The days are noticeably shorter and the air temperature is steadily dropping. I fear summer is officially gone for another 7 months. I always get a little apprehensive in the fall knowing that winter is around the corner. This year especially scares me as I’ve been spotting thick woolly worms here and there. I haven’t seen since them since the fall of 2013 right before that dreadful winter that has me still scarred. Bad omen?
But, there are two things which are helping me keep a positive attitude: 1) This is the first winter where we will have a fireplace AND good windows. That should make a huge difference in inside temps. and 2) the girls are both old enough to play in the snow for reasonable amounts of time, so at least we won’t be cooped in the house all day everyday.
Today we made an appearance at one of the local story times which we haven’t been to in a few months, due to summer and other things eating up our Friday mornings. Today was a corner-turning day though, Bea sat through the entire story time. Granted, we’ve missed large swaths of weeks there at a time, but I do remember when I first began taking her there, I would rock her to sleep on my lap so that she wouldn’t sacrifice her morning nap.
When she could stand, she became disinterested in my lap and would show some interest in the story, but would soon cave to curiosity over the contents of my purse.
When she could walk, she just wanted to walk. There was no sitting her still, not for long at least, and not without the bribery of a cereal-filled snack cup. But that only lasted a few minutes and then she was off exploring the shelves of the library and I was left to track along behind her, making sure she didn’t pull off too many books or stuffed animals.
But today she sat. She sat next to her older sister, protector, her eyes wide with interest. She turned her head to find me a few times, a pleased smile on her open mouth. I think she felt proud that she was among the “big kids” now. She watched the pages of the book being turned one by one, and offered no participation in the chants or songs, she simply observed. Big Sis was unusually still today too. Maybe it was due to our lack of recent attendance or maybe it was a silent mimicry of her sister. I tend to think the latter.
MG’s eyes did carefully follow the teacher as she chose participants, one by one, to hold up a nursery rhyme card for the group. I could feel her straining to be chosen, but not wanting to draw attention to herself. As the stack of cards lessened, she successfully made eye contact with Mrs. C and was finally chosen to take a turn. The pink card was still in the shuffle, and she unhesitatingly chose it, even though she has chosen this one every single time before.
Bea stood up with her, thinking she too would be offered a choice of cards. Mrs. C kindly told her she would have next pick and while sister held her pink card proudly before the group, Bea climbed into Mrs. C’s chair to wait, looking just as confident and relaxed as ever.
MG found her seat after, but not before giving me her own proud smile. Holding true to her word, Mrs. C let Bea choose the next card all the while she did not budge from her spot at the front of the room in the teacher’s chair. She chose quickly but the card fell to the floor and Mrs. C helped her hold it and then arranged it for the group to see as it was first held upside down.
She, too, offered me a smug smile when done, and then hopped down from the chair. There was a slight confusion as legs blocked her path back to her seat and she found herself trapped in the front of the room. Big Sis noticed her predicament and reached out her hand to her “Bea, this way. This way, Bea.”, and guided her back both by voice and hand to the saved seat next to her.
There was one chant left that involved hand motions and it was now that Bea decided to join along. She carefully copied the teacher’s movements, and MG, noticing this, did too.
At last the teacher stood up, holding her hands out to the class in the universal “sit down” air pat and said, “Stay in your seats boys and girls, I’m going to count you.”. Bea stood up, carefully imitating her hands, not understanding the directive and thinking the imitation was still being continued. With a little convincing from me and sis, she sat back down obediently to be counted.
And this is why I am in the sweetest stage of life with these two girls I have experienced yet. I’m going to be heartbroken when I have to send one of them off to school next year,