As you may remember, so far this has been the Summer of Opposite, as each boy is learning not to like anything that the other finds even slightly interesting.
Also, I have one rule for the summer routine: It must never be routine. I can get behind a little structure, but to me summers are the birthplace of childhood improvisation. Do what you want, make it up as you go. That isn't an option for a lot of kids now, but it is for mine. So each day I ask the boys, "What'll we do today?"
And each day, they shout back diametrically opposite things.
Robert, the Creator, would like nothing better than to hang out in the air conditioning and write his comic books. His latest involves his school being carpet-bombed with balloons full of poop.
TwoBert, the Destructor, wants to voyage forth to playgrounds and parks and pools and find new and fascinating things and run over them with his bike.
The saving grace to all this, believe it or not, is that July's heat is kicking New York's ass as hard as ever. An online weather report says it'll be 92 on Friday. Then you check it a day later and Did we say 92? We meant 108. This, despite protests from daffy Texans who think 92 degrees is reason to pack a fleece, is hot. And the best way to cool oneself is to wet oneself.
Let me rephrase that.
About the only activity my kids can agree on right now involves swimming, so it has become my quest this summer to explore as many wet spots as possible.
Let me re-rephrase that.
In the interest of having the boys 1) coexist peacefully and 2) not combust, we've decided to make it our summer mission to explore as many lakes, beaches, streams, water parks, pools, and busted hydrants as we can. To make my car so damp and sandy that you can raise turtles in it. To make Magellan look like a landlocked punk.
It's a stiff education in how to keep my head on a swivel, since playing zone defense with the boys takes on a much greater urgency when deep water and/or undertow is involved. But they're also much easier to look after when they're strapped apart from each other in the back seat. So really, it's not that bad a trade-off.