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A Simpler Life

Over the last six months, routines have altered. And what once was an ordeal comes with ease. The children buckle their own seat belts and know that after errands, they're responsible to carry their own belongings inside. They take themselves to the restroom and sometimes wash their hands. They dress themselves in the morning, and Rose even puts on her own diaper at night. They bus their places after meals and put on their shoes for departure. And on laundry days they take their pile of clothes to their room, "fold" them, and put them in their drawers.

The physical strain of this job is decreasing as Rose can climb in and out of her own pack-and-play at nap time, and they both can crawl into their car seats unaided. Lee shuts the alley gate, and Rose empties the silverware drawer. In the evenings they pick up their toys to have dessert and they always seem happy to put on their pajamas at bedtime.

They play in relative peace while I take a shower, and eagerly set the table for breakfast on cereal days. When it's time to vacuum, Lee clears the floor for the roaring monster. And when it's time to scour, Rose finds her own sponges under the kitchen sink. They help bring in the groceries and hang up their jackets on the hooks. Sometimes they thank me for the meal. And they say "please" for about half of their requests.

Their play has become more sophisticated too. Together they build roads and houses in the backyard out of boards and rocks and dirt. They dig in the sandbox and laugh at the sight of each other spinning on the swings. They've learned how to tattle-tell and play hide-and-seek properly, though Rose always hide behind the curtains and laughs loudly while Daddy is seeking.

They surprise me. I hadn't taught complex games to Lee because I thought it would be too advanced for him, and I use smaller words for Rose because I don't think she'll understand the bigger ones. But they surprise me. Lee was fully capable of playing checkers. Losing half-a-dozen men in the process was difficult, but he understood the rules. And Rose spouts out the most complex sentences with multiple syllabic words and even corrects Lee on difficult words.

Lee: "Mommy, do you like Karacha?"
Rose: "Lee, SIRacha."

Lee has enjoyed listening to the first 13 chapters of the The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Rose carries on long conversations with Daddy on the phone during his lunch break. She's the reporter. She tells him all about our day rather accurately. Lee, on the rare moments that he does want to talk to Daddy on the phone, usually asks something like, "Daddy, what would happen in a waterfall fell on our house?" or "Daddy, when you coming home?"

Their physical feats have become more advanced too. I mean, climbing onto the counter to get us a drink of water from the reverse osmosis spigot! I was impressed in a scared sort of way. They both can climb over our backyard chainlink fence, and Lee can climb onto the roof of my car, just in case we ever need him to do that.


Lee has been at La Habra Hills Presbyterian Preschool for a month now, and while I don't think he'd admit it, I think he likes it. He's learned the Carden names of all the letters and points them out around the house.

"Mommy, there's I-love-to-dance-around-and-sing," which is the letter "s" or "There's the fish hook," the letter "f".

The other day he came home with a bandaid on his finger because he and another boy were sword fighting each other using their sand shovels. When I pick him up, he's eager to show me his crafts and worksheets. And Rose likes to talk about when she's four and can go to pre-school too. "Mommy, Rose can go to preschool now. There are little children in the classroom next to mine." Dang! He knows.

Yes, raising these two has become slightly easier and slightly more tricky.

Comments

And so much of what makes your life easier, is the things you have taught them to do. Go Girl!!
It is great to see and be with independent, yet pleasant kiddoes. :)
Unknown said…
You're doing a great job, Abby. :-)

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