My second slice in the last few days with mud in the title. This photo is the result of a phone call I had to take for work. I told my daughters that they could put on their shoes and coat and come outside while I was on the phone. I talked. They played.
At one point, I saw Adi use a sandbox toy to scoop up some water from a puddle that had formed from recent rain. “More mud pies,” I thought to myself. They never tire of mixing and pouring.
I must have got lost in conversation because the next time I looked up at the girls, from my seat on the patio steps, they were pouring water into the muddy patches below the swings. I watched Rose gingerly dip her booted foot into the mud.
I watched to see what would happen next. No one else followed Rose’s lead and I figured they’d love onto something else, back to the mud pies. I stopped watching.
The next time I looked up, I was surprised to see, all three girls were jumping and stomping in their mud puddle. They caught my eye, hesitated a moment, and then went right back to jumping. They know how to manipulate situations pretty well.
By that point, there wasn’t much I could do, so I decided to let the mud jumping continue. Their sneakers were already coated in mud and their clothes were splattered from their big jumps. They were giddy, one part breaking the rules and one part the simple joy that comes from sloshing in puddles.
When everyone was completely filthy, Adi appeared by my side acting shocked about how she could have ever become so dirty. She went towards the sliding door, like she was just going to walk into the house, no big deal.
“Stop right there!” I called to her. “Go see if you can get even muddier.”
Her eyebrows raised as her look of surprise turned to a smile.
Back to the mud puddle she ran.
I bought myself a few more minutes.