The boy is singing at our church's Ash Wednesday service tonight, which the girls and I ditched in favor of creature comforts like not venturing forth in the Arctic-esque wind and not forcing two end-of-the-day tired children to sit respectfully through and/or participate in a church service at 7 p.m. on a weeknight with no hopes of a children's sermon or a staffed nursery. So I put the girls in their beds tonight, which first meant reading and snuggles in my bed cause they tend to be twitchy little squirrels and we needed some place a) fairly comfortable, b) warm and c) spacious.
Books were read. Songs were sung. The clock read 8:01. Squiddgle the Younger started in her nightly debate about the merits of being deposited in her bed versus "I think I'll just stay up a wee bit longer...say another hour or two?" Squiddgle the Elder quickly shut her down with a timely "Let's just go to bed." Matter of fact and decisive--signs of a true older sibling. And like a true younger
And who wouldn't love to spend more quality time in their bed when it is in the warmest room in the house, is ten times larger than you are with a memory foam mattress, has an uber soft handmade afghan and a crazy amazing handmade quilt, at least 20 stuffed animals, and a feather pillow? Delicious comfort for a kid who has a bit of a raspy cough and chapped hands. That's the epitome of a 5-year old pity party.
She was deep sleep snoring in less than 10 minutes when I peeked in to see if she was still awake to let her know that she has a delay in the morning. (Squiddgles the Younger held up her end of her one-sided nightly conversation with _______ (your guess is as good as mine) for about an hour per her normal.)
I love my 2-year old.
It's just me and The Little during school hours, and this kid (this kid!) understands how to play on her own. It's everything I expected The Older to do and found myself bewildered when she has never latched onto that notion. (Okay, sometimes. But rarely.) The Little likes to drag her art table to the middle of the floor and pile it high with a varied assortment of plastic foods and drinks for "a picnic." She found me (I need to hide better? Not really...I regularly sneak entire chocolate chip cookies a mere five feet away from her.) sitting on my bed and announced that "The picnic is ready! The picnic is ready!" (Nothing says home cookin' like a plastic hamburger with sides of plastic french fries, plastic pizza, plastic oranges, plastic apples, and plastic doughnuts. And who decided that the pineapple should be green?) But "The picnic is ready!" was accompanied by the tell-tale "Dance of the 2-year Old." (They don't teach this dance in ballet.) Kid...do you need to go potty? "Um, yes." Scamper down the hallway. She's very matter of fact. And, she's a multi-tasker because she takes care of business and promptly reminds me about the upcoming picnic festivities before she's even all put back together. Naturally. Some things just stay on the mind.
Except they don't 'cause we never played picnic. I wasn't even done washing my hands before she had moved on with a new idea. So I moved on as well...to another room. Somewhere in the ballpark of 3 minutes later when The Little was seeking out my picture-making skills (I'm laughing as I type that), I wasn't in my bedroom anymore and the panic (!)...the warbly alarm (!)...the anxiety was immediately evident in her voice.
Let's review, shall we? Our house provides the setting for a real-life game of Sardines. Hide & seek is eminently challenging. We 'aint got nothin' on a Cracker Jack box. And she lost me. For about 3 seconds.
Do you know how long 3 seconds is to a 2-year old? A veritable lifetime. Do you know how long 3 seconds is to a mother? A bite of chocolate chip cookie.