On St. Nicholas Day, embracing the camera with my goofy afternoon-school buddy…
…who would like everyone to know that he has lost his first tooth:
There was actually an abundance of drama about the loose tooth. He was convinced that all his teeth were going to fall out at once, and loath to hear any suggestions of pulling it. It finally fell out after an ironically well-timed punch in the mouth from an aggrieved brother. The brother was reprimanded, of course–but we were secretly relieved. Brotherly conflict has its uses, apparently.
Our trip to Arkansas early this month, although made for sad reasons, afforded us precious days to soak up our sweet girl all by herself. And she was in her element, basking in the attention, regaling us with her chattering commentary, and bestowing liberal snuggles.
One afternoon her daddy had gone in to wake her up from her nap (her first time sleeping in a big girl bed, so she was protected by an embankment of pillows). I heard happy giggling and tiptoed to the door, where I caught this moment:
Just a girl and her dad, having a comfortable chat. She thinks he is wonderful. I’m confident the feeling is mutual.
Heading out this morning with the stroller and two of my favorite walking buddies. They also happen to be notorious backseat drivers–or, as here, stroller-riders. “Why did you go that way, Mama? Why did we slow down? Why aren’t you going faster? I want you to run. Running’s faster. I like running better.”
Running was not on the agenda today, because I walked for a total of two and a half hours yesterday (my treadmill workout, five round trip walks to the school, and trick-or-treating–which involved steadily chasing my daughter who never walks but only runs) and I’m tired. Oh, and the kids and I caught another round of colds. I don’t even know how that’s possible. These public school germs we’re being exposed to for the first time are serious business.
But we had a nice walk today, and B explained all kinds of things to his little sister, who amuses herself by asking, “What did you say, B? What?” when she knows perfectly well what he just said. Those two are like an old married couple, nettling each other. She, especially, knows just how to get under his skin and relishes it. He puts his hands on his hips and scowls and harrumphs with the age-old exasperation of a man faced with a woman’s utter insusceptibility to his form of logic. In their exaggerated case, he will point out some obvious fact (like the name of a song we are listening to, or the color of something nearby) and she will flatly and gleefully contradict him. “No, it isn’t!” chirps the little sprite, and B snorts with frustration.
She actually is a lovely child, but after she had refused her nap for the past two days in a row, this delightful (to one of them) raillery was getting out of hand. I got Miss Ornery and her victim out of the house. The walk was peaceful, and this afternoon E took a blessedly long nap and emerged a little blossom of amiability. Walks, and naps, are good things.
But after almost three weeks of accomplishing very little apart from feeding, clothing, and medicating people and then putting them in front of screens, I think we’re back. I hope so. There are lots of fun things I want to do with these little ones, and we have a backlog of schoolwork to catch up on. Every afternoon B asks with shining eyes if we’re going to “do school,” and if I have to tell him that it’s too late or Mama’s too tired, he dissolves in querulous tears. That sweet boy would happily sit on a lap and listen to books all day long. With breaks for perfecting his fastball delivery, of course.
C wandered into the room and volunteered to join our pictures. They both thought being squished was great fun.
Then I tickled them.
I like goofy photo shoots and big genuine grins. I also like the absence of runny noses. I’m hoping all these good things last a long time.
This prep shot made me laugh out loud:
That’s a face guaranteed to lift the spirits a little.
I was still in my running clothes and unshowered, and the responsibilities were piling up inside. But we played, and we took pictures.
My tiny, opinionated daughter has started taking mortal offense when I go anywhere without her. If she finds out that I had the audacity to stop at a store while I was out on this unauthorized excursion–oh, my. She resorts to merciless heart-wringing tactics, exclaiming, “Sometime I can go to the store with you, Mama? Sometime I can? I want to go to the store with you! Sometime can I, Mama? Please?!”
Never mind that I took the boys to buy jeans and school supplies while she was napping, and she woke up to a special playtime with her Daddy. She wants to go to a store.
That’s my happy girl.
We had a great time shopping. She thought my decision-making skills in the binder section at Target were rather lacking, but she ooohed and ahhhed over the craft store aisles. She came home with her very own spool of ribbon, and happy as a clam.