Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

How Did They End Up Naked?

Yesterday will probably go down in Maddie
and Cora’s books as one of the Best. Days. Ever. And the
whole thing was actually an accident – the kind with
absolutely no planning on my part, as well as a complete lack of
knowledge that this was the sort of day it would end up to be.

The whole thing started with a play date that fell through
last-minute. We’d been doing well all week, having fun play
dates and catching up with friends, and I was on a roll and
reluctant to tell my daughter one of her best friends had just
canceled. So while Maddie was in her gymnastics lesson, I called
Elise, a good friend of Maddie’s who never seems to be
available when we are. As luck would have it, though, Elise was off
to a park to play with a few friends and happily invited us

I should mention here that this park has
an outdoor volleyball court, so the girls call this park the Giant
Sand Box park. When we first moved here, I was loathe to go; you
can’t keep a kid out of an area like that, and fresh from New
York I was constantly on the alert for hypodermic needles and cat
poop. I’ve gradually come to acknowledge, though, that this
pit-o-sand is relatively safe to play in, and now my only complaint
is that it’s so darn messy. But Elise was dressing for messy,
and since we’ve been splashing outside and enjoying the bad
weather this week, I thought we could go for messy.

We ran home after gymnastics to pack a picnic lunch and grab our
“messy” clothes. As soon as we pulled into the parking
lot, we spied Elise in her rain boots, happily splashing in the
rain-made lakes in the middle of the big grassy field. With barely
a word spoken, my mom turned the car around and ran home for the
girls’ rain boots; I kept Cora and Maddie
“confined” to the sand pit where they stared longingly
at the giant puddles, not even acknowledging how dirty and sandy I
was letting them get as they roamed barefoot (see, I’m hip!
I’m relaxed!) through the sand.

As soon as the rain boots arrived the girls were off, splashing in
lakes and marching up and down rivers. They shouted orders and
organized games, telling elaborate stories and acting out fantasies
involving mermaids and pirates and fairies. By now, a couple more
of Elise’s friends had shown up, and Maddie and Cora quickly
found themselves in the midst of a fantastic posse of girls, all
ready to run and scream.

At some point Cora realized there was almost as much water inside
her boots as there was outside of them, and she begged me to let
her take them off. I looked at my girl, fanny all muddy from
falling in the puddles and soaked to the skin, and figured, Why
not? Just yesterday the puddles were all soft grass, so how much
glass/rocks/dangerous snakes could there be at the bottom of those
lakes? Freed from her boots, Cora ran screaming down the

You can guess what happened next – soon we had all four
“big” girls shoeless in the lake, making the water ever
muddier with their churning feet. Fortunately, bellies prevailed
and we had to stop for a refueling lunch break.

I’d half thought that the girls would run out of steam over
lunch and maybe do some more quiet play on the actual playground
equipment after they ate; they’d all been toweled down and
Cora had put on a change of clothes, and I reasoned that once they
were relatively dry and clean-ish they might lose their appetites
for the lakes. But I was wrong.

The moms lazily finished up our lunches while the girls scrambled
enthusiastically on the sand pit until my mom thwarted an attempt
to drag a ten-foot fallen branch over to the net to help them climb
up on it. That was all it took to break the spell of the sandbox
and turn their eyes back towards the water.

Cora returned warily, not entirely thrilled with her de facto role
of the youngest one there, doomed to be accidentally splashed and
drenched by the bigger girls. After falling in a particularly bad
mud pit and getting her second set of bottoms wet, she tried to
tuck her shirt up under her chin to keep it dry. Taking pity on
her, I summoned her over and took her shirt off for her, reasoning
it was better to have something clean to put on her for the car
seat on the way home.

This, I freely admit, was a tactical mistake, and I take full
responsibility for what happened next.

For within sixty seconds of the other girls seeing Cora’s
naked chest, they were all clamoring to take off their tops. By
this point we all figured, well, it can’t get any worse, and
we let them.

Which is how we ended up with a few preschoolers going primitive on
us, screaming and wallowing in the mud.

Maddie and Elise decided to “paint” a tree with mud,
and spent a good half hour picking up handfuls of mud and packing
that tree’s trunk with it. As their own trunks became
increasingly daubed with mud, I couldn’t help but see a whole
“Lord of the Rings” thing start to emerge; the girls
naturally began falling into instinctive roles, with a leader and
helpers and second-in-commands springing up. I have to admit, part
of me wanted to let them take their pants off – their shorts
were all ruined anyhow, and I’d dearly loved to have seen
several girls splashing in puddles in their Princess and Elmo
panties – but two things held me back: first, we were in a
public park, and though it was deserted you just never knew; and
second (and more important, frankly), I wanted to take the shorts
off before getting in the car so the car seat would stay relatively

The girls were surprisingly docile in their play, never pushing or
shoving or getting mean, and the three moms left in the bunch sat
lazily on the grass watching them and wishing we had a pitcher of
margaritas. I swear, that puddle was better than Six Flags and a
heck of a lot cheaper.

If the play was exquisite the parting, as you can imagine, was
agony. No amount of countdowns or warnings could soften the blow,
and the ride home was, on Maddie’s part, excruciating.
We’d cleaned off a bit at the park but ran straight to the
bathtub, where it took her another five minutes before she began to
enjoy splashing in the bathtub. Her biggest comfort? Maddie and
Elise had sworn to each other that they’d go back to that
park EVERY DAY from now on.

I’m not quite ready to commit to that level of dirt on a
regular basis, but I have to admit it was fun to see the girls go
crazy and have a great time. Cora was content to splash and play on
the periphery at her own pace, though she wasn’t thrilled
with the whole “wet and dirty” aspect of it and quit
the puddle for the playground long before we went home. Maddie,
though, was dazzled, and I know that the day after our next big
storm she’ll be begging me to get out the “messy”
clothes and head to the Sand Box park.

Let me just make that pitcher of margaritas real quick, and
we’ll be on our way.


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.