Monday, November 7, 2011

... time waits for no one...

... but this doesn't really seem to matter much to L.

L, on the beach w/ her uncle
(note the discrepancy between outfits)

The girl who, all summer long, insisted on long pants and long-sleeved shirts, not to mention often knitted hats, this icy weekend decided on shorts and a t-shirt when we went down to the beach. Photographic evidence to follow, but first, a recap of our weekend.

This was a special weekend for several reasons, not the least of which is I went out of my way to make my older sister feel good. I did this by making sure the house was a mess, with toys scattered hither and yon (me: Hey M, where's K's baby doll? M: It's in the corner. me: What corner? M: Yon corner!) and clutter piled everywhere.

I suppose a bit more background is necessary.

M had an event on Saturday night, which meant she was out of the house starting around 9.30a, and didn't return until after midnight. Which meant that I was on my own for... nearly (12 plus 3 minus 30.... hmm....) a bunch of time. Probably close to as long as she was on parenting on her own when I recently went back to Maui for 9 days. I'll leave anyone who is mathematically inclined to do the appropriate factoring, etc. Anyway, I was on my own, and frustrations were running high. The girls have gotten into a bad habit of wanting to watch a video and to eat candy. And nothing else. The house was a mess, the yard too. And Kim and Jim came up from Olympia to help distract us.

Which worked fantastically. The girls (and I) enjoyed their visit. And Kim got to say "Now I don't feel so badly. I used to think I was incompetent when I was juggling 2 young children, but...." And that empty space after her "but" implied that I was AT LEAST as incompetent as she had felt, which was good. Hmm....

Anyway, part of what we did on Saturday was to go down to the beach at Alki. It was sunny and windless and thus, beautiful. It was also freakin' cold. (There was ice covering the surface of the water table, if that helps put things in perspective.) Preparing to go down there, I needed to get the girls out of pajamas and into clothes. K took care of this herself. L took the opportunity to have a couple of breakdowns. Which we worked through, and she chose shorts and a t-shirt. Which I shrugged about and said "ok."

We went downstairs and Kim and Jim both started to say "Wow, aren't you going to be col..?" and I made the universal "we've discussed it and come to a common agreement!" gesture of slashing my hand across my throat and they got my drift and we were on to the beach.

Here's proof:

Drawing in the sand
(two distinctly different sized utensils)

A horse, running in her pasture

One definition of a "two horse race"

"Hurry! Hurry!!"

Later, the girls and I needed to do things like eat dinner, which was made possible by the shopping trip Kim and Jim did for me shortly after they arrived and discovered that I could offer them raw sugar and an onion for lunch. Which didn't strike them as entirely what they were craving (for some odd reason - she's my older sister, if that helps explain her behavior!). So they went out and bought bagels, cream cheese, milk, bananas, bread.... I thought about asking them to also take the car and get the oil changed, but that seemed like it might be pushing it.

So, after they left, we did bath and then dinner of grilled cheese and watched a video together and then it was time for bed, and they were sleepy and it was nearly 7.30p which was grand, except if you did that math I suggested above you probably also realized that Saturday night was when the switch from Daylight Savings back to ... Daylight Spending(?) took place, which meant that thought I was putting the girls to bed at 7.30p, they were going to sleep as if they went to bed at 6.30p, which meant that... well, L got up around 4.20a, K around 5a, and I took them downstairs because M had climbed into bed at 12.30-ish (11.30-ish) and wasn't quite ready to get up at 4a (lame-o!).

Sunday was a flurry of highs and lows (L) and K behaving remarkably mature, and M needing to cook and then go to a baby shower that afternoon. But before this, we decided to treat the girls to breakfast out, so went to Luna Park, which has a collection of lunch boxes on display (the Happy Days one is my favorite, I think), as well as a coin-operated Batman car ride, awesome milkshakes, jukeboxes, and booths. In short, a perfect place to go with kids. Except they didn't find anything they wanted to eat. L order a fruit bowl, K the Mickey Mouse pancakes. L saw the pancake and wanted one as well, K said the pancake didn't taste good and ate my bacon, L tried K's pancake and said it didn't taste good and pouted and M and I ate as quickly as we could and retreated. Not our best dining out experience!

The girls got to watch 3 Thomas the Tank Engine videos that morning (they're 12 minutes each, if that buys me any sympathy and/or understanding), and then I resisted the calls for more videos and/or candy. For the rest of the day!

Yay Daddy! Who's the man?

What we did, more or less chronologically (chronically):
  • had several breakdowns (L)
  • wanted candy (K&L)
  • had several other breakdowns (L)
  • made salad and muffins (M, for her shower)
  • had several.... (L) you get the idea
  • went upstairs (me & L after a breakdown and we lay in our bed and read until she fell asleep, at which point I went back downstairs and helped "explain" to K that she was not going to get any candy and/or videos.)
  • drove away (M, for her shower)
  • watched some horse videos on my computer, including a 2-part one of a colt being born. I hesitated, but K's already seen similar on Saddle Club, and we're getting to the point where she's curious and aware enough that I think it makes sense to let her see. I nervously waited for her to notice the other videos of horse sex and/or "How to deliver a baby in a car," neither of which I was excited about watching with (or without) my 5 1/2 yo daughter), and though she didn't notice (or want to see?) the horse sex one, she did ask for the delivery of a baby, which I hesitantly agreed to. But it was done using a life-sized model, and didn't interest her much. But she's a very aware girl, and I know more of it sank in than was immediately evident, so I'm trying to anticipate and prepare for questions, or at least get ready to redirect her in M's direction. (K&me)
  • cleaned the kitchen while K did more art (me)
  • woke up (L)
  • wanted candy or videos (K&L)
  • explained "No!" (me)
  • did art (K&L)
  • had several breakdowns (L)
But here's something else that happened:

After a ton of frustration with a bead project, during which L had several collapses, threw beads and crumpled up a drawing she'd done, she returned to the kitchen table and worked at it again and finished it. This was huge. She's at a stage where she gets very frustrated at not being able to do things as well as K can, and then throws stuff, breaks things, crumples papers.... So coming back and continuing to try... that's huge. HUGE!

We did bath, which involved a lot of mermaiding and some hairwashing and some photo ops:

two "mermaids" conversing(?)
the cool thing about this is that they put on their goggles
and submerge their heads and don't think about the fact
that they're holding their breaths.
I've counted to 20 before, and L can easily stay down that long!

Later, I cooked fish and made rice and the girls ate pretty well and M came home w/ some cupcakes from the shower and the girls got to have cupcakes and then L told me she was tired and rather than say something funny like "Well, why do you think that is?" I picked her up like she asked and we snuggled on the couch until M and K joined us and then we went upstairs where we finished the evening with some books, a brief Belle story (but this time K wanted to go back to the barn, a return to horses, which is a significant shift), and then bed.

But before bed, one last heart-warming (and representative) father-daughter exchange:

L (snuggled against me in bed): Daddy, why do we call it gath when we gath?
me (realizing this wasn't going to really explain anything): Uh... because it's gas.
L (uncomprehending but accepting): Oh. (pause) Daddy?
me (enjoying the snuggle): Uh huh?
L (grinning around her pacifier): I juth gathed.
me: I know.
K (laughing on the opposite side of the bed): Uh, we KNOW! Pa-lease!

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