(wrote this last week but just getting around to posting. yay babies.)
i spent 48 hours being on point with the kids. we had a blast, although i couldn’t quite seem to get them to the bath or get the meals on schedule. i am more lenient with time, the auntie with no set hours.
here are some humorous highlights:
watching the sunrise: siobhan woke up at 6:30 this morning and came to get in bed with me. she lay quietly for one minute, and then said, ‘it’s really dark!’ i told her ‘that is because it’s still nighttime’. she was quiet for another moment. then she sat up and pointed, gleefully, ‘but look!! the light is coming!’
choice: whenever i put on happy feet two, which we happen to have recorded on the dvr thingy, they both scream, ‘i don’t want to watch happy feet!’ if i ignore this, about five minutes later they are transfixed and dancing around to this cautionary climate change musical. want vs need, kids.
on reality: finn is perpetually disappointed in my lack of ability to tell what is real and what is pretend. case in point, finn, siobhan and their grandmother-in-law decorated the house in spiderwebs, spiders and a pumpkinhead scarecrow. all terrifying. when it was time to show off they made me cover my eyes and come with them to see. when i see it all i start giving an oscar worthy performance of fear. finn turns to me and screams at the top of his lungs, ‘IT’S FAKE!!!!!!!’. he then gives me this ice cold glare tinged with disgust.
this helped me later that night when i walked past the window and saw a strange huge man sitting on the porch. the scream caught in my throat as finn’s voice echoed through my head, ‘it’s fake!!!’
bathroom as water cooler: at one point while they were transfixed with happy feet 2, i realized i could go to the bathroom! i got really excited and went in. i closed the door and danced over to the toilet for this alone time. literally as soon as i sat down finn came running in, followed by siobhan, both yelling ‘i have to pee!’ i told them it was my turn, and they both shrugged and began having a polite conversation with each other about the very bathroom itself, with no intentions of leaving until we’d all had our turns. sigh.
dance break: i play music most of the time i am at the house with them. this trip i was playing nina simone, drake, jessie ware, beyonce and emeli sande. i was in the kitchen cooking while the kids played – and i was feeling REALLY excited because we had spent the day not watching tv or movies. suddenly siobhan comes up and says, it’s time to dance! i was amenable, so she ran and got finn, and we had an amazing dance party where we were often holding hands. finn and siobhan took turns directing the dances we were doing. this isn’t really funny, just awesome.
things you have to tell auntie because she doesn’t generally wear pajamas or underwear and thus forgets crucial things: tonight siobhan fell asleep on the couch, and i carried her upstairs to her bed without waking her up, which is an unbelievably sweet and magical advanced act in parenting.
when it was time to take finn upstairs we were both working hard to stay quiet and not wake siobhan up. that looks like finn yelling about how they could run out of water if their local water table goes dry (he JUST turned 5) and me reminding him about his inside voice.
i helped him get in bed, and then in a stage whisper he said, ‘i need underwear!’ i pulled out a pair of outside sweatshorts and he looked at them skeptically. i put them on him and then he looked at me with deep concern. ‘i’d really rather have…underwear.’
once we got the proper situation happening, i kissed him goodnight and told him to let me know if he needed anything. i went back downstairs.
roughly two minutes later finn again stage whispers from the top of the stairs, ‘auntie adjin! remember how you said to tell you if i need anything? i just remembered my dessert part didn’t get full yet!’ finn has determined that his stomach has several parts, which adapt based on the meal. his pancake and pizza parts never get full. lately his cooked vegetable part is very very small. he holds these parts up with his hand opened or closed to express the state of the part.
i laughed and gave him something. on his way back upstairs he stops and says, ‘auntie adjin, i love you.’
storytime: siobhan invited me to sit with her and listen to a story from her notebook. here it is, verbatim: ‘once upon a time, there was a little car (pointing to a car sticker in the middle of an otherwise blank page). and then, it went BUMP! and see, it was in this (pointing to a dark scribble on the next page, also in the middle of an otherwise blank page)! and then there was a big surprise (pointing to a completely blank page). hey! i need my crayons!’ future artist-griot in the house.
choice, part 2: siobhan is a fashionista. it’s not unusual to put socks or a dress on her and then watch her little 3 year old face crumple because ‘it’s not working,’ or ‘it’s not right’. we went to get ready for a walk in the crisp fall outdoors and after three different outfit attempts, siobhan decided that the only thing that worked was a sundress with no leggings and finn’s rain boots. and i daresay she looked fantastic! but clearly underdressed for the weather. finn was wearing shorts with a pair of siobhan’s legwarmers and a sweatshirt. i decided not to fight with them, as we were all a bit done with being inside.
so we get outside and jog to the top of the road. on the way back siobhan turns to me and says, in genuine surprise, ‘i’m freezing!’ i asked why she thought that might be and her face got woeful as she shook her head and said, ‘i just didn’t listen.’ i carried her home under my sweater like a rescued puppy.