And because I seem completely unable to hold onto a train of thought for longer than 30 seconds, this is going to be a bit of a random ramble.
- We are on our 4th au pair in 4 months. I swear I'm not that bad a host mom. Really.
- In April we said farewell to our beloved Belgian au pair, who was with us 18 months and left as she was meant to. Then came the manny, who, well, just did not work out and left us at the end of that month. In June, we welcomed our beloved, formerly purple-haired German, whom we loved and who loved us. But a family emergency called her home, oh, about two weeks ago (oddly, that would be the last time I blogged). So, on Sunday, we welcomed a young German whose hair has never been purple. She is sweet and sincere, albeit utterly fried today. I think we are wearing her out.
- Yesterday, my redhead hugged her. I can't remember the last time he hugged an au pair who hadn't already been here for at least 3 months. He is not a kid who touches. He hasn't let me kiss him since he was 2, and I'm his mother, for crying out loud.
- He did kiss me today, though. On the arm. He never does that.
- He did not, however, let me kiss him. I asked.
- When our formerly purple-haired German had to fly home, I called my former mother-in-law in the wee hours of the morning and left a message that said, very quietly, "help." She was in her car even before I woke up the next morning. She stayed for 3 days, bonded with the grandkids, spoiled them rotten, and gave me a big giant helping hand. She rocks.
- Then we went to the beach for a whole week with an awesome mom friend and her son, one of Peabo's best buds. The kids watched lots of TV, played lots of video games, discovered the joys of hand-dipped donuts and spent hours in the ocean. It was awesome. And that's despite the constant bickering my kids subjected us to. They gave Peabo's only-child friend a lesson in sibling rivalry I am certain he will never, ever forget. I'm so very proud.
- There was no internet at the beach. Which means I got lots of sleep. And I finished Middlemarch. I'm not sure how I got through as many courses on 19th Century novels as I did without once reading George Eliot. She rocks too, you know.
- I also read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. With the kids. We haven't finished it yet: it goes kinda slowly when you're reading a few pages at bedtime every night. Reading it used to be a chore because the redhead hated it. Now he loves it. I think that's because he has a scar on his forehead (seriously, he does), and his birthday is the day after Harry's.
- Because I know you're an enormous Harry Potter fan - isn't everyone? - I'm sure you've realized my redhead's birthday was, in fact, yesterday. And that means means that my redhead, who was 5 before yesterday, is suddenly and most unexpectedly 6.
- I gave him a book that uses the word "jackass" twice. It's okay, though, because it's describing an actual jackass and the book is damned funny. We read it over dinner last night, and all three of my kids cracked up, out loud even, and the redhead's read it twice more on his own. It's Lane Smith's It's a Book. Check it out. Though if you've got any issues with introducing your younger kids to that kind of mildly cussworthy snark, you may want to hold off. My guy invented snark (we call it self-defense when you're the youngest of 3). So I'm good with it.
PS For those who don't know, Now We Are Six is a brain-stickingly brilliant book of children's poems by A. A. Milne.