Yesterday, after a few hours in the rain, E decided that her ducky umbrella wasn't exciting anymore. I'm so tired of my ducky 'brella. Which was her way of saying: Grams! I want your umbrella!
My mother had a hood on her jacket and puddles in her shoes, so she didn't care. And thus E hung out of the front of the stroller, refusing to seek shelter under the stroller shade, brandishing her grandmother's striped umbrella. L hung out in the back of the stroller, wisely remaining beneath her stroller shade. She made friends with E's umbrella with the duck-faced handle. She made out with E's duck umbrella. She chewed on his beak all afternoon.
So this morning, E looked out the window and yelled, RAIN! And then she scampered to the front of the house. Mama! I need my umbrella! L heard that and begged, ducky? ducky?
Monday morning isn't Monday morning without fighting and predictably, the duck umbrella was today's catalyst. But, amazingly, I had a second duck umbrella in the closet. It didn't have a duck-faced handle and L looked at it dubiously. So I partially opened the umbrella and showed her that the nylon of the umbrella itself made a duck face. So with a three-foot face in front of her, she smiled with recognition. DUCKY! And I was able to convince them, finally, to get in the car.
It was barely a drizzle when we got to school but E jumped out of the car and immediately opened her umbrella, which meant L began demanding I open hers, too.
And then the light drizzle changed to a torrent. E proudly, erectly, regally glided down the walkway, duck umbrella aloft. L trailed happily behind, dragging her wheelie-backpack in one hand and her open, upside-down umbrella.
This Did Not please her sister.
MAMA!! L's not holding her umbrella up!
L's umbrella, since it wasn't up, was filling with rain. Her hood was up and I didn't care but E was upset. MAMA! We don't hold our umbrellas down! We hold them UP!! She grabbed the handle of L's umbrella. L grabbed back. E tried to upright the duck. L pulled downward, keeping his face against the ground. I stepped in to intervene. And in front of two other families and a good dozen employees and visitors stepping off the metro bus, L's hand slipped and L stumbled a little. E won the tug-of-war but lost her momentum. She went plopping on her bottom in a puddle. L's umbrella flipped up out of her hands and poured its contents all over my pants and shoes.
And L looked at both of us and the unmanned duck umbrella lying free once again. DUCKY YAY! she squealed as she clapped her hands. She picked it up and continued dragging it on her merry way.