Captain of a Dirty Pirate Ship

The stage is set in a poor urban neighborhood in Argentina. Behind the little rectangular house is a small walled patio with just enough room for a washing machine and drying racks and one tiny kiddie pool that has been filled with sand. The tarp that covers this contraption is slightly askew, and last night’s rain has made puddles in the desert.

Nevertheless, two of my adorable children, aged 5 and 3, are playing in their wet sandbox. I stand at the stove in the kitchen, just on the other side of the open window.

Both kids, singing: We’re so dirty, dirty, dirty, we’re the pirates who get dirty all the time. We just sit on our dirty pirate ship and never clean anything. We’re dirty all the time.

Me, in my head: Oh no, they’re in the sandbox! They’re going to be coated in wet sand. Why didn’t I stop them before they got in there? Why didn’t I fix that cover last night? Why am I the worst mother ever?

Scott, singing: We’re dirty every morning and night and afternoon.

Me, in my head: Yes, you are. Because your terrible mother just lets you be dirty all the time, like she’s the captain of the world’s dirtiest pirate ship.

Ellie, singing: We’re also dirty every after lunch and after dinner and during lunch and dinner, too.

Me, in my head: Well, on the bright side, at least these dirty pirates are extremely thorough in their dirtiness.

Both, singing: We’re so dirty, dirty, dirty. We love to be dirty!

Me, in my head: And they’re happy, right? I’m giving them a dirty life, but they love their dirty life!

Ellie singing: We’re as dirty as can be. We’re dirty and filthy. (In a serious aside to Scott): Filthy means we’re really, REALLY dirty. (singing again) and sometimes our mom lets us take baths because we’re so dirty.

Me, in my head: And look, I’m teaching them something. Vocabulary! And occasional hygiene!

Both, singing: We’re so dirty, dirty, dirty all the time.

Ellie: We are both so dirty.

Me, in my head: And they’re in this together! The dirt has bonded them.

Scott, singing: But I’m not dirty. (Seriously, to Ellie) I’m the clean pirate. You’re the dirty pirate, but I’m the clean pirate.

Ellie: NOOOOO

Me: [Sigh]

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