Mostly Buffy

The Helpful Ballerina

The girls are officially on Easter holiday now. That's one of the good things about living in England, you can still say "Easter break". Well, whatever it's called, my girls are on it. The last two days of school were really just a bit of fun, but I'm still glad they went. Loads of families left last weekend. Yesterday was an in-school half day, with the afternoon's being dedicated to an all-school Easter egg hunt. Fun! One big girl dressed up as the Easter bunny and helped the little ones find their personal basket of goodies.

On Monday I got to go in and see Buffy's ballet show. I really should say it was Buffy's "ballet" "show", because very little ballet happened and there was no real show, but we did get to watch the nursery girls move around to music. Again, there was movement and music, but they rarely went together. Really good fun.

Best of all, of course, was the helpful little ballerina. Miss Caroline was not well, so her colleague filled in. This lady had never ran this particular class before, but she was very good working with young children. It did mean she had never met Buffy before. She has now. The lady told the girls to stand up tall and hold out their skirts. Buffy, ever helpful and in trousers, said, "Or trousers or dresses."

"Yes. Skirts or trousers or dresses," agreed the teacher. Then the girls skipped (read: ran) around the room.

When the girls came back into the circle, the teacher again told them, "Stand in first position and hold out your skirts."

"Or trousers or dresses," said the Helpful Ballerina.

"Yes. Or trousers or dresses," said the teacher.

Afterwards Buffy's class teacher told me she wondered why the ballet teacher didn't just say it herself. After the second time it was pretty clear that Buffy was going to say "or trousers or dresses" every time. After the third time the parents were giggling along. By the fourth "or trousers or dresses" the whole audience was waiting for it. The fifth, sixth, seventh times just became a farce.

I can tell you that in the ten times the girls were asked to hold out their skirts, the teacher never once mentioned their trousers. Or their dresses. I know, because I counted. I counted each and every helpful, ever patient, never rude little "or trousers or dresses" that came from my unforgettable little ballerina.

That teacher may not have known Buffy at the start of class, but she, like everyone else in that school, certainly does now.

Just Two Normal Days

Just two days worth of Buffy funnies. I'm sure we're forgetting some.

Yesterday, I asked her to look up so I could fix the part in her hair. She moaned, "This is hurting my breasts!"

This afternoon at school pick-up an older, chubby girl said hello. Buffy patted the girl's tummy lovingly and said, "I know you've got a baby in your tummy!"

Yes, I wanted the earth to swallow me whole. I am still hoping the girl was young enough (10ish) to not be offended.

Then tonight - and Andrew and I are divided on the hilarity factor of this - Buffy fell down the stairs. The long ones. All of them. Seriously, what is it with our girls and falling down stairs?? Everyone I know thinks I'm a total nervous nelly around staircases, but I have good reason. My girls have yet to meet one they have not tumbled at least part way down. Rubbish stair steppers, they are.

Buffy was very brave and tearfully explained what happened, "I was going up the stairs to put this (t-shirt) in the laundry and I was walking up the stairs and then IT JUST HAPPENED!" Cue wailing and many more tears. Poor baby. She has a great big egg on her forehead and feels very sorry for herself. She tried to convince us that she needed to be fed her dinner on account of her injuries, but we weren't as convinced. We were right and she did manage a taco.

Now she's much better, totally recovered, and resting well (I hope). I only have to wrestle with my conscience whether we should wake her every hour in case of concussion. Why do there have to be so many stairs in England?

See Woo-Hoo!

Today both Buffy and I has school trips. I went to a mosque, which was illuminating. Buffy went to a Chinese grocery store she calls See Woo-hoo. The sign says simply, "See Woo", but clearly they're missing a trick. See Woo-hoo is much more joyful.

It sounds like Buffy had a good trip, but I am not sure that her teacher did. I asked if she had a good time and she rambled on a bit about a lobster and a fish. By dinnertime the story had progressed to her falling in the tank and grappling with the fish who ultimately won the battle and ate Buffy. More interesting to her parents was Buffy's story that her original grown-up team leader kept telling her, "I keep losing you!" Um, what? This does not calm my nervous mother heart. Losing my daughter?

