Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The last day of November

It was a good walk to school with Uncle N, and it is still coming down outside. Not enough to stick to the pavement, but enough that driving is a bad idea, and walking is a bit tricky. Boo's two comments were "I love snow! Can we go skiing?" and "Does this mean Father Christmas is coming tomorrow?" I'll enjoy this winter weather enthusiasm while it lasts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kleptos in training

This story is a prime example of the fact that, although my children look like little clones, they are so different in personality as to defy description.

On Sunday, Himself and the two girls went to the local Home Depot equivalent to pick up a few items. When they arrived home, it was discovered that the girls had come away with a pile of white rocks that they'd picked up on their way through the store. Somehow, someone (Boo) had decided that Daddy wouldn't notice if they took the rocks, and it wouldn't matter anyway. And Devil went along with it, more or less happily.

Well, they were rapidly and emphatically disabused of that notion once we noticed their loot. And the three of them spent the next hour going back to the store, returning the rocks (they were part of a fireplace display) and finding someone so that the girls could apologize for having stolen the rocks.

Here's where the differences come out. Boo, who I suspect was the ultimate instigator in the whole affair, was completely nonchalant about the whole thing. She put the rocks back, happily apologized and moved on with her day. Not a big deal. Part of me is a bit concerned about her complete lack of concern with the whole thing, but it may not be a bad thing.

Devil, however, was completely unhinged. She lost it at home when we were explaining that yes, taking things that are just lying around is still stealing, and continued in (more or less) hysterics throughout their time in the store. She was so upset she couldn't apologize, or even form coherent sentences. So they came home, and once Dev calmed down we, at the risk of setting her off once again, said that she still had to go back and apologize, but that she could choose when to do it. But until she'd made things right, she was going to lose some privileges (i.e. the daily 30 min of boob tube time).

Last night, I mentioned to her that we were going to go back to the store today, and this afternoon, with only a few obvious jitters, she went in, stood calmly while I explained the whole fiasco to the very understanding and cooperative till attendant, and apologized.

I'm proud of both of them for different reasons. I'm proud of Boo for being able to go back and do what needed to be done without a huge fuss. And I'm proud of Devil for being able to move past being so overwhelmingly embarassed that she'd done something wrong to apologize. And I hope that 1) they'll think twice next time before grabbing the next shiny something that catches their eye, and 2) that Devil will start to speak up for herself a bit more - just because o-so-confident Little Sister says something is ok doesn't mean that she's right. And that it's ok to go against what other people want - it won't make you a bad person, and in this scenario, it makes you 100% right.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What a month it's been

I knew I hadn't posted in quite a while, but I had no idea exactly how long it had been until just now. This is the problem with having a) lots of visitors and b) the girls off from school for a week and a half for the half-term holiday.

Over the course of October, we were visited by a friend from Houston (for the weekend), Mermaid and Koala (two weeks covering the school holiday), my cousin who lives in New York (five days), and IM's cousin who lives in Tokyo (for dinner). It's been a bit nutty, to say the least.

More recently, we've had the stellar week-long chaos that is Halloween/Guy Fawkes Day. Halloween weekend started with a trip to get some pumpkins,


and ended with Ariel and Snow White heading off into the surprisingly warm evening to collect glucose products from the surrounding, unsuspecting neighbors. Halloween hasn't been such a big holiday in the UK, but it seems to be growing, with more and more trick or treating going on. I stayed home with my gimpy ankle and handed out sugar to children, two of whom distinguished themselves by seranading me with We Wish You a Merry Christmas, ending with the line "now give us some candy."

Trick or treating

Jack O Lanterns

The rest of the week has been spent in trying to limit abuse of my children's Islets of Langerhans and keep them in bed when the fireworks were going off after bedtime. In addition to Guy Fawkes Day on Friday, Diwali was this week, so it seems like there have been random firecrackers/fireworks going off every single night.

We headed to Battersea Park for the council fireworks last night. As last year, they were brilliant. And we made it home 1.5 hrs later with two sacked out children and several compressed vertebrae. Today is sunny and cold, and the leaves have covered the back garden. It's stew weather, wool sweater weather, pumpkin muffin weather, oh-my-gosh-its-getting-dark-early weather. Winter is coming.