This is what you see on cars with incredibily dirty rear windows. What happens is that some kid will use his finger (and, believe me, it's almost inevitably a boy) and write out "Wash Me!" or maybe "Please Wash Me!" on the back. It's kind of funny unless it happens to you.

The really clever kids write "Wash Me!" backwards ("!eM hsaW") so that it's legible through the rearview mirror.

W A S H M E

I walk out of the breezeway to find this on my Suburban window, carefully spelled out with little finger circles at the end stroke of each letter for emphasis. The car had just been washed the day before! Our maple trees have little respect for clean vehicles. Fresh Boy can't contain his urge to leave palm prints in the yellow dust. None of them can.

MsPicasso has left her version of Noah's Ark down one side, filling all of the copper panels. Littlest Imp runs around the truck trailing his hand to make a "ribbon". He draws two circles above one section and then an upside down V underneath it. "HAPPY UNBIRTHDAY MAMA!"

Fresh Boy grins as he leaves another "sign" on the back window, daring me to do something about it. Not one to let a dare pass unanswered, I start to whistle nonchalantly. They burst out giggling, this little rat pack of mine. They see right through me. They run away from me, expecting the chase. As they duck behind the truck, I quickly grab the hose. They have no time to flee to safety.

Squealing from behind the truck as I "wash" it making sure to "wash" them too, they come running at me. "NO FAIR"!! I finish spraying the pollen off as they tackle me. "GET MAMA!!" Littlest Imp shrieks gleefully.

AHHHHHH! I pretend to run and trip. Two sit upon me as the third wrestles the hose from my hand turning it full on me. We are all completely drenched. My hair and clothes are plastered to me. I tussle with these wet imps a few more minutes in the mud and grass, wildly spraying willy nilly.

"Look Mama, a rainbow!"

MsPicasso is holding my arm with the sprayer in just the right spot. "Isn't it beautiful?" She sighs in awe. Suddenly she jumps up in search of chalk. She is a butterfly that flitters from one vision to the next. The other two follow her to the driveway where she draws rainbows, many rainbows. Fresh Boy writes "W A S H M E" in bright letters. (New words his grampa taught him to write). Littlest Imp crawls around the asphalt making a circle around them all.

"HAPPY UNBIRTHDAY MAMA!"

Pssst! Wanna know a secret? They are the best gifts that I have ever received.

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