Naturally, I blamed Buffy. "Did you run off?!"

Calmly, and a bit smugly, Buffy reassured us, "No, I didn't run off."


"I walked."

Buffy's Daily Affirmations

Buffy, our little ray of sunshine, keeps coming up with the most joyful, life-affirming affirmations I've ever heard. I thought I might start sharing them here. This one came last night in an impromptu lullaby she was singing to an imaginary baby Andrew:

You are the love and joy for yourself.

So Much Good

Today was our first day of half-term. Lovely day. The girls and I spent the better part of the morning making lunch. We rolled out puff pastry dough then set up an assembly line to paint on milk, add sauce, onions, sweet corn, mozzarella and grilled peppers. Then we baked, cooled, and enjoyed. Lovely.

After lunch Katie had just enough time to dash upstairs, wash her face and mouth, and change into her matching best friends outfit for a playdate. She and her three best friends went to a giant soft play area for several hours. While she ran around with her friends, Buffy and I opted for naps.

At least I did. Buffy was quiet for an hour and a half, but based on her performance this evening, I'm not sure she actually slept. I certainly did, and I guess rested Mommie is half the battle won. At least I could handle what she threw at me this evening.

Actually, it wasn't all that bad, just a nightmarish ten minutes.

We were eating dinner. A rather impromptu affair built around Buffy's desire to have cheesy scones and my desire to do nothing at all. Then a call from Katie's chaperon that she tearfully refused to go to McDonald's, so she was coming home hungry. So I upped dinner to include cookies and milk for dessert. If Katie wasn't going to have junk food out, she could have it in.

Dinner was admittedly light, but I figured the dessert would fill the hole. Buffy wasn't keen on waiting, though. While I pulled the cookies from the oven, Andrew tried to engage our tired and still a little hungry girls in some familial conversation. Something along the lines of, "How was your day?" Buffy was not interested in discussing anything other than the new shoes she was just given. She wouldn't take them off... of the table. Andrew reminded her this was not the sort of thing one does. The same reminder we give her a few hundred times a week.

Really not wanting to take her shoes out of public view (admittedly very pretty shoes), Buffy kicked them up in the air. Andrew calmly got her to stop and I put the cookies onto plates. Still too hot to eat. Katie asked Andrew a question, and he tried to answer, but Buffy interrupted. He shot her a warning look, but she persisted. This resulted in a time out. Harsh? Not hardly, since we've been trying to get her to stop talking over us all the time. More than a couple hundred warnings a week.

The second Andrew turned his back Buffy started shouting at the top of her lungs, "SHUT UP, DADDY! SHUT UP!!" Andrew wanted to go straight back to her, but I convinced him to ignore it for the moment. By now the cookies were just about ready to eat, so I served them with a big smile to Katie. I plated up Buffy's cookies and served some more to Andrew.

Buffy had calmed down, so I looked back to see how she was doing. Well, not well. She was eating something off the floor. I made her spit it out and it was a tiny plastic bead. Not happy. Bead went straight to the trash. I told her she'd lost one of her two cookies. I looked back and she was eating something else off the floor!! I got it out of her mouth and this was a pencil shaving. Disgusting! I told her she'd now lost both cookies, but she could still have the milk.

She came out of time out and sobbed her way into the kitchen. She worked herself up into a lip-quivering, gasping, shuddering and hiccoughing fervour. Then she started shouting imploringly at us, "I'LL BE GOOD! I'LL BE GOOD DADDY! I'LL BE SO MUCH GOOD! I'LL BE SO MUCH GOOD!"

Bless her. She got over it a minute later and really enjoyed her milk. She fell asleep very quickly. I really wonder if she did have a nap today. Looking forward to tomorrow's version of So Much Good.

The Downside of a Great Imagination

Tonight Buffy's bedtime stories were "Counting Nursery Rhymes" and "Peter Rabbit". The nursery rhymes were all recognisable songs, so we sang a few of them. Very cute. Then we settled down to read "Peter Rabbit". We were only a few pages in before Buffy picked up on the currant buns old Mrs. Rabbit had