Tuesday, October 30, 2007

mirror gazing

Here is the latest.
It's a bit on the dreary side. Sometimes it's just hard to keep up the cheerleader-like enthusiasm if you know what I mean. I'm just sitting here wondering when and where and how, exactly, I ended up so painfully, embarrassingly dependent on my husband. He does everything for me. And I let him. I carry around a little minidriver and he wields a Bosch electric drill. It's no contest really.

You see our car came dangerously close to expiring recently due to extreme dehydration. That is to say I have been driving it to and fro, over hill and dale-- from mall to school, to hockey rink, to supermarket-- without ever once stopping to check the oil. I guess I just assumed that Ian had been doing that. You know, able, already-dirty hands fiddling around under the hood in that oh so manly way. But, alas, he had assumed I, the one who drives the car the most, had had the presence of mind to check it now and again, since I was passing through the gas station anyways. Hah. He was wrong. And I am ashamed.

Aside from all that, we have also recently turned a corner, or I have recently become aware of this change in direction, towards irreversible tedium. What I mean is: we are mired in the mundane swamp of domesticity. With just one child, we could fool ourselves into thinking we were still the cool, world traveling, interesting, sporty, social, fit, people we always were. We took Esther to England, Austria and Germany at whim. We carried her up mountains in a backpack and took her to the rock climbing gym.

Enter Isla. I am afraid to fly with her for fear she will alert the armed guards with her incessant pounding on the cockpit door. I actually heard myself ask Ian, in all seriousness, the other night to put the silverware face down in the dishwasher because it saved time when putting it away. Help.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The fickleness of five

I've got a new Babycenter post here.
Oh how interesting life is here. The day to day changes. I claim to suffer from ennui, yet how could I when I never know what each day will bring. Will my lovely daughters be happy, sad, angry, surly, grouchy, stubborn, compliant, crazy, kookie, bossy or just plain lovely?

Esther has been stunning me lately with her vigorous swinging back and forth on the pendulum of maturity. One moment she is nuts, over tired, calling me a "wicked liar," throwing me pre-teen looks, smirks, shoulder shrugs, "whatever mom" hand gestures, and the next minute she is floating around the house, asking me if she can help me in any way, talking to Isla in this sweet, patient older- sister voice, and offering to empty the compost bucket.

Yesterday she listened to her little three-year-old friend Graeme tell her a story about his new Kitty and how this kitty may "look like it's been painted with a marker, but really it's just its fur," in his amazing cartoon character voice and expressive face and Esther just listened and gazed upon him with this look of sheer, nurturing admiration. She was appreciating every nuance of his little kidness. When he was done she smiled and said, "Oh Graemmy."

I love seeing this. Seeing her potential for compassion and empathy. Seeing the little grownup inside her. Seeing that person who pays attention and notices the small things in life that are so worth noticing. She does this with Isla too. She is always fondling and commenting on that little cleft in the back of her neck and envying how soft her skin is. She is so very aware of Isla's babyness and the fleeting fun of it all.

Then she yells at me for not taking good enough care of Isla, for not keeping her safe. When Isla falls down and cries (every other second), she picks her up and brings her to me, even though I have made it clear I have lost patience and think Isla can work it out for herself. Esther decides when I need to step in. She is the master of this house, really. She keeps me in line.

It gives me glimpses of the older, teenage Esther. And it's a bit scary at times. That is why I've gone out and bought this. It's good to be prepared.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tunbridge Clouds

We went to the Vermont History Expo in Tunbridge way back in July, or was it June?. Esther dug the doll making,(it made me nervous because I was expected to thread a needle..) and the ladies in old fashioned long dresses. She was born in the wrong era. We were a bit strung out on maple cotton candy at the point this picture was taken. I am even drooling a bit.

I've got another Babycenter post here .