Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nourit's Second Dance Class

Normal parents keep track of children's 'firsts'. I'm too late for that. Here is a picture of Nourit before her second dance class, at the Hyde Park School of Dance. After trying two other dance classes that were a little too old for her, or had too little music, I think we finally found the right fit. The first day was almost our last, though. After waking Nourit from a nap to go, she screamed and cried, unwilling to go happily. But when we arrived, the excitement of her friend Zara rubbed off on her cute little leotarded and slippered self, and she was soon moving around the rehearsal hall with the teacher and about 15 other pink-clad preschoolers, to music played by a flesh and blood pianist.

I haven't seen anything as cute as that first day of creative movement class, with little girls all very seriously pretending to be animals and flowers and ballerinas. Unfortunately (or fortunately for the teacher!), the parents are now banned to the adjoining room, while the little 3 and 4 year olds leap and twirl autonomously for 30 minutes a week.

When asked what she did during her second class, Nourit replied dismissively, "Oh, I don't remember."

Us: "Did you dance like animals?"
Her: "No."
Us: "Did you spin and jump and twirl?"
Her: "No."
Us: "Was the teacher nice, and was everyone having fun?"
Her: "No."
Us: "Was the teacher horribly mean?"
Her: "Yes!" (with a grin.)
Us: "Were the kids all crying and everyone wanted to go home?"
Her: "Yes!" (more grinning.)
Us: "Did the piano player push over the piano, and did everyone stomp around?"
Her: "Yes!"

And so, I think it was a success, and that she will return willingly for the next few weeks. However, and yet again, I am just not ready for this little independent streak showing up before she is an actual teenager. She's not ready for a secret life, yet! (Or, at least I'm not ready...)

Post Script - Week Three
Now weeks one, two AND three have successfully passed, and I told Nourit that next Tuesday would be her last dance class. "UNLESS, you want me to sign you up for next session," I said hopefully. "No," she said. "I'd rather stay home."

Well, I guess that means home is a nice place to be, right? Let's hope she still says that when she's 16!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Timing is Everything

Why do we continually get nervous about our lives and our futures? We keep experiencing God's provision for us, and yet there is still a feeling of uncertainty whenever things are about to change. I sort of think that's because God waits until the last possible moment to let us know how the next chapter in our life will begin. Time and again, we've waited for the answer, it doesn't come in time for me to be comfortable, but we step out in faith and voila, He answers and the stars align. (Figuratively, of course!)

His timing, though, is right on, not only for our life, but for everyone who intersects with us, it seems. Just when we needed a good babysitter (or two!), Jessica came into our lives, needing job. When our lives got crazy, her schedule lightened up, and she was there to help us the many last-minute times we needed an extra 'parent' this year. Now, she is leaving (sniff), graduating from college and heading out into an exciting new career. Amy (our other wonderful sitter) is leaving this week, too. What are we going to do for daycare? NOTHING! Because, in God's unique timing, we were hired as Resident Heads, and I will be able to stay home with the girls full-time. What about my job? It's coming to a natural end, with funding running out since the grant I manage was not renewed. Things are falling into place.

Another intersection, even though it seems small, just concluded seamlessly. We desperately needed help cleaning in the middle of the year, and one young woman needed to work while waiting for a real job in the architecture world. Just as we are getting to the point we can manage it on our own, she gets two job offers. Noone loses, everyone wins! (But this means I will be cleaning the toilet again. Okay, I guess I lose a little bit...)

So, slowly, or quickly, or however you want to look at it, we are checking some of the 'unknowns' off our list, moving them into the 'known' category.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Shitty Monday Evening

I try not to swear too often, and usually reserve the 'S' word for stubbing my toe, or particularly bad news. But here I mean it in the literal sense - we had a very shitty evening last night.

I need to preface this by saying we have had a long, arduous journey getting our now 3 year old to poop regularly. As early as 6 months, she would wait 3 weeks to poop, but the doctor said she was fine. After a couple years, a lot of tears, and a few posts about it, we're finally at the point where she goes semi-regularly, sans suppository. We're not neglectful parents. We feed her so much fiber, and so little animal, that I cannot understand why it's turned out this way. She starts the day with ground-up flaxseed in her yogurt, we force her to chug prune juice, and we are a die-hard dried fruit eating family. It doesn't add up.

Anyway, last night around dinner time (of black beans and sweet potato, no less), I noticed she was acting funny, doing her little dance, and saying her tummy hurt. No amount of cajoling would get her to sit on the potty. That's when I had to put her there by force. Meanwhile, Avi (who has nooooo problem pooping 2-3 times a day), is stuck in her highchair, screaming like a banshee, and emptying the contents of her bowl on her head. Screams are coming from Nourit as I force a suppository up her bum (oh, the joys of motherhood), and from Avi as I'm neglecting her. Finally, Nourit poops, we flush and wash, and she assumes the couch potato position while I put in an opera for her to watch. (Yes, we bribe our kids with opera dvds.)

Back to Avi, to wash off all the bean crud from her hands and head, then back to Nourit who is still looking like she's in pain (and it's not from the Queen of the Night's high notes.) Back to the potty, tears streaming down her little 3 year old face (and nearly on mine.) Another HUGE poop, which, incidentally, is too big to flush down and comes back up. I flush a second time.

At this point, I decide to dunk these children in a warm, calming bubble bath, which seems to do the trick. Halfway through, Avi looks like she could do her duty, so I carry her, dripping, over to Nourit's potty seat. We are definitely not potty training her at this age, but I know she has fun when she gets to walk in Nourit's shoes (or sit in Nourit's potty seat!) She makes some fake grunting noises and faces, then motions back to the tub, so back she goes. Then, Nourit is ready to come out first, so I get her into pajamas and brush her teeth while Avi continues to splash and make little tooting noises. But wait, those aren't toots. SHE POOPED IN THE BATHTUB! My freshly scrubbed bathtub! (The cleaning lady had left only hours before.) Yuck! Not only that, the tub is having trouble draining, and the plumber hadn't come to fix it yet. Double yuck!

Somehow, I get both children, clean and warm, into bed and to sleep. I wash the tub as best I can, and dump half a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the bottom. Mike comes home from his meeting, we quickly swap stories, and I sit down to work on my lesson plan for Music Together. I say to Mike that our house still smells faintly of poop, thinking it's just a holdover from the evening's activities. I go in Nourit's room to kiss her goodnight, and realize she pooped in her pajamas while she slept. We drag her out of bed to clean her up, and as I flush that final nugget down the toilet, it overflows. Right onto the freshly mopped floor.

Epilogue: I put a huge load of towels and poopy underpants in the washer with double detergent, and re-mop the bathroom floor. Finally, my pajamas are on, my contacts are out, and my teeth are brushed (but I can't use the toilet because Mike hasn't plunged it yet.) I stumble out of the bathroom to make that request, only to stub my toe on the toy car that's in the middle of the hallway. "Wheeeee, let's go for a ride!" a warped woman's voice screeches as I dive for the Off button. Shit!