Kindergarten starts a week after everybody else, so Anders just left us yesterday.
It’s been an interesting morning watching the two little girls navigate their relationship sans older siblings. They spent some time shouting “your turn!” and “my turn!” as they ran up to the big fan we currently have placed in our living room window, stuck their heads close to it, then ran away squealing. After some time they advanced to speaking, “helllllooo” in low, deep voices into it and giggling at the vibrated sound they could create. Then Summer coaxed Mette downstairs where she promptly shut her in her bedroom – telling her it was naptime. (And refusing to agree with me, when we could hear Mette banging and rattling her door, that perhaps she didn’t want to play naptime.) Currently Summer is perched atop a toy bus in our pantry calling, with ever more urgent pleas, for Mette to join her for “school”. Mette is sitting on the floor several feet from her, setting up blocks in a pattern only she can see and disinterestedly replying, “Not yet”.
At some point I probably need to start folding bits of schedule and routine into these days to help our new reality flow more seamlessly and feel less . . . juggly. And I need to get reviewing and teaching bits and pieces of scripture and letters, numbers and colors with the girls. Somehow Summer, who only just turned three, has known every color, letter and sound for, well, as long as I can remember. Did I teach them to her? Did she just absorb the knowledge from her siblings? I seem to recall going over those things with her while preparing Anders for Kindergarten, but, like everything involving babies and toddlers these past three years, it’s muddled and mixed in my mind. All I know is that Summer seems practically ready for Kindergarten herself, while I’ve managed to leave darling Mette calling browns “red” and oranges “green” with alarming confidence. So. We shall strive to even things out a bit.
But, for a few days anyway, I’m going to let them just explore life with the two of them. (And Hansie too of course, but he’s not much interested in them currently – what with all his energy and efforts needed so desperately for . . . eating, napping, and, most importantly, for army crawling into impossible situations [like into the bottom saucer-shaped portion of his bouncy toy, or wedged beneath the rungs of a highchair].)
A bit more about Summer though. Last night, we were talking about what we were going to do for the evening while Mike and the older kids went to their various Mutual activities. I said something about taking the babies downstairs and watching a show where it wasn’t so hot (our AC is out). Summer said excitedly, “Well, in that case . . .” I don’t even recall the rest of her sentence. I think something about us needing to make sure Hans didn’t bonk his head on the TV, but I loved, “in that case”. Also, she has developed a slightly pack-rat like habit of creating these giant nests composed not only of every blanket and pillow she can gather, but every toy she can literally dump into the nest. I’m forever having to warn her to not add even one more thing to the giant piles I find her sitting upon. As I lift blankets or remove pillows to clean them up, out will tumble twenty board books, an overturned bucket of blocks, the entire contents of the giant basket full of newborn rattles and toys. They aren’t set up for playing. They are simply dumped into the growing nest under layers of other things.
The solar eclipse was just over a week ago. It’s the strangest thing because it seems recently enough, but, when I consider that the kids weren’t officially in school yet (it occurred the day before they began), it seems it must have been eons ago. “Before school” means it was still summer break . . . which is such a separate space of time that I can’t stick it into a “recent” category at all!
But, onto the eclipse. Somehow, while the rest of the world was planning and gearing up and buying special glasses, etc. . . . I was in a state of ignorance – completely unaware that such a rare and big event was about to occur or that so many of my friends and family were planning travel to the places where the eclipse would be “total”. A week or so before it was to occur, Mike mentioned something about how it would be fun to go to Idaho to see it in its entirety . . . which was the first I’d heard of it at all! So, while there was not a lot of planning put into the event, I did instruct Daisy and Goldie to make little cereal box “eclipse viewers” the morning of the eclipse. And then Jesse naturally hurriedly made his own. And we all oohed and ahhed over how much darker it was getting in our house, and over the strange coolness outside, and over the muted color of the light, and over the crescent shape all the shadows took on.
But I shall tell you the awful truth: there is little more disappointing than viewing an eclipse in a cereal box. One tiny speck of a c-shaped sun. It’s hard to get goosebumps over it. Can you find it in this picture?
However, we soon began to discover that three suns were more exciting . . . and nine even more so . . .
until soon the hole punching took on a life of its own. It couldn’t be stopped. And the laughing for others to come look at the eclipses (plural) in their box became the highlight of the event.
We took the kids to the fair on Saturday night. We don’t ride the rides, we mostly just wander about looking at the livestock and homemade creations. And actually, it’s crowded, and I scan for and count kids (to make sure all nine are accounted for) more than I actually look at anything, and we come home late – and sticky and dirty,;but going to a fair at the end of summer just feels like . . . the right thing to do. So, fair it is.
And lastly . . . Mette with lots of hair bands . . . on her wrist (which is where she puts them every time she finds them again). She’s also wearing a Halloween barrette and a pair of safety goggles. She donned the goggles and then exclaimed, “Look at me! I’m a missionary!” (??) (The last pictures? Another day. Same hair-band bracelets.)