Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend in review – Saturday – laughter and Greco-Roman wrestling

L has been laughing for a while now, but short laughs, one- or two- or three note laughs. On Saturday morning she laughed for the entire walk from upstairs to downstairs. M had gone to shul early because he was davening Musaf, so I was trying to get the two girls (and me) dressed for synagogue by myself. E was very into L that morning, wanting her to do everything that she, E, was doing herself. So I changed L's diaper while I changed E's diaper. They both lay on the floor, one diaper off, second diaper off, first crotch wiped, second crotch wiped, new diaper on, new diaper on, everybody up for clothes over tushies. Then they got dressed together, L wearing a new dress from Grandma, E wearing a new dress from Grams. Then E tried to insist that L needed shoes, too, just like she had. (L doesn't need shoes – she can't even crawl. Pointing this out, however, did not further my argument in E's eyes.) And then, E wanted to walk downstairs together. "I hold her hand, Mama. And I hold the railing and I hold her hand and you hold L and you hold her hand and I hold her other hand and I hold the railing." And a mother more sane than I, or more patient as pertains to setting and enforcing limits might not have found herself walking backwards down a flight of stairs cradling an infant whose hand was being held by a toddler who was barely remembering to hold on to anything to keep her own body from tumbling. But these lookalike sisters giggled in unison for all fourteen steps, and hearing that it was worth it.

For this next vignette from our weekend, you might need this: va-.
After shul's brief reunion we again split the family up, and Mark took L home and I took E (still in our shul clothes) to her friend Lulú's birthday party in her home. While the girls are in a secular school, that's where we've decided to draw the line – parties in a house on a Saturday, okay. Parties or events in a commercial venue on a Saturday – over our line. So far, it works well for us. E had a great time and Lulú had a great time and all the kids loved seeing each other out of their normal environments. Lulú's grandmother has the same name as E, and has always heard stories about Lulú's friend, so she was very pleased to meet E in person at the beginning of the afternoon. An austere woman well into her 80s, she and Lulú's grandfather sat in straight-backed chairs in the living room and with twinkling eyes observed the merriment and chaos of the whole party from their spots against the wall. At one point, E and Tariq were so excited about playing with each other that they kept embracing each other and falling to the floor mid-embrace. And they were rolling over and over, not letting go, and giggling and shrieking with delight. Also that afternoon, E got into an excited round of Tickle Monster with her beloved friend SMA. The two of them were rolling over each other at the edge of the living room when E popped up suddenly and yelled about SMA accidentally kicking her. The whole room, including Lulú's grandmother, heard her exclamation and turned to look at her. "My 'gina hurts! My 'gina hurts!" Luckily I lost my ability to blush months ago. And E and her 'gina are just fine. Just as the whole room got silent, she was the first to reinstitute the volume, by squealing as she belly-flopped on SMA's back.
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