Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Raindrops falling on my head

One of the twins' favourite bedtime books now is a book that the Oldest Friend bought for me as a birthday present. It's a children's book called "Are you Ready to Play Outside?" and it's great because it talks about friendship, loyalty and going the extra mile for a friend. Never mind that Piggie is somewhat brattish and is yelling about the weather.

The twins love it because I do the voices and I love doing the angry pig. Jordan loves it because there's an elephant and Evan loves it because there are earthworms. The twins discovered earthworms recently when Packrat saved one from being trampled and there were both fascinated but squeamish that it was struggling and wiggling about. Both children are also obsessed with rain. It's got to do with the fact that snails come out after the rain, there are puddles, there might be lightning, there is water rushing through the drains and that it is associated with rain boots and umbrellas.

The book doesn't have all the elements of rain but it has enough to keep them enamoured.

I think much of the fascination also comes from it being forbidden fruit. Play in the rain, catch a chill and fall ill warn the all-knowing elders in the family.

It has been raining a great deal. It is the season of the monsoon, or at least I hope so. That means that the usual ways we try to occupy the twins do not work. They can't go to the fish pond to feed the fish. They can't go to the playground either. Evan was also traumatised by the very loud cracks of thunder that seemed to violate his ear drums.

I thought a distraction was in order. One that helped him confront his fears and also get some nice rainy, wet air. I told them we were going to re-enact Elephant and Piggie's rain adventure. On came the rain boots and out came the umbrellas. That in itself was a great distraction. Superstition be damned, we were opening umbrellas in the house and clonking about in their rain boots. We were off for a walk in the rain, a nature ramble of sorts round the estate.

It is true that raindrops on roses are some of our favourite things. Maybe not roses but raindrops on the umbrellas, on their faces, stretching their hands out from the dry zone of the umbrella and having the droplets plop on their little hands.

Inadvertently the umbrella did not offer them enough shelter as they cackled and chuckled while watching the water rush down the drains, counting the number of snails they could find and looking hard for the earthworms that might go "Splish", "Splash" like the ones in the book did.

I am sure my mother would have thrown a manic fit about the twins running around in the rain. But I would also have her know that when the rain got too heavy and the winds got too biting, I herded them upstairs into the bathroom and gave them steaming hot baths which they immensely enjoyed too.

All that occupied them to dinner time and there was no fuss, no tantrums and a lot of glee. All in all, a successful outing. Of course, last night, the book of choice was Are We Ready to Play Outside? with additional commentary about drains full of rushing water and how the raindrops were cold but dirty (I didn't let them open their mouths and taste the raindrops. I told them it was dirty).

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