Friday, September 28, 2012

A Bedtime Story.

Since she started school, there has been a change in Kee. I think that a morning of being with other kids, and away from Mummy, is exactly what she needed. She's finding out that other places have rules too, and it's not just me who doesn't want her to jump on the furniture, leave huge messes, and/or hit people. She's mellowed.

It's also been great for bedtime. For a while there, it was a real struggle, getting that kid to settle down. It was quite possible that she would still be yelling at us for one more story, or just a little bit more water, at ten o'clock. Which was awful for all of us, since poor Beege had to stay out with us even if she just wanted to go to bed*. And keeping a kid up who really would rather sleep just sucks.

Since the beginning of September though, bedtime rolls around and Kee (almost always) just goes quietly.

We have a routine now: She brushes her teeth and uses the bathroom, then she gets a story from Daddy, then I cuddle her on her bed with the light out for the duration of "Rock-a-bye baby". Then I leave and she goes to sleep. Sometimes we hear her chatting to her dolls, or singing to herself, but usually, she's out in about fifteen minutes**.

There are, of course, sometimes hiccups. Lately, these hiccups have all been of the "I want MUMMY!" variety, so when I knew I was going to miss bedtime on Tuesday, I was a little wary. I warned her ahead of time. I told Husband of my worries. I fretted a little. I put extra kisses in her doll's pocket in case she should need them.

When I got home, Husband filled me in on what happened without me.

Kee: I need a story!
Husband: Okay [insert story here]. Goodnight!
Kee: I need water!
Husband: Sure [husband gets water]. Goodnight!
Kee: I need a lullabye!
Husband: Sure [commences singing Golden Slumbers]...
Kee: NO! Rock-a-bye Baby, please.
Husband: Oh...Okay [insert lullabye]. Goodnight.
Kee: I need... a small puppet show.
Husband: What?! Okaaaay. [Husband actually gets to his knees at the foot of the bed, and proceeds to do a "small puppet show" with his hands. Because he's crazy.]
Kee: ...
Husband: Goodnight!
Kee: Was that a talking horse?
Husband: Uhm... yes. Talking horse.
Kee: ... [rolls over, pulls her blanket up, and mumbles to herself] Talking horse... whoever heard of a talking horse?!
Husband: Uhm... goodnight?

Forget the talking horse; I'm still stuck on "small puppet show."

*It's really not even worth trying to get these kids to go to bed at the same time. We did try. For quite a while, but fighting and playing and all manner of nonsense always resulted from putting them to bed at the same time. Staggering bedtimes was the best/only solution.
**knock wood, whistle and spit, throw salt, etc.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Two Hours.

I once spent thirteen hours sitting on my couch reading a book*. I suppose I got up once or twice to get a snack, or go to the bathroom**, but on the whole, I just sat. It wasn't that odd, when I did it. It was a weekend. This was before Husband; there were no children. I had one dish in the sink, and nothing to do but kill time.


Every once in a while, the Husband takes the girls to visit his mum. Which generally gives me a day and half to myself. Inevitably, most of those days are spent laundering, tidying, sorting, culling... I don't really consider them my own.

But this year, Kee started kindergarten. It's only a half day, but still! Two hours that I didn't have before suddenly dropped in my lap.

I had big plans for those two hours.

In my head, I tackled an area a day. This closet today, that shelf tomorrow... my house would be turned into a stunning example of organisation and cleanliness. I would finally be able to invite someone over for coffee without running through the house shoving things under couches, behind my bed, or into the oven***.

I catalogued the mess in my head. I divided it into what I thought were reasonable two hour type jobs. I was organised. I had a plan.

Since Kee started school, two weeks ago, I have tackled exactly one job. The front hall. And I can't even feel overly good about it; my Grandma's dog wandered downstairs and peed all over everything, so I kind of had to.

I have the best intentions, really. I walk to school with the girls, resolute that today will be the day that I march right home and start in on the slowly multiplying piles of papers scattered around the living room. Today will be the day that I finally reach the bottom of the kitchen sink.

But then someone starts talking, and I answer, and before you know it, we're on a walk around the neighbourhood. And once I've been on the walk, I need a shower. And once I've had a shower, I sort of need a cup of tea. And once I've had my cup of tea, there's not enough time to tackle that job, so I may as well read some of my book.

You see how it goes.

At least I'm getting some exercise?

*It was Memoirs of a Geisha, in case you're wondering.
**I may have brought the book with me.  
***If you ever come to my house, do not look in these places. Forget I mentioned them. Thanks.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Firsts and Lasts.

Friday September seventh was my baby's very first day of school.

My last baby, to be exact. The baby that I didn't know would necessarily be my last baby. It seems though, that without some major changes to current conditions, she will be.

And she's not a baby anymore.

She was so happy to go. SO happy. She's been ready to go to school for some time now. She packed her own snack in the morning (a mini cucumber and a graham cracker), she picked out her own clothes and dressed herself, and she let me put her hair in pigtails for the first time ever. She wanted "big girl hair".

As we waited to get in line, she bobbed up and down, waving hello at all the other kids. She smiled and chatted, and proudly showed off her new backpack. When the big door opened, she disappeared inside without a backwards glance.

I know that that means I've prepared her, and that she was ready, and that she knew without a doubt that I would be there waiting when the door opened again. But still.

There is no Mummy there. No Daddy. She doesn't have to share her class with her sister. It is all hers.

But you know what? I don't even really have time to miss her. "Free time" my butt.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Shoes. Or a Lack Thereof.

Who was it who started this thing where kids need all new stuff at the beginning of every school year? Who? Because I would really like to punch them.

I am one of those people who follows rules. Even unspoken ones. Even when they seem kind of stupid. I do what I am supposed to do. I'm trying to become a little bit less of one of those people; especially when it comes to my kids.

Because here's the thing. Just because it's September doesn't mean that clothes that fit my kids perfectly fine last week will disintegrate. Sure, they're not pristine anymore; but they fit and they like them. THEY -- the people who will be wearing said clothes -- could not care less that they are not new.

So. This year, I decided to go through their drawers and see what they actually needed before doing any shopping. 

Perfectly good clothing.
Two giant bags for Goodwill later, the answer was nothing. Absolutely nothing. So I got them some new socks and underwear, and that was it.

As Beege marched off to class, with last year's scuffed and worn indoor shoes in her raggedy backpack*, I felt a little weird. She's only been going to school for three years, but every one of those years has included a shopping trip for new clothes.

Because that's just what you do.

Well, not anymore. I will not be getting them whole new wardrobes, just because it's September.  If the shoes fit, they will wear them.

*Although, it looks like she'll be getting a brand new backpack, courtesy of Rebecca at Playground Confidential. Thanks, Rebecca!