Recipe for “Childhood Fun” in Ridiculously Hot Sticky Weather

Recipe for “Childhood Fun”


  • Bathing suit
  • Lawn chair
  • Umbrella
  • Rain coat
  • Garden hose attached to spigot
  • Sprinkler of some kind
  • Imagination
  • Optional younger sibling if not “allergic” to them.

Set Weather to: A brilliant blue sky with the sun baking from high above. A few puffy white clouds may be included.

Temperature: Recommend 80 to 90 degrees, with the humidity pushing it over 100.

Step 1 – Gain permission to turn on the water: A vital step to avoid the phrases “grounding”,  “you are in so much trouble young lady” and “do you know how much our water bill costs” from your parents.

Step 2 – Dress in bathing suit and lug aforementioned ingredients from various regions of the house and garage. Forget the sunscreen.

Step 3 – Pile items onto concrete patio behind your house. Try to avoid the soft blades of vivid green grass if at all possible and remain on the scalding surface.

Step 4 – Remove rusty spray nozzle from end of the hose and drop it in perfectly logical location – where naturally your parents will never find it again. Then carefully screw on the sprinkler to the end of the hose before you turn on the water.

Step 5 – Nearly scrap entire plan because of unwanted ingredient. The air suddenly reeks of sewage – the tiny treatment plant across the road experiencing technical difficulties again. Remain steadfast in commitment to embrace summer and filter out the stench.

Step 6 – Time to add water. Turn on faucet from around the corner of house before sprinting back to the patio, racing the water as it shoots through the sprinkler.

Step 7 – Tease the water. Begin by running beneath through the gap of the waterfall, so the spray only grazes you.

Step 8 – Commence soaking. Add in jumps over of the sprinkler, blending it with a few strategic poundings over the powerful fountain.

Step 9 – Time to bake in hot Iowa sun. Unfold lawn chair onto the patio in the line of the sprinkler’s fire.  Pull on raincoat over soaked bathing suit then open umbrella. Recline on lounge chair under this protective gear as the sprinkler bastes you in the heat. Pretend you’re a trapped mermaid longing for the sea as your tail flops on the chair.

Step 10 – Continue to baste and cook until bored or until your parents open the back door, asking “Why are you watering the patio and not the yard?” and “Why are using a raincoat and my good umbrella?”

Step 11 – Remove from heat, taking care to not drip over recently mopped tile.

Step 12 – Let twenty years pass then lament how your parents never took a photo of how ridiculous you looked to include with the recipe.


The Red Dress Club – This week, we’re giving you a photo to take you back in time.

In 700 or fewer words, show us where your memory takes you.

Remember that this image is merely inspiration. Your piece needn’t have a hose in your piece, but we need to easily see how you were inspired by it.


Once again, I tried something different. Did you like it? Hate it?

Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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18 Responses to Recipe for “Childhood Fun” in Ridiculously Hot Sticky Weather

  1. Frelle says:

    love this. i was giggling the whole way through it. partly at your recipe ingredients, partly at the resonating visual of you racing the water from the house to the sprinkler, and then full on laughing at my mental picture of you in the raincoat and umbrella.

    I wish we could have lived down the street from one another. You’d have been an awesome friend to grow up with! 🙂

  2. and the seeds of your imagination are exposed! very cute – you are so creative, always trying new things.
    My only concrit is that between 9 and 10 you could describe the heat maybe more? With the raincoat on it had to be sweltering!
    So sad there is no picture of this… actually I don’t need one, you described yourself so well!

  3. Ironic Mom says:

    Step 13: Move to Texas, so you can do this nearly every month.

  4. Leah says:

    Very cute! I have played in the water hose and sprinklers in the yard too many times. haha!

  5. tracy says:

    Oh I love this. I could never run through the sprinkler though. All I could ever think about were all of those worms the kids were running over. yuck.

  6. Galit Breen says:

    I loved it! of course I loved it!

    It was creative, fun, a slice of summer.

    That last line: “Let twenty years pass then lament how your parents never took a photo of how ridiculous you looked to include with the recipe. –Adorable and so very true!

  7. Elena says:

    What a great recipe for a perfect day. I would agree with #12 – I wish I had more pictures of days like this as well.

  8. Leighann says:

    Oh how I wish your parents had of taken a picture of you!

  9. Elaine says:

    He he! I love how you pretended to be a trapped mermaid. So fun and cute. Ah to be a child again with a sprinkler to enjoy…. 🙂

    And if you were my kid, I would SO have taken a bunch of pictures! HA!

  10. Damn no-photo-taking parents! Your creativity never fails to amuse me.
    Love this memory and the places it has taken me.

  11. I was busting up at the thought of lugging out the younger sibling. And then again when you wanted your parents to take pics of you in the getup. You did forget our most important step: sitting on the sprinkler. 😉

  12. Mandyland says:

    LOVED this! I was giggling the whole time. And, until the end, confused by the rain coat.

    So awesome. 🙂

  13. Oh man, why didn’t they take a photo? I want a photo so, so much!

    The ‘good umbrella’? By which, I take it to mean there was a ‘bad’ one?

    Loved it. Really.

  14. Annie says:

    This is really cute. Made me think of a picture I have of myself as a child standing in the sprinkler with an umbrella. I actually used that picture in a blog post several weeks back, “Rainy with a Chance of Brain Fog. Great memory. 🙂

  15. andygirl says:

    awesome! loved your unique take on the prompt. super fun and your imagery was delightful. well done!

  16. Kir says:

    what a great way to use that prompt! The words leapt off the page and made me giggle. A mermaid trapped….of course!

    Loved this so much.

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