Jennifer Dulos

On a lighter note, the kids…

Yes, them! My go-to magic hat that I can endlessly pull things from. Rabbits. Yo-yos. You name it. It’s birthed from the kids.

Every day is something new and profound, perhaps only to me, the cloying lady with the photos on her iPhone who corners you at the supermarket when all you want to do is check the dates on the cartons of milk.

Enough!

But, if this blog is semi (or wholly) for them, they will delight in memories of themselves. Just like Christiane and Constantine last night, me showing them pictures and videos (yes, stored on ye trusty iPhone), of them: newborns at the hospital, just brought home, in high chairs, learning to walk, learning to talk! They were thrilled. Slept well. Except that I heard a cry out at 12.58 (I know exactly, due to the iPhone) from Christiane who was somehow stuck under her bed. Don’t ask.

We hugged on her couch and then she went back down. Fotis was then up. So I stayed talking with him for an hour or so. About the business. How things are going. Stressors, and reasons why maybe to change a few things.

This morning he woke in a not such great mood, due to taking out the garbage and noticing things that were done wrong. Full plastic bags of recyclables tied and tossed in, when it says clearly on the bin: no plastic bags. We try to inform everyone the “rules” of the house. But even talking about rules to other adults makes you immediately hate yourself.

So, yuh… The kids.

Today the boys have horseback riding. Now on Fridays so I can take them. They tell me it’s too cold. But that was the winter session and now we are into spring. It’s a pretty day out, and I, for one, look forward to being out at Folly Farm.

Theodore always reminds us that on Wednesdays at lunchtime, half of the school week is over and there is half more to go. That it’s the middle of the week! He’s right, of course. I think of “hump day,” which I find negative as it implies that you are not enjoying what you are doing. Like the Garth Brooks song “Beer Run,” where all they look forward to is quitting time, and their terrific ole beer run.

Twenty-five minutes past quitting time

Seven of us crammed into that truck of mine

Paying no attention to them highway signs

Doing ninety miles an hour toward the county line

Quick sack, twelve pack, back again

It’s a B Double E Double R-U-N.

Hump day also makes me think of camels. I read Noelle a picture book that has this one stand-out image of a camel, and realize that the only way she’d ever know about camels is through some image. As we don’t live anywhere near them. I find myself thinking about the deepest depths of the sea, where James Cameron, (who directed Titanic) recently ventured, 3rd man or something ever to do so. How Theodore has me read this book, How Deep is the Sea?, an Usborne children’s book. And we discover that it’s roughly six miles deep at its deepest depths. And that we spend so much time thinking about the Heavens, but not the lowest reaches of the sea, which is roughly 2/3 the earth’s surface.

Yeah, enjoy me talking about this.

Noelle wakes up saying: Hello, Beckham! Which sounds like, Hello, Beck-hummmm. She says, Hello pillow! to her pillow, which is close to a rhyme. She says, I like it. She again says, No thank you. She says, Theodore, which is Tee-o-dor. Petros wants her to say his name. When the boys were her age (almost 18 months) they called each other by a shorthand: Petros was Tetou, Theodore was Toto. When this became too confusing they both morphed in Toto and all you’d hear all day long was the two of them calling out to each other: Toto! Toto!

They love hearing these things about themselves.

Last night I was wiped out. By the time I got to the boys’ room all I could do was lie my head down and crash. Theodore reminded me that I’d promised him the video of C-Lo Green’s “Forget You” on the iPad. I can’t think of any more funny videos to show them after showing them all Toonces the Driving Cat: The Cat Who Could Drive a Car on You Tube. I am at a dead end. Any suggestions would help.

I am ever debating the school choice. Like a purse, the larger it is the more you fill it with. Me being given all this (endless it seems) time to decide makes me belabor the choice. To. The. Very. Last. Moment.

Both have merits. I really think that Maurice’s class at FVAM is educationally superior, one-on-one, that they are really pushed to their academic limits, while learning socially correct behaviors and self sufficiency. At Renbrook, they enter a new, larger campus with a rich history and tons of bright, cheerful students. The classrooms are more traditional while still remaining small. It’s more of a structured environment, where the teacher plans out the day. At Montessori the teacher guides each student in structuring his or her own day or week, which is tailored for them, thus completely: individualized.

In my heart I may like them to continue where they are for another year or two, then in third grade go to Renbrook, or for 4-5th. But, as the decision is not yet made, I feel iffy in even writing this.

My friend Caroline (finally! Yay to her!) decided to send her daughter to Maurice’s class. She who was my sister-in-arms going through this, has made her choice. But not me. Yet.

I’ll end to just end, in that I met two moms I like yesterday who take their children to Thursday Music Class with me. We met at Starbucks beforehand with our kids. I’d forgotten a sippy cup for Noelle. I gave her Madeleines to keep her entertained as we talked, but then she got thirsty, so I had to leave early, go to CVS and get a cup and milk for her. I forgot, I was not on the ball. I’d driven the kids and the baby to school prior and was thinking about that. Noelle visited all their classrooms. It’s an open format, with only the Toddler Room having a door, but also a big glass window in which to look inside! We moved about, classroom to class area. With her. All the kids taking pride in showing off their baby sister. They love/adore her. And she them. Every morning now she is putting on her sneakers too at the door. Ready to come with. It’s sweet but heart tugging, as she cannot.

Me Too, this was my favorite book growing up, (which is now out of print), with just one sister, 3.5 years older than myself.

I so often look at Noelle, putting clips in her hair like Christiane, taking a toothbrush and brushing her teeth when they all do after breakfast, putting on sunglasses to play outside with everyone.

Me too.

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