Cole and Avery made their first trip to the water park today. It was also Madison’s triumphant return; she hadn’t been since the summer of 2015 – or as we like to call it – The Last Summer of Peace.

DCIM102GOPROG1035143.Cole enjoyed playing in the shallow waters the most. He rode the slides and was forced under waterfalls, but nothing seemed to please him as much as simply standing in knee-to-waist-high water. He splashed himself. He splashed Avery. He splashed the fake rocks that lined the kids’ area.

Still, he’s such a funny guy. Whenever we’re out and he catches a glimpse of a water fountain or koi pond or sprinklers, he lunges at them with the full force his tiny frame can muster. He cries when we don’t allow him in. And then when we go to a water park where he can actually go into the fountains, ponds, and sprinklers, he plays coy. “Nahnahnah,” he seems to say in a high-pitched voice. “I nevah like dat much watah, boo.”

DCIM102GOPROG0874670.Avery, on the other hand enjoyed running across the park on its many concrete walkways. For a full five minutes, I followed her around the property as she bounce-jogged. “She’s running with her eyes closed!” exclaimed a woman who could see Avery’s face. “Is she really?” I said. “Yes!” the woman replied. Well then Avery must have some kind of supernatural sense for the absolute worst places to run. She tried multiple times to run into the water at the bottom of the blue slides. She tried to run down into the Shaka waiting area. Best of all, she ran all the way to the wave tank, saw it from the railing, then got on her hands and knees and tried to crawl under the railing which was 6 inches from the ground. Another woman nearby cracked up. “I don’t think you’re going to make that one, sweetie,” she said.

DCIM102GOPROGOPR4957.Avery was the first to fall asleep. Lynnette strapped her into the Ergo as she and Madison went to get lunch. By the time they returned with their plates Avery was knocked out. She rested with her mouth wide open on Lynnette’s chest for the entire meal. She was still knocked out when we returned to the kids’ area. That’s one of the things about Avery – she doesn’t fight her naps. If she’s tired and someone (mostly Lynnette) rocks or carried her for long enough, she’ll go to sleep and stay asleep. She took a nap at the beach last week, too. I hope this continues as long as it possibly can because…

DCIM102GOPROGOPR5319.…Cole is like Madison. He rarely takes naps outside of a car ride, and worst of all, he fights his sleep. This leads to the arrival of Fussy Cole who hates walking, loves being carried, and melts down at even the slightest hint in the shift in the carrier’s body posture and weight that the carrier might put him down. Madison used to behave exactly like this, too, but as she’s gotten older, Fussy Madison manifests herself in sass, sarcasm, and eye rolls. The teenage years are going to me nothing short of amazing. And by amazing I mean maddening. She said something to me the other day about Lynnette taking her bra shopping “probably about the same time” as she gets her own cell phone and I made a face like I smelled a fart, then got lightheaded.

DCIM102GOPROG0995029.For now, though, Mad’s still a kid and today made her whole summer. Every time we drive past the water park on the way to Target, she wistfully looks out the window and/or makes some comment about wondering what it’s like now and not having been there since before the twins were born. She had been looking forward to today for almost a month. I am happy to report that she played on the bigger kids’ side for three hours without having to tend to Cole or Avery. It is the least Lynnette and I could have done for the Big Sister who spent her summer in service of her family. I hope you enjoyed the last weekend of your summer, Mad. 4th grade starts Monday.

Thank you for a wonderful day, Uncle Mutts and Aunty Tanz!



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