Summer is upon us, and the first thing I have to come realize is how much my oldest talks now that she's around all day. All the time. About everything. During everything. She is not even really making conversation, she's just...talking. No wonder her teacher sent her home with warnings for being disruptive. I don't even really have to answer her because she just talks through it, so I suppose this is just what it is. White noise aside, it's been pretty nice not having to run back and forth from school and such, and everyone has been getting along nicely. AND, thanks to our pool (yay!) we have been able to avoid five hour Nick Jr marathons and whiny bored kids. Our pool is great because it's not very big, so the kids can easily swim across it, and I can easily reach in and snatch one up, which means that they can swim and I can sit in the shade and read a book (gloria halleluiah). Last summer, since the small blonde (oh, by the way, the baby can no longer be referred to as the baby on account of the new baby, so henceforth, she shall be the small blonde) was still quite small, me reading a book by the pool was pretty impossible. She had the floaties, but I couldn't in good conscience throw a two year old in the pool and not also be in the pool with her. But hey, three is another story - this girl can swim and hold her breath very well with the floaties on, and the two big sisters are becoming pretty adept in the pool, too. A disclaimer, though, as I'm sure someone has their panties in a bunch, I am ALWAYS within reaching distance of the girls - no tossing them out on their own, no running inside for a cold pop, no napping while they spastically splash each other into oblivion. There, ok? I got safety down, ya'll. That being said, I will also admit that the girls have not taken swimming lessons. As valuable as I know they are, when my oldest first started swimming, I also had a two year old and an infant in tow, so lessons would have either been challenging, or they would have bankrupted us trying to do something private. By now, the big blonde and the brunette have pretty much figured it out on their own, and the small blonde is making strides, so I'll just resign myself to being in of the minority of parents these days whose children learn to swim the "old fashioned way" - i.e. "hold your breath!" and lovingly tossing them into the water. It is fun to see them get better, and if they expressed interest in being on a swim team, I'd definitely check it out. Granted, the big blonde is, well, physically awkward (I accept full genetic responsibility for that one), and although I know she enjoys swimming, I'm pretty sure Missy Franklin needn't worry for her champion title. My mom did send the girls some diving toys, and for the first couple of weeks they sat glittering at the bottom of the pool after having been thrown in excitedly, followed by "they're sinking!" and some crying, but the big blonde has grown bold and decided to get them herself. It was a spectacle - a lot of splashing, some flailing limbs, and in the end, coughing and empty hands. With some practice, though, she finally figured it out, flailing limbs and all. I congratulated her on her new skills, to which she replied, "well, sometimes farting helps push me down to the bottom", followed by, of course, a loud fart, a splash and laughing sisters. Ah, my precious girls. So delicate and ladylike. Eh, whatever gets the job done, right? And also, thank goodness it's a private pool. I'll be satisfied if this is how the whole summer turns out - we thought about putting them in some activities, and I'm sure we'll do SOME things, like going to the library and taking some fun day trips, but honestly, who am I to take away the one short time in their lives when it's ok to go swimming and eat popsicles every day? Nothing is required of our summer but some sunny days and fiber for the big blonde's diving.