The new room, it is a success. The girls absolutely love it. Elaine has slept in her big girl bed four nights and has taken three naps in it. She's good about not getting up; we just say if she does she'll have to go back and sleep in her crib again, and that's usually enough for her.
Saturday afternoon I took both girls to a birthday party. It was for one of Lucy's friends, Rylee, but she has a cousin who is Elaine's age (and friend) so Elaine was invited too. That was great because usually we're having to hide the fact that Lucy's going to some sort of party. They were both very excited about it, but of course when we got there, Elaine was so shy and hid her face. There was a trampoline and also a bouncy house--after much, much coaxing (and Lucy getting in it first) she got in and bounced around. She would only play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey if I held her and spun around with her. She sat on my lap to eat and later timidly sat on a swing for a little bit. But they both had a fun time, and Lucy won at bingo.
Yesterday morning they both woke up, and we heard them reciting "Animal Orchestra" (all of our favorite book) together and giggling. Then they came in our room. Lucy climbed up first and looked me, huddled under the covers with my arms over my head. "Get your face out, Mom" she said. I uncovered it a fraction, and she leaned down and kissed me. Then Elaine scrambled up and said, "Get out of your face, Mom," then leaned down and bellowed right into my ear, "HI MOM!" It's strange to me how she is painfully shy around people, but at home she's so noisy and boisterous. She's kind of like a friendly dragon who just wants to say hi but ends up setting your braids on fire. [Disclaimer: I so wish I could claim originality for that metaphor, but I can't. However, I didn't invent the English language either, so I consider everything pretty much fair game.]
While we were all getting ready for church and Sunday School, Lucy saw me and burst out dramatically, "Mom, you look brilliant!" (She's been watching Kipper, the little British dog.) "You look unique! Ms. Michele has a shirt just like you; maybe she'll wear it today too!" (We're going to have to work on what "unique" means I guess...)
In the afternoon, we went on a walk. It was gorgeous out--emerald green grass, bright yellow daffodils everywhere, the magnolias in bloom--finally! We strolled along, and I chatted with them but my mind was halfway somewhere else until Lucy burst out, "Mom, you're just the funnest little lady ever!" In all the world, that's the best compliment I've ever gotten.
Then as we went along, whatever Lucy would say, Elaine would repeat after her. "Mooooommm (I'm doomed to hear this for years now, I know) she's copying me! Tell her to stop." "Lucy, she's copying you because she loves you and thinks you're the coollest person ever." "But it's booooottthering meeeeee!" Inside I'm secretly laughing because that is the classic youngest sibling annoyance tactic. Ah, I know it well. I told them both how I would always copy Tio. Then he would say, "Cut it out, Al!" and I would say, "Cut it out, Al!" "I mean it!" "I mean it!" They thought that was hilarious. "Did Manga and Packa get so mad at you for copying? Did you get in trouble?" Lucy asked. "Oh, probably!" I answered. (I mostly remember the fun of annoying him.)
We went home, and they ate grilled cheese sandwiches and bananas out on the patio together. Then they took their baths and sat on my lap to read Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Two Bad Mice" and of course, "Animal Orchestra." Elaine must have a little diaper rash because after her bath, she was complaining that she hurt and would I put some medicine on it. When it came time for prayer requests, she said (as always) "I pray for my Clayleb" (Caleb, her betrothed. He's 15 months old.) and Lucy prayed, "Dear Jesus, please help Elaine's booty to stop hurting and feel better." She wasn't being silly at all, and I know He understands.
Then I tucked them in, turned on "Betsy-Tacy," kissed them goodnight, and with a minimum amount of threats about getting up, left the room. Earlier that day, Lucy had asked me, "Mom, do you like being a mom?" Now I have my horrible days (and I'm sure one is coming up soon, especially after I write a nice post like this), but I told her in all honesty that it's my favorite thing.
Here are some pictures of the new room:
One final thing: Last night on PBS, Darren and I watched this. It was the best two hours of television I've seen in years. If you didn't catch it, check your PBS listings to see if they're re-airing it (WTTW Chicago is running it again at 2:30 a.m. this Tuesday--we're taping it.) If not, definitely check it out from Netflix. Or even purchase it. It's that good. Don't miss it!