Sharing a pot of tea with the Urchins
School mornings are always sleepy. Sometimes I dress Ellie Jo while she’s still half-asleep. She sits on the toilet with her head resting on my shoulder. She slowly wakes up over her bowl of oatmeal while I get Rainier dressed and pull stuff together before we head out the door. Sometimes we talk in the car on our way to school (this morning, “Momma! I saw a pumpkin with a green cwown! At dat house BACK DER!!!!”) and sometimes we listen to the radio (“Go to Katy Pewwy, wadio”).
Weekends always yield funny parenting moments. The 3 year old in EJ cannot resist pushing boundaries when there are not one, but TWO parents around. Last Sunday afternoon she swiped a bottle of special hand soap and dashed to the bathroom. When she realized that Robin was following to supervise her, generally copious, usage, she quickly locked the bathroom door. From my vantage point the ensuing scene was hilarious: Robin frantically knocking and calling to her as the sound of water got louder and louder and her little voice patiently saying, “I’m sowwy Daddy! I’m washing my hands! I can’t open the door wight now! Just a minute!” She basically repeated every phrase that we’ve ever used to stall her when she wants something and calmly washed her hands for a good 5 minutes. It was a good lesson in treating others the way you would like to be treated.
After two days of school and two days of weekend, we really need the first three days of the week to have connecting time. This week that’s been accomplished over a teapot of tea at breakfast. I brew some Rwanda tea, we spoon sugar into our mugs, pour the tea and then add milk. Sometimes EJ wants to do “cheers” with our mugs. Sitting at the table together until the pot of tea is finished has been a great way to talk about all things gravely trivial, feed Rainier, plan our week, watch Ellie Jo do “tricks” while standing on her chair and, apparently, learn to pose in a ridiculous fashion. I’ve really enjoyed that time.
And then we spiral around again: school, weekend, days at home. The ebb and flow of the life of my 3 year old. Finding ways to connect, to grow some more and to connect again. While 3 is proving to be much more challenging than 2, I can’t complain because the spirited hand-washing sessions are balanced by the time around the tea pot. It’s all good.