I wasn’t even playing mindless games on Facebook; I was actually downloading pictures from the camera, when I heard my oldest walk in from the outside, asking his Daddy: ‘is my hair dirty?’
I thought it was slightly odd, out of the blue for mid-afternoon on a Sunday. But sometimes, in an effort to avoid a (future) hair washing, he’ll ask, passive-agressive-style, if his hair is NOT dirty. In an attempt to garner assurance from us that his hair will not be washed in the immediate future.
Several minutes later, Jason walked into the office. ‘Go outside,’ he said, ‘you’re going to need this,’ as he handed me the camera. A feeling of dread came over me…Jason never brings me the camera, much less while saying ‘you’re going to need it.’
It could not be good. ‘Did you see what I just posted on my blog,’ I asked, referring to the post about how I’m beyond outnumbered in my own home. ‘No,’ he replied. ‘I was actually trying to do some work.’ Even better, both boys had been outside. Unsupervised.
I braced myself.
I am what optometrists might refer to as ‘substantially myopic.’ I cannot see any amount of detail from far away without the assistance of my glasses. And yet, when I walked out onto the deck without my glasses, gazing in the direction where the boys were last seen ‘making coal’, I could tell they were black in places where they used to have white flesh.
‘We’re making chocolate rain,’ my oldest announced by way of explanation. Of course you are. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Tay Zonday had in mind when he wrote his song. I had a good chuckle, and took some pictures. And then it dawned on me that these chocolate rain boys were going to need to come into the house again at some point. ‘Maybe tonight’s a good night for you guys to sleep out in your tent,’ I suggested. A suggestion they weren’t particularly fond of.
The cleaning operation commenced. Step one involved putting them in the (empty) sandbox with the hose. Which didn’t really do much other than create supremely dirty water.
Next I removed their shirts…they were nice shirts, too. Shirts that won’t be handed down to brother number three.
I started a bath in the basement tub, thinking it was more conducive to cleansing dirty children. We each carried in a child, so as to avoid muddy footprints on the beige carpet. However, 30 seconds after depositing the boys in said tub, the water was black. I realized it was going to take multiple baths to remedy this situation.
I ran upstairs to start bath number two. We each carried a child to the next bathroom and put them in clean(er) water. And, since their hair was being washed anyway, I decided to give them haircuts, too.
So, in summary: four hours of work, three baths (if you count the post-haircut one), two clean outfits per child, and one trip to the convenience store for the promised post-haircut candy.
As my oldest concluded, ‘I don’t think we should make chocolate rain again.’