Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Letter From Your Mother on the occasion of Easter

I have such a hard time putting myself into this space, this voice, these days.  I decided I should aim to post at least weekly, that that would feel like I was capturing enough, but something else always has to come first.  The laundry, the dishes, the fact that I am trying to build a business from scratch in my spare time.  Or I'm tired, I want to get off my feet, lie down, escape to the TV or yet another design magazine.  I think about this blog every day.  Wonder if my inability to write here is also an inability to see my girls, how they are.  I took one day off from posting to the other blog: Easter Sunday.  That felt good, but also like a crack in the resolve, like when you are going and going but you sit down and it is sooooo veeeeery haaaard to get up again.  That might be where I am right now.

But girls: I see you.  I sure saw you on Easter.  Clio, you were up first, earlier than I expected, glittery with anticipation.  I told you to see if the Easter Bunny had come, to see if you could find a basket for you somewhere in the house, hoping to buy myself a little more sleep, but you were back lickety split with a pink felt basket in hand.  You ate chocolate for breakfast.  No, wait, that's not true: in a nod to your father, I made you eat a little real breakfast first.  Hard boiled eggs, probably.  And then you had candy, your very first peeps.  The marshmallow is your favorite.  Before all this you jumped up and down by my side of the bed and asked me to open the Tangled doll the easter bunny thought to bring you, and that damn packaging required scissors, so roused I was.  Eleri was still asleep.

When she got up, you helped her find her basket, though really, they were in an easy hiding spot, the exact place Eleri goes first in the morning: the castle.  The castle was on the floor and the baskets were tucked onto its shelf.  Each basket had 1 Rapunzel doll, 1 package of bunny shaped sidewalk chalk, 4 peeps, 6 chocolate eggs, and one chocolate peanut butter bunny.

Eleri, somehow I lost track of you (as I seem to, too often), and you came into the dining room with that bunny unwrapped, chocolate on your face, your hands, your dress, and you looked at me with those big, big eyes, wide with the chocolate bunny, and you said, "mommy.  I love this," all hushed and reverent.  And because this was the cutest thing I may have ever heard, and because you didn't ask, just opened up the biggest treat in the basket first and dove right in, I started to laugh.  Boy, did I laugh.

It upset you.  You left, and I found you in the office, sobbing.  You had thrown the candy bunny on the floor and you were just so upset.  It took a while to get it out of you, but of course you were upset because you thought I was laughing at you.  I wasn't.  Not at you, not like that.  We kissed and made up and I offered you the bunny but you wouldn't eat it.  Not now.  So I wrapped it up and saved it for later.

We spent the morning outside.  The sun was finally shining and we went in the front yard.  Clio, you and I went out first, and you drew pictures.  You drew a dog for the neighbor.  You told me that if for some reason they lost one of their dogs, they could be less sad because they would have this picture from you.  You drew it in the square of sidewalk closest to their house.  You also made a garden full of princess flowers and a row of houses, with ours in the middle (yellow, because you didn't have brown chalk), with an alley that made a big, long, loop, and ultimately led right back to the houses.  I like this idea of a circle alley.  When Eleri came out, you shared your colors nicely and you didn't get upset when she drew on your work--sometimes this really upsets you, and, honestly, she's not always so very nice about it.

We got dressed up in Easter dresses.  Nonny brought them to you a week or two before, and you were dying to wear them.  I didn't get your picture, but while I was getting dressed the two of you held hands and spun circles in the dining room, with skirts flying out just the way you like, Clio's soft floral and Eleri's blue and white stripes.  We went to Nonny's and had an egg hunt.  Eleri, you would find an egg, open it up, examine its contents, and eat the candy, then repeat the whole process.  Clio, you found as many eggs as you could and kept them in your basket, unopened.  Hours later, after almost everyone had gone home, you had Nonny and my aunt Eileen take turns shaking the eggs, guessing what was inside.  Candy, money, or both.  When we ate lunch, you sat at the big table with Finn and Lucia.  You wanted swedish fish, but you were willing to eat your asparagus to get them.

Eleri, you needed to go home.  I don't know if it was just too much for you, all those people, all the excitement, or if you just weren't feeling well (you ended up throwing up the next night--just once.)  I kept telling you just a minute, and you finally announced that you wanted to take a nap.  You never nap--in fact, when a nap is suggested, you specifically say "nothing, never,"  so this made us stand up and take notice.  Daddy took you home, and you dozed on and off laying on him on the couch while Clio shook her eggs.

You girls are so different.  We have known this from day one, but it is more pronounced all the time.  Whenever I offer two choices, you inevitably choose the opposite.  In the mornings, on the way to school, we tell stories.  If Eleri wants Cinderella, Clio wants Rapunzel.  If Clio wants Cinderella, Eleri wants Goldilocks.  I tell you to work it out.  Most days, you do.  And there's no pattern.  Well, except that Clio always goes right for the negotiation: Eleri, if we do my story today we can do yours tomorrow, okay?  But there is no clear pattern in who gives, in who wins.  It is a give and take.

I know we always say we can't believe how fast it goes (I've likely said it a zillion times on this blog), but the truth is, I can't believe how big you are.  I still manage to take pictures of you now and again, and when I see them on the computer, scrolling by in search of a "before" or an "after," I am struck by them.  You are just so tall.  So grown.  It bears noting that Eleri is potty trained.  That Clio is reading.  That these milestones came and went some time ago, and deserve their own posts but may not get them.  I suppose you might settle for this: you are geniuses.  You are difficult.  You are beautiful.

We love you so much,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dressing in Layers

Eleri insists on dressing in layers these days. In particular, she loves to wear skirts under dresses--exactly like Clio did at this same age. It doesn't seem to be a "thing" for 2 1/2 year olds, and it is all the more striking to me because these girls are SO different from each other in every imaginable way.

You see Clio's little skirt sticking out under her dress?  It's so weird that this is the only picture I can find: she wore skirts with dresses nearly every day for months.

Eleri also loves to button her buttons.  Don't even try to help her--she's going to DO IT HERSELF.