These summer days really are pressing in. I forgot how muggy it could get in Southern Illinois. Thankfully, the children don’t seem to mind the heat. It makes for lots of water fun, so why not love hot days? Anything to get them wet and have some outdoor action makes them happy.

At the top of their list is when we take them “swimming” at the creek in our woods. Technically the creek isn’t deep enough to swim in, but using a grown-up term makes it seem grander. They also enjoy spending time in the sprinkler, and as you can imagine, the boys love spraying with squirt guns.

Last week I put water in a tote for each of them. There were shrieks from all sides as they splashed and sat in their water containers, declaring it was cold. I fetched a chair then stuck my feet in a shallow basin and sat down to watch their fun and supervise as needed. Soon the little boys were dumping water over my feet, giggling with pure delight as I pretended to be scared with each glassful. It did feel good. No wonder they relish their water play.

Then comes the task of getting everyone out of the water and into dry clothes, without having too many tears from two-year-olds who are convinced they could stay and splash forever. Sometimes I feel like I run out of ideas, then this time something new popped into my head. I fetched shampoo and got a few bowls of clean, warm water, and announced my plan.

“We are going to wash all five of your hair right out here in the yard!” Because, what child likes having his hair washed?

Remembering last summer when they watched Mama wash her hair outside by a spigot, they thought it was a neat idea. We tackled Julia’s hair first so the others could see how it was done. In no time, we had more squeals of delight as they looked at their siblings’ sudsy hair out in the totes of cool water. It all worked out too good to be realistic. Soon we were all seated around the table, ready for a simple supper of Sloppy Joes.

Now for Sloppy Joes, our family could eat them every night for a long time with out getting tired of them.

Laura Arwood can be reached at 765-454-8580, laura.arwood@kokomotribune or on Twitter @LauraArwood.

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