Last night Allie was crying because we were dragging our feet about fulfilling her wish to go outside. In our defense it was (it is) flippin’ hot out there. Finally we had enough of the whining and I took the girls outside.
I figured I’d give them a couple of blasts from the hose, they’d run around and scream a little then it’d be back inside for a quick bath and off to bed. As the girls played in the water it occurred to me that I should just take care of their bath immediately. So I asked the girls what they thought about a bath right there in the back yard.
They were very excited.
They had no idea what was coming.
I often tell Debbie one of the best parts of living in Wisconsin is the fact that no matter what the weather, the water is always cold straight out of the tap. And while short quick bursts of cold water can be refreshing, a lengthy rinse under that same cold water can be miserable. This fact didn’t occur to me as I was lathering up the girls’ hair. It didn’t occur to them either. That’s why when I began to rinse the girls their screams could be heard throughout the neighborhood.
Two doors down, I could see the neighbors looking over to see what the hell was going on in our backyard. I kept trying to tell the girls to hush but I also completely understood why they were behaving as if I was branding them. I tried to isolate the spray to just the parts of their bodies that required rinsing but that wasn’t working very well. That’s why I thought if I would hit them hard and heavy with the hose it would be bad; but over quickly.
As I opened the hose on them it was like a scene from a prison movie. They ran around the deck trying to avoid me but they also wanted desperately to get the suds out of their faces (it’s always no tears shampoo, but that didn’t make having a soapy mess flow into your face anymore pleasant). They screamed and shivered and pleaded with me to stop.
I hadn’t realized how loud the screaming was until it stopped. Deb and I wrapped the girls in towels and brought them into the house. The air conditioning made the girls shiver and soon Julia was wrapped in a blanket and pressing herself against me trying to get warm. I told myself all was forgiven but I knew I was just a convenient source of heat.
I rationalize this particular trauma by telling myself that if the girls hadn’t acted so excited by my outdoor bathing concept I wouldn’t have gone through with it. However, I’m sure this episode has been stored away for when I’m no longer able to bath myself and one of the girls is pressed for time. Hold still and pipe down, old man. Remember? This crap is fun! What? Your pacemaker isn’t going to short out. Now hold still.
Right now I'm sitting in the bedroom with both girls. Julia has a 103 degree temp. and she's very hot. I don't think that her fever is related to the hosing she got last night. Myriah, a little girl who was at Julia's party yesterday, also had a high fever when she got home yesterday. So I'm employing a little Tylenol, a fan, a damp wash cloth and some cold juice.