Especially since Lucy started kindergarten, we've gone out of our way to do some special, individual things with Elaine too. I've made Wednesday Japanese garden day each week, and on Thursdays she swims. Darren's also been including her on special restaurant trips and outings that Lucy used to get to go along solo on. I did make a decree that the only fast food establishment our family will patronize is Subway, but apparently Elaine is too little to keep Dad's secrets because each time we drive down the road she calls out, "Dare's McDonalds! Dare's Beef-a-roo! Dare's da Dairy Queen!" and my personal favorite "Dare's B'Arby's!" (I never hear her yell out "Dare's Subway!")
She loves to sing, just like Lucy, and wants to learn all the same songs that Lucy sings. So we hear about the three little fish and Mr. Shark, the little green frog, and fortunately all the hymns Lucy learns too. The other day, Lucy was complaining about making her bed, and Elaine burst into song: "Do everything wit-out complaining, Do everything wit-out arguin', so dat you may be called blameless and pure, children of God!" It was hilarious because it was so appropos, and I was partly thrilled because yes, we should all encourage each other to do what's right. I'm just not sure we should use the Bible as a metaphorical club with which to beat each other over the head.
Elaine is also loving books, which basically happened overnight. One day I couldn't get her to sit on my lap for anything more taxing than a Gossie book. The next day she became obsessed with Peter Rabbit, fairy tales, Frances books, and all manner of long picture books. Lucy has library day at school each Monday. This week she came home with Jim Aylesworth's version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. While she was at school on Tuesday, my mom read Elaine the book at least three times. In Elaine's mind, the book is now hers. I heard Lucy and Elaine screeching at each other first thing this morning (nothing new there) and walked in to see them playing tug-of-war with the library book. "Mom!" sobbed Lucy, "This is my library book, and Elaine says it's hers! She keeps agitating me! Make her give it back!" "Mine mine mine my library book!" shrieked Elaine.
Sigh. Good morning, Mother dear. How are you this morning? Let us get you a cup of tea while you rest in bed until you're ready to greet the day. When is that scenario going to happen? Oh right. When I'm a resident at Shady Pines. Back to reality now.
Yesterday Elaine had a big-girl playdate with Jackson, Alysa's son, and we all went to the gardens together. She was excited to have her very own friend coming over and wanted to tell him all manner of things, which she was too shy to do when the time actually came, and to show him her room. Of course my camera froze in the middle of picture-taking, but I did get a couple of cute ones. If Alysa blogs about it, I'll refer you over to hers to see more and better pictures.
Here are Elaine and Jackson getting a drink at the fountain...
Here they are feeding the fish...
Eventually Elaine, you will learn the secret of younger siblingdom--that Mom and Dad go much easier on you. Lucy will have to go through all the boundary setting, while you will skate through with no problem. You've already gotten to get your toenails painted a whole year earlier than Lucy, just wait until the lipstick and eyeshadow issue comes up. No problems there. Parents ask a lot less of the one who's younger. You'll probably get to roll out of the driveway on your own the very first day you get your license.
It's not all bad, I promise.