....and they're back.
Just like that, the house goes from woefully quiet to joyfully loud.
They all had a grand time at Camp, and I had a small time at home with my Monkey...it was hard to get used to it being Just We Two. I enjoyed it though; I've had time at home alone with each of my children through the years, but this was different.
Now that we're home schoolers, there is not so much Just We Two.
The Frog, being the first, had just more than two whole years of Just We Twoness.
The Pickle, being the Middle Child of fame and fable, had small amounts of Just We Twoness here and there--mostly while the Frog was in preschool.
The Reepicheep, being the third of the Big Bunch. had two whole years of Just We Twoness while the Frog and the Pickle were in their early years of Building School.
And it was then that the impending arrival of the Monkey made me long greatly for Just We Twoness with each of them....and so I stole them from their classrooms, one at a time, for one day each, just to be with me. To have Just We Twoness once more before the Monkey joined us.
The Monkey had nearly a year of Just We Twoness while the Big Bunch were off at Building School. But then, just before his first birthday, we began life as home schoolers.
And so, barring forays into Just We Twoness during the week that the Big Bunch are at Camp, the Monkey and I really just don't have Just We Twoness very often. It's a rare thing, indeed. Oh, we have naps together, and sometimes we go on errands together, but whole days are a rarity.
When the children go out to play in the yard, there is almost always The Talk about the Boy Who Cried Wolf. "We do not scream," the earnest parent entreats, "unless we are really in danger, or actually hurt--like with blood or broken parts or the like."
The children rarely listen the first time, and countless mothers, upon hearing frantic screams, wring their hands and rush outside, searching the area for the child who cries for her, certain that she will be met with Impending Death or something nearly as tragic. And almost always, the child is screaming for the pure delight of swinging higher than her brother, or because he is being chased by his big sister who holds the hose full of freezing water, or Just Because Screaming is the Thing To Do.
And so the mother, after sternly warning her children once again about the dangers of Screaming for No Apparent Reason, and now weary from her burst of Olympic speed, retreats into the quiet of her abode to continue folding the laundry or putting away the dishes or sweeping the floor or something mundane that mothers do all day, for Pete's sake.
This little scenario repeats itself, until the mother gets tired of false alarms...and just listens through the open window, straining to discern the nature of the current cry emitting, no doubt, from the Chronic Screamer--who is, at last, screaming for an appropriate occasion!
Yes, here I sat, searching building codes for My Darling. (This is, after all, something I can actually do to help him with the addition.) The children were out playing for the last few minutes of the day, and the screaming began. I wasn't even paying very close attention, I admit, as I quite honestly didn't associate this particular scream with any of my progeny.
Well, I was wrong.
It was the Reepicheep, the Chronic Screamer, for whom screaming is often The Thing To Do.
See, we got her this spiffy new bike a couple of weeks ago. At the late age of 8 1/2, she finally has the confidence to really ride--you know, without training wheels. Please don't laugh. So she was zipping along between the stop signs on our very short street, and then somehow...she was no longer zipping along. Mostly she was sitting on the ground with her foot stuck in the spokes of the front wheel.
It was the kind of scream that Mama would really rather not know her child can scream. It was appropriate, by the looks of her foot.
At this moment (which, I might add, is 28 minutes past her bedtime of 8:00--yes, even in the summer!--and a mere 2 minutes until her lights out time of 8:30), the Reepicheep is sitting on the couch, propped by fourteen pillows, her foot and ankle swathed in ice packs, playing "Sleeping Queens" with the Frog. The Pickle is brushing his teeth (because his bedtime approaches--in two minutes), a bit miffed that his younger sister is still not in her bed.
My Darling and I are concerned, though, and would like to keep an eye on the foot in question. She will stay down here until we go up to our bed.
Just a few minutes ago, the Monkey came in and said, "Are you okay, Reep?" Adorable.
And so I go from an entire week of Just We Twoness to an injured Reep, a miffed Pickle, a concerned Monkey, and a doting Frog.
I'm glad to have my babies back home.....