Been gone too long.
Been gone too long.
We had a really nice Christmas. Traveled to my parents' place and to the ILs. Christmas was spent with the celebrating Irish, the two days afterward with the reluctantly celebrating ILs. It went as well as could be expected, there were no sit-downs where all of my faults were enumerated and grievances aired. Phew! Oddly enough, L was extremely clingy while we were there. He's inordinately empathic, so he could have sensed my feelings of alienation while there. More likely, it was a new place, large and sparsely furnished, so he may have felt a bit insecure. H noted that the house was "spooky" and he thought he saw a ghost. My ILs have mentioned the presence of ghosts, so he may have had something there.
I've had some weird ailments these past two weeks. That's not too unusual for me, since my auto-immune excitement years ago. My body likes to "go rogue." I am definitely getting more objective about it, though it's no less annoying. Last Monday I took a yoga class with a different teacher. It was tiring, a real workout, but I felt fine afterwards. I actually felt great as the day wore on. Then the next morning I awoke with a twinge in my right shoulder, which has happened before. It's a leftover from previously mentioned auto-immunity. It worsened as the day went by, and by evening, I was in intense pain if I tried to move my arm. Which I do quite a lot. So there was that. Resting and a yoga class with my regular teacher this Saturday have almost completely put that pain to rest. But pain must relocate and travel with an auto-immune disorder, so now my neck and ear are p-ing me off, and I'm losing my voice. That happened sometime between last night in bed and this morning when I awoke. I sound a little like Jessica Rabbit, except I produce more phlegm. Mmmmm, phlegm! Enough comedy jokes! Onto the boys! Habtamu is VIP this week in his class. Each child gets an opportunity to be VIP. The kids can bring in a favorite book, food, activity, music, etc. to share each day with their class. Their family members are also invited to visit and talk about the VIP. The first day he brought in an I SPY book. It's not his favorite (that would be the Bible. I'll do a separate post about that one!), but he rightly thought it would be a fun book to share. Today he brought in a loaf of Ethiopian honey dabo (bread) that he and Lire and I baked yesterday. It's from this wonderful cookbook, which I highly recommend, even if you have no ties to Africa. He also brought in Sorene, the Ethiopian children's folk CD we have. He didn't tell me whether or not they listened to it today, and I kept meaning to ask but then he lied to me about the gum he illicitly chewed before dinner, so I got distracted. Any-who, tomorrow I'm going to visit his class with his brother. We are going to do a craft project (his request), and look briefly at his lifebook again. We are going to focus on different houses -- those we saw in Ethiopia, the one we live in here, probably a few others from other areas of the world. Then we will make a simple origami house which the kids can later decorate with collage paper and colored pencils. It's a cute project, and the kids like to decorate it inside and out. Maia, as for the reception of his lifebook last week -- I have almost no info. His teacher was absent that day, and when asked about it, Habtamu replied, "I forget." Did anyone ask any questions? "I forget." Do you remember which pages you looked at? "uhm, no." We're not sure if it's a true loss of memory or a self-defense mechanism. He is definitely more self-conscious about being Ethiopian and adopted than he was last year, so we're watching as he feels his way around. I'm hoping to see how he feels about it tomorrow and even more hopefully that we'll talk about it. It was his idea to bring it, so we'll see. On Thursday he will take the day off to go to NYC with us, and then on Friday Dad will visit school and look at a book about NYC with the kids and talk about our trip. If my cold progresses unfavorably, I may stay home, as I tend to experience extreme illness unless I rest at the beginning of it.
First, I suggest you go over here to read Maia's eloquent post about election day. Next, I'll give you ours courtesy of Lire:
Today Lire spit at his brother's food from across the table as they ate their afternoon snack. Nice.
When asked if he in fact did as Habtamu described (Mommy, Daddy! Lire did something really bad... he spit at my food!), we were greeted with a stony silence. Lire's cheeks were full of apple juice, his juice bottle tipped at an angle with which to imbibe more of the offending spit fuel.
He swallowed and said, "I go downstairs."
Daddy: That's a good idea. Please go to your room
Lire doesn't budge. I ask him if he'd like me to help him go downstairs. He nods. I go to hold his hand. Rejection. I pick up the little man and carefully carry his 40 lbs down the stairs and place him gently on his bed.
Lire: I no talk anymore (muttered)
Me: Ok (cheerfully)
Lire: HEY! (surprised and offended)
I went upstairs to help remove a tick from our beleaguered pup as Habtamu watched in disgusted excitement. I carried the tick down the stairs to flush it and heard "Mommy?"
Me: Yes Lire?
Lire: Mommy hup? (help)
I opened the door and saw our little man attempting to put on his pjs "awl by self," because it's "easier."
