Our city has two holidays: Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Legally, we have other holidays, but on those two days the party sign is out and friends from around the area come in celebrate. On our block of ten or eleven houses there were four backyard parties in the late afternoon and evening, and at dusk most of the city gets up and starts walking to the city center with blankets and wagons for the fireworks display.
Throughout the fireworks display, Olivia sang loudly and Lily plugged her ears. Olivia’s singing had so much volume that people in front of us turned around above the din of the display to see what the source of the noise was. And what was she singing? Beats me — it was mostly a stream-of-whatever-crosses-her-mind.
Lily needed cuddling for much of the show, was very impressed by any rocket that was a “sparkler” (and, no, I couldn’t figure out exactly what she meant about that), and in the middle of the show started her own song, fingers still firmly planted in her ears. Her words were very minimalist (she’ll make a good pop song writer), and went like this:
a-Mer-i-CAN fire woooOOORKS!
So, it is a good thing that fireworks are loud, because their singing was relentless.
The day did not start so well for Olivia. Our neighbor’s daughter was over playing with our children this morning, riding bikes in the driveway, and Olivia slowly rode past the friend and with her sister a little distance away quietly said “Hey, wanna go on the swing with me?”
There are only two swings on our swingset, and it seemed clear to me that Olivia’s intent was to cut her sister out of the swing action (like, maybe I’d seen this maneuver a few times before, hmmmmmmm?). However, Lily’s ears are sharp and mind keen and she wasn’t on her bike, and immediately and without fanfare she bolted for the backyard swings. So did the friend — after all, she had been asked to go swinging. Olivia took a little smidge of time to dismount her bike and didn’t realize that both other girls had a big headstart on the run to the backyard until too late, and ooooooooo, what a tantrum there was! Oh, her sister was a tricker and a sneak! And it wasn’t FAIR (oh, that F word again).
I failed to be won over, which eventually earned me a big fat “I HATE YOU!!!!” Don’t fret about me — I was in good company, because she placed her mother and sister in the same boat. So, only Lily got to go to the bike parade. This meant that She-Who-Would-Like-To-Be-Having-Fun-With-Our-Children ended up at home with the whirlwind child, which did break our “rule” of not having a consequence for a child be a consequence for an adult. Sometimes, it is unavoidable, and this was one of them. Next time, it will probably be my turn.