We’ve got three more days before we pack up the summer house and head back to the city. I have no idea how we will fit back into our New York City apartment after living with two floors and a yard, but we will suck in our stomachs, overstuff our dressers and try to make it work.

But I don’t want to talk about going home. And I definitely I don’t want to talk about Mazzy starting kindergarten next week. Or how I really need to find time to get her a haircut beforehand.

Today, I want to bask in summer for as long as possible.

Because it was a BIG summer.

Mazzy conquered her fear of the ocean, learned to swim, won a fish and got married at camp. Harlow ate her first ice cream pop, touched a sheep, went on the big girl swing and inherited a bag full of pint-sized purses from her cousin.

Can you think of a summer better than that?

Let’s talk about the fish first.

Mazzy won the fish at one of those traveling carnivals.

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You know, those carnivals that unfold a fifty foot ride from a van and then expect you to feel totally safe and secure riding upside down in it?

You fooled me when I was seventeen, Zipper, but you will not fool me now!!!

We went on the swings.

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Mazzy didn’t notice the rusted chain links or the frayed old seat belt with the questionable latch and got on with no trepidation whatsoever. I got in next to her and prepared myself for nausea. As I’ve said before, I cannot ride rides like I used to.

It was awesome. I have never seen Mazzy so thrilled in her life.


For other moms who can longer handle going in circles at warp speed, if you look at your child the whole time (instead of the spinning scenery), it is much less vomit inducing. (That’s two posts about vomit in a row!)

Then we put Harlow on a kiddie ride and although you can’t tell from the picture, Harlow liked it so much, she cried and held onto the seat for dear life when we made her get off.

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After a couple more rides, Mazzy became interested in the games. She’s never noticed games at our previous carnival experiences so I was surprised winning prizes suddenly trumped roller coasters.

Games can be a real money suck, so I told Mazzy nobody ever wins and tried to move her along. But we were there with Poppy and Nonna and since grandparents have no ability to say no to their grandchildren whatsoever, before I even knew what was happening, Mazzy was handed a bucket of fifty ping pong balls to toss into a grid of fishbowls in an effort to win a fish. I’m sure you’ve seen this set-up before.

Mazzy was awful at the game and threw the first 49 balls nowhere near the vacinity of the grid. I prepared myself for the tantrum when she walked away empty-handed but also assured myself that a loss would be a good lesson.

You can’t always get what you want.

Then, on the 50th ball, like we were living in a scripted movie, Mazzy got it in and won her fish.

Oh, the joy on her face was almost too much.

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She named it “Fishie” and screamed “MY FIRST PET!!!” and all I could think was— Oh God, it is now my responsibility to keep this thing alive.

This thing with an average life span of one hour.

Then like a gambler on a blackjack streak in Vegas, Mazzy moved on to the horse race game where she cheered Poppy on with a fervor that suggested, “You better win me something OR ELSE.” This scare tactic worked and Poppy beat the odds to win his precious (and terrifying) granddaughter a huge pink blow-up guitar.

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Now, Mazzy thought she was unstoppable.

She made Nonna play the game where you shoot water into the clown mouth to blow up the balloon, which (WHAT IS HAPPENING????) Nonna also won and Mazzy walked away with a larger-than-life pink raccoon.

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Apparently, Mazzy does get whatever she wants.

That is not how I remember carnival games of my youth.

Hopefully, when Fishie dies in two days, my daughter will finally be taught the lesson she deserves.

Although, it’s already been two days and Fishie seems to be thriving in a vase on a steady diet of crushed Cheerios.


Let’s talk about the marriage.

ME: What happened at camp today?

MAZZY: Gavin and I got married.

ME: Really. Was there a wedding?


ME: Did he give you a ring?


ME: Then how did you get married?

MAZZY: We kissed on the lips.

Which is so adorable because I can totally see from all the Disney princess book endings, why Mazzy would think “kissing on the lips” means “getting married”.

Also, EEEEK! I didn’t kiss a boy until I was ten and it was on the cheek! Also, at camp though.

LESSON: If you want to make sure your kids stay babies forever, DON’T SEND THEM TO CAMP.

This is NOT the boy Mazzy married at camp, by the way.


Neither is this.


Obviously, Mike and I have a problem on our hands.

Mazzy hasn’t stepped foot in the ocean since her first time at the beach at the age of two. How did we cure her? Simple. All you need is to send her out there with someone else’s Dad.

This is Ben and obviously Mazzy finds him much more reassuring and trustworthy than her own father.

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Mazzy also learned to swim (no floaties!) which is what a month at a real camp in the burbs will get you. I think her interest in swimming was partly because Mike bought her a pair of goggles with pink lenses.


Mazzy put them on and FLIPPED OUT.

“Mom, everything is pink! The house is pink, the water is pink, the sky is pink, YOU ARE PINK!!!”

Then she whipped out the iPad and watched Frozen with them on. As if Mazzy’s entire life was all leading up to this moment of pure four-year-old heaven…


Harlow developed a love of the water as well. She picked up Mazzy’s old floaties and made us put them on her, even though I would have thought she was too young. Then she stood on the pool stairs and kept jumping into deeper waters, only reaching her hand out to me when necessary.


Don’t worry, I stood there the whole time. If an emergency arose, I’m almost 90% positive I would have ditched my camera phone to save her.

Also, this summer…

Harlow ate an ice cream pop.


Mazzy found out what happens when you put bubble bath in a jacuzzi tub.


Harlow got a huge ass balloon as a housewarming gift.


Mazzy’s friend taught her how to “strike a pose”.


Mike took Harlow on a bike ride.


Mazzy and Harlow tried their first soft serve ice cream. (Cute picture aside, this was a big mistake and really deserves its own post.)


Harlow tried not to drip watermelon on herself.


I also have video of Harlow walking down the stairs, calling for her sister while carrying a purse and eating fried chicken. This is toddler multi-tasking at its finest.

You can follow @mommyshorts on Instagram for all of my pics and videos in real time.

I’m gonna miss being at the summer house. The kids are going to miss it even more. And Fishie, let’s just hope he survives the trip back to Manhattan.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

xo, Mommy Shorts