On Father's Day, we spent our Sunday with my parents in Maryland for the first time in a long while. As I packed to leave for the day trip, it occurred to me to bring along a sprinkler and some swimsuits for a bit of fun in the backyard while Tom and my father got to grilling.
The sprinkler was a recent gift from Nana, as yet untried. I knew that it would be a big hit with Abby, but I wondered how Michael would take to it. His past two water adventures were a huge fail, after he was unexpectedly splashed at a water table during a play date. He's staunchly avoided all water play opportunities ever since.
As I expected, Abby rushed right in with delight, dancing with abandon among the spinning, twirling spheres of water.
Michael was highly skeptical at first, though I took his failure to run immediately screaming and crying back to my arms at the sight of the snakelike water jets as a good sign.
And while Abby frolicked...
... and Mia chaperoned from a safe distance...
... he slowly began to grow comfortable with this strange addition to the usual landscape.
He began stretching out his hands to investigate, typically stoic all the while.
Sure enough, as Mia grew bored...
... and Abby grew ever wetter...
... ducking and jumping in her glee...
... Michael got braver.
He began heading towards the sprinkler, rather than hanging out at the edges, though he still made sure to largely avoid the touch of each outstretched liquid arm.
Though this last picture is out-of-focus (go figure), you can see that he was finally getting into the swing of things.
That is, until I went and ruined the moment.
The ground was getting pretty muddy in the spot we'd originally selected for the sprinkler, so I grabbed the hose, attempting to move the thing to another part of the yard without getting wet, myself. As it shifted, Michael was caught directly in the line of fire and summarily soaked.
He was so distraught that he could not move; his face locked in a silent scream. After a few seconds, he began to cry- an anguished, terrified keening that stopped my heart. Dropping the hose, I ran to him, futilely wishing away the unfortunate mistake as I stripped him of his wet suit and dried his arms, legs, and tears.
What are the chances he'll forget this encounter by the "next time?"
Sigh. Way to go me- reinforcing my kids' neuroses since 2010.