The children lately have been . . . wonderful. Seriously. There has been the usual squabbling,* but overall they have been sweet and helpful and fun.
*We were walking downtown last weekend to a big outdoor art festival and E and L were laughing and running together. A turned to me and said, "It's hard to believe that just this morning they came to blows because 'SHE LOOKED ME IN THE EYE AND THREW A PUPPET!'"
L has been asking regularly, "Is there anything I can do to help you, Mom?" It's gotten so it's actually kind of annoying how much she wants to help. I KNOW. But after she finishes her homework, she distributes vitamins, sets the table, pours drinks, feeds the animals, sorts and folds laundry, etc. For a while, E got sad because her sister was doing all this "fun" stuff, so now SHE is always asking if I need any help.
The other night, A told L, "If you take a quick shower, you'll be able to help Mama put away laundry." Then he came into their room and told me, "I don't think we'll ever see her take a faster shower."
We were walking in from the car yesterday and E set herself and C up for a race to the front door. They lined up at the end of our driveway and then she ran slowly, keeping pace with her little sister, encouraging her, "You're FAST!" C's grin was huge. SWEETNESS OMG I HAVE A CAVITY.
At our appointment this week, our vet expressed disappointment that all my kids were in school because she and her staff find them so pleasant and well-behaved. Then she started telling me about kids she finds choking their pet kitten or banging on the metal exam table, so maybe her standards are low, but I will take the compliment!
We did the Ivory soap experiment (link on that twitpic). I hope it rains soon and washes the soap off our front steps. Next time I'll make them play with it in the grass. It was super cool to watch the soap expand in the microwave. Even playing with the flaking soap outside necessitated showers, though, because they pretended it was snow and put it in their hair.
We made snail food out of vegetable baby food, fish flakes, gelatin, and a crushed up calcium supplement. I dropped two cubes in our Snails Only tank. It was well-received.
We finished Watership Down. I forgot to tell you that three-quarters of the way through the book, C, who is in the room, but only half listens, suddenly asked, "Are all these people RABBITS?" I was snuggling with L during a few of the most exciting chapters at the end and she is the BEST person to snuggle during exciting news. She reacts dramatically - clutching me in fear or excitement, gasping in open-mouthed astonishment . . . it's great. She feels EVERYTHING. A says I am the same way during movies.
A said that C snuggled into him the other night as he was reading, sighed sweetly, and stated, "Comfy is best." So maybe SHE is the best to snuggle with. It's a tough call.
Jody asked me how I got my kids into Watership Down. Honestly, I didn't. I thought it was too far above their comprehension level. It was a little bit - we had to define a lot of words - but A pushed for it. Then he did such a great job with the voices. I like it much better than when I read it as a teenager. Bigwig had an East Coast accent, the hutch rabbits were French, the Efrafran rabbits were Russian, etc. General Woundwort sounded like Boris Badenov from Rocky and Bullwinkle.
We are moving on to the first of the Penderwick books tonight. I'm so excited!
E and L are reading these Dear America books at school and love them. They've been telling me about Pearl Harbor and the Titanic and the Gold Rush. We spent some time on our library website and ordered six more for them to read at home.