My husband is upstairs giving the girls their bath, and explaining that tomorrow, he is leaving town for a week or so to do some fieldwork.
He's an oceanographer. Fieldwork means going to sea. (Yes, it's hurricane season. Details, details. He's not explaining that part.)
Anyway I just heard him ask our daughters if he can take their little backyard baby pool on his Big Trip, and solemnly promise to get them a new one "if it gets wrecked." It will help him in his research, he said. (I think he wants to use it to mix a special fluorescent dye, which he'll then dump into the ocean, and track its vertical and horizontal diffusion by measuring its concentrations as it spreads. Some of the measurements will be made using a laser which will be aimed at the dye patch from a small plane flying overhead. It's cool stuff, and none of it can happen without the little plastic pool!)
"So would that be OK, if I borrowed your kiddie pool?"
"Can the new one be pink?" they asked.
"I don't know what color."
"We want it to be pink."
"I don't know what color the new one would be."
"OK, you can take it, but if we need a new one, it should be pink."
Actually, if it's to be used the way I assume it is, the old one will be extraordinarily pink when he's done with it -- and "wrecked" won't quite cover its condition.
Hey, this could be a Teachable Moment... I should sell them baby pool insurance with fine print that excludes damage incurred during use in scientific research by grown-ups. It'll be a tough lesson when they try to collect, but on the up side, they'll be totally prepared to buy homeowner's insurance on Cape Cod.
Update: He's not using the pool to mix the dye; evidently that's done in big barrels. He'll be using it to pre-soak certain instruments in sea water before they get dropped in the ocean. So the old pool will still probably be beat up, but it won't be fluorescent pink. Pity.