Sunday, November 12, 2006

Good and bad

We have our good days and our bad. Last night was one of the bad ones. I had been dancing with the girls instead of getting ready for Jeff to arrive with dinner, and when he did I was in the middle of fixing one of their light-up necklaces that had broken. The girls launched into each other because we’d gotten Thing 1 something from Wendy’s and Thing 2 something from the Mexican restaurant we got our own food from, and naturally, Thing 2 wanted Thing 1’s nuggets, toy, and all-around exciting dinner instead of her own anonymous white Styrofoam container. I didn’t step in to help, hoping to hurry and fix the necklace before the glue dried, and left Jeff to deal with cooling food, starving stomachs, and Thing 2 marching over to steal Thing 1’s food, and Thing 1 coming unglued… it was not pretty. I should have helped but….

Other than that, they’ve been pretty good.

Our wall is finally getting fixed. I need to paint, but once that’s done, it will just be an unpleasant memory behind us.

I’m trying to think of what’s happened in the last month since I wrote… the only thing that immediately comes to mind is the other day we were all out playing… Thing 1 was playing, Thing 1 was napping, and it was getting dark. The neighbors were out, Wytie, Ellie, and Charlie, who is a couple of years older. I was the only adult, as Ellie and Charlie’s folks rarely come out, and Wytie’s Grandma was inside on the phone with her daughter having a somewhat heated conversation. Charlie doesn’t usually play well with the littler kids. He starts teasing them and picking on them, usually he focuses on his sister… I didn’t quite know how to handle it. But it kept escalating until all three of the little ones were running away from Evil Charlie, and Ellie in particular had a light sweatshirt she was swinging around to use to whip at him. I wasn’t too worried, she kept missing him, but I did finally tell her to stop because I was worried about the zipper hitting someone. She insisted it wasn’t a problem. Right when I was wondering if I step in and take it away or not, Charlie collapsed for the others to come and pounce on him or whatever. Thing 1 got there first. She was kneeling next to Charlie when Ellie arrived, swinging. Sure enough, the jacket whipped around and the zipper caught Thing 1 in the forehead above her eye. She hesitated for a minute, then started to cry and of course I was halfway to her before she figured out she was upset.
It raised a welt the size of a pea under her skin and broke it open a little, it was bleeding a drop. I snapped to Ellie that this is why we don’t swing coats around, the zippers can hurt someone. She insisted that it was all right. I said “Yeah? Then why is she bleeding? Everyone go home, the fun’s over tonight!!” Then I picked up the sobbing Thing 1 and carried her into our house, and everyone else went home. No one ever said another word to Thing 1 about it, Ellie never apologized anyway. The next evening when they were out together, Ellie wouldn’t meet my eye and I never really got an opportunity to suggest she apologize to Thing 1. But I am happy there are other kids Thing 1 can play with.

Speaking of which, Thing 1 has made a new friend. We'll call her Sophia Blue and she’s in Thing 1’s class at school. We kind of have an arrangement to swap kids on Wednesday. One week Thing goes to play at Sophia’s, and the next week Sophia comes home with us after school to play. The problem with this is I don’t have enough car seats to get all three girls home, so on our “Sophia days” I walk over and get them from school. I often take a route home that is a little off the beaten path to avoid traffic as the girls seem to wander around a bit. A couple of weeks ago as we were walking home we came to an area where there were a whole lot of fallen leaves that no one had raked up, and Thing 1 and Sophia were in nearly knee deep leaves, crunching along. Thing 1 encouraged Sophia to walk with her and listen to the leaves crunch so they could experience “the joy of discovery.” She said it quite sincerely, with her arms outstretched to embrace the day. It was incredibly charming.

Mom and Dad are coming up today to hear Thing 1 say a line in the Primary program in Sacrament meeting. She says “Helaman teaches me about faith.” It’s hardly worth Grandma and Papa coming down, but I did mention it to them and they said they want to support Thing 1, and they want to support our church attendance. So I should be cleaning up the house, even though I’m suspecting we’ll go to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner.

I’ve already got a good jump on the girls’ Christmas. In fact, all I’m really looking for now is stocking stuffers. If I find something amazing between now and then, of course we might have to accommodate it. I’m still working on everyone else. And of course I’ve got Kristin’s and Mom’s birthdays to contend with…

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