loving it.
He gloried in being free of a sodden, heavy diaper which absorbed so much water from earlier frolics. He relished in the freedom of yelling and splashing in the pool, of tearing around the backyard and making as much noise as he wanted. Having a bit of property and understanding neighbours makes days and experiences like these much easier.
Long after the two girls had retired to the sandbox, Nolan continued to cannonball and slide into the water. When he finally emerged dripping wet from the purple pool, his lips were blue, his teeth were chattering and a smile lit-up his face. Not the cold nor the wet could dampen the thrill of freedom this not-quite two year old felt at being bare bottomed on a summer’s day.
It’s something I think a lot of adults miss out on.
Indeed it is one of the greatest gifts my nieces and nephews award me.
From the undeniable joy at bubbles ~ BUBBLES! (I don’t know what it is about bubbles and babies but combine the two and it is magical) to the happiness of receiving an extra five minutes to finish watching a TV show before nap, to ‘one more (3 minute) story’ before bed or indeed, eating watermelon and grapes naked as a goldfinch on a towel in the backyard after a lengthy dip in a purple plastic pool.
There are a lot of little things that make me smile, watching my nephew find the joy in sunshine and water, warmth and chill, all the while being naked and loving it.
Yes, that’s pretty damn special.
(So this only reached 800ish words… the readers will have to fill in the final 1/5th of the image themselves.)