I took Tess to the YMCA pool twice this week. This is how that works: I lather her up with sunscreen and stick her under an umbrella while I try to get some sun on my ghostly legs. But instead of relaxing at all, I am out of my chair every few seconds to keep her from following a runaway beach ball into the pool or claiming other kids' toys, snacks, and shoes as her own. Each time I take something away from her she dissolves into a loud, body-tense, my-world-is-over tantrum. There are lots and lots of loud tantrums these days. She doesn't understand why strangers' things aren't her things too. And she doesn't understand why I try to torture her by taking her into the water when her forehead gets hot with sweat. She clings to me like a wet cat.
In just those two days, her skin has turned from a light buttery caramel to a dark brown-sugar caramel. (Shouldn't all babies' skin tones be described in terms of baked goods?) My legs remain ghostly white. And even though she runs me ragged, I want to eat her up.