Differences of opinion

A few days ago I was doing some yard work, and instead of putting the nozzle on the hose I let it run so the kids could play with it while I worked.

At our old house, the kids played in the hose all the time. Sometimes with the sprinkler, sometimes with the slip ‘n slide, and sometimes with just running water and their imagination. There was often standing water in our yard by lunchtime, but the hose is still the best babysitter my kids have ever had.

We haven’t done that since we moved. Probably because we have a pool, and I don’t have a garden to water this year, and definitely because with Bachelor in Paradise on two nights a week I legitimately don’t have time for anything else.

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As soon as I turned on the hose, I realized I would no longer be using the hose that day. Thomas was fascinated by the hose — completely and utterly amazed — and the hose was his, which he let me know by screaming and calling CPS anytime I tried to use it.

While Thomas played, David was fascinated by Thomas’s fascination. David was the same way as a baby. He loved water so much; he was just as happy splashing in a bucket of water as he was jumping off the diving board into a pool.

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I can already tell that David and Thomas have very different personalities, but they’re also so similar. Both blonde, bald, round, and obsessed with balloons and balls. At the same age, Mary Virginia was already putting her dolls ni-night and making wardrobe demands.

It’s hard for me to not compare them, to make gender assumptions that are so faux-pas these days. My sons seem so similar and my daughter so different. Especially on days like this, when, if I squinted just right, it almost looked like David playing with the baby version of himself. And all the while Mary Virginia was inside watching from the window.

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Oh, that’s right. I haven’t even mentioned that my sweet daughter ran inside at first sight of water. And that’s where she stayed, far enough that she could both keep her pink dress dry but close enough to watch from the window and judge the boys for their plebeian behavior.

When I finally turned off the water, I stripped the boys of their wet clothes to take them inside. Mary Virginia greeted us at the door and announced, “Mommy, I’m ready to dry off, too!”

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