Squirt Guns

When school shut down in March 2020, my granddaughter could no longer see any of her five close friends in person. Their families strictly followed rules and hid indoors. In August, the Pandemic looked endless, virtual school became permanent, the rising third graders were addicted to Roblox online, and anxieties soared. The girls could not swim at the Pool, take drama classes, or play on sports teams. Growth was stunted. A couple desperate parents suggested one on one outdoor playdates with masks and social distancing to celebrate birthdays. My daughter-in-law accepted a few such invitations for Zofia. But not much changed. On Monday, Zofia returns to in person learning for a token total of 15 hours spread over the next four weeks. Her closest friend Gracie did not accept the Hybrid option and will continue school full time at home. So I was surprised while babysitting last Tuesday night that Gracie’s mom (a physician) negotiated a one hour evening playdate for Gracie and Zofia at my place. I let the kids entertain themselves while I hid in the den and scanned People Magazine for Blog ideas. At 8pm, Gracie’s mom returned and I sprinted to the vestibule to give the appearance of involvement. Both girls were dripping wet although Gracie had changed out of her pajamas and into borrowed clothes from Zofia. I had no idea what happened but luckily the kids tipped me off by jabbering about a squirt gun fight outside in the dark. Our squirt gun battles include water bazookas, hoses, and pails and do not last long in March weather. I muttered about our liberal parenting philosophy, hoping that was considered an apology. Gracie’s mom said she would exchange clothes later. I do not know if she tried because I have not been answering the door.

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