While this was going on H had gone to watch "Word World." Lire went upstairs expecting to find Habtam, but nobody was there but the birds out the deck window.
Lire: I say sorry Habtam! Where Habtam?
When I told little man where H was, and that he would have to wait a while to be able to watch tv with him, he became the Weeping Birdwatcher.
There's been a lot of activity at our feeder since the cool weather returned, and we saw a rose breasted grosbeak for the first time. There are two males hanging around our deck, and the Weeping Birdwatcher was glued to the window, albeit weeping.
Epilogue: The Weeping Birdwatcher eventually went to join his brother for tv time, an "I sorry Habtam" (H grunted in reply), and an amazing comeback as the Grinning Pesky Younger Brother Who Likes to Talk While Watching TV.
I have been remiss in many things, one of which is getting an Etsy shop up. Instead of finishing my quilts, I've been obsessed with this book.
It's way too much fun. I would be booted off Proj@ct Runw@y faster than you can say Km@art, but I'm having a very good time. I've refashioned a baggy turtleneck sweater, an ankle-length skirt, and a hoodie. The hoodie makeover is very lame, but the sweater looks great, and the skirt has potential. I'll post pics as soon as I finish putting on buttons and finishing edges.
For now I will leave you with the latest Hide n' Seek costumes:
Tiger, tiger, burning bright -- so bright he had to wear shades
Sporty Superman -- eschewing his good-guy image he spent all afternoon attempting to rip the mask off of Tiger's face
Superman was terrified of Tiger. I think that's why he wanted the mask. He finally realized why Batman and Spiderman wore masks -- courage.
Also, I have a question. Why do boys throw things? Just curious.
At dinner last night Alex was talking to the boys about our impending visit to NYC. He mentioned that we might visit Chinatown. Habtamu stared at him for a long time. "China?" he asked. Daddy clarified that it was "Chinatown", not the country of China, and that there would be lots of interesting and strange toys to choose from while there. I mentioned that I didn't want any more small plastic things in the house (I mentioned my issues with JUNK in my last post). Habtamu stared at Daddy some more.
H: "Where I buy person?"
Daddy: Um, did you say "buy a person?"
Me: Do you mean a person to get married to?
Me: Do you think that people buy the people they want to marry?
Yeah, I know. Where did THIS come from? My brother got engaged before Christmas, and over the Easter holiday asked Habtam and Lire to be ring bearers in his wedding. I'm guessing that this has taken on grand proportions in his imagination, as he is very excited to be able to wear "fancy clothes" on that day. But why he thinks my brother bought his bride-to-be, I know not.
I told him how Daddy and I loved one another very much and that Daddy asked if I wanted to marry him. I told him how I said "Of course!" and how we both wore rings to show that we were married and had a wedding to celebrate it. I told him that his uncle and soon-to-be auntie had done the same.
Then I asked him that if he could marry anyone in his class at school, who would it be? I won't divulge it here, but he made a very good choice. I told him that I would marry her, too, if I weren't already married to Daddy.
H: When I marry?
Me: You have to wait until you're a grown-up, at least 18 years old.
H: (Looks troubled by this bit of info) I marry C_____?
Me: If she wants to marry you too, sure.
Never one to be left out of such an important discussion, Lire asked to be asked whom he would marry. So we did. Lire wants to marry both of his teachers. I told him they were already married, but he didn't care.
Habtamu wondered if one could marry more than one person, so we told him that he couldn't (at least not in this country). One at a time.
I think one of the reasons he likes her is because she likes to race him. Upon entering school the other day they both ran at full tilt to see who would arrive at class first. However, later in the day she betrayed him by giving the blue jewel (plastic), he had found and given to her, to another boy. The boy in question apparently gave it to a boy in the other Pre-k class. H was temporarily devastated, but bounced back quickly.
The boys have been perfecting their game of Hide and Seek of late. One of them will hide, often with the help of one of us. The other will pick a room to count in. Depending on who's doing the counting, it can be quite hilarious. Lire does the "10, 13, 21, 13... Mommy help?" while Habtam makes it to 20, and then free-forms it from there. They insist on counting to 30, even though the hiding doesn't take that long.
Yesterday while it was H's time to hide, L decided he was too scared to look for his brother. "I too scared, Mommy." This is because they both growl and scream upon being found, which scares the pee-pee (literally in Lire's case), out of them.
Ever resourceful, Lire dug through the bin filled with various and sundry JUNK gotten from birthday parties and school holiday events (don't get me started on the JUNK. I do not heart it. At all) He pulled out a green glitter Mardi Gras mask. He put it on as if it was what he had been looking for all along, and marched down the stairs, reaching for my hand.
"I scare Habtam. Habtam no scare Lire."
And it worked. Habtam was terrified by the little man in the green glitter mask. Wouldn't you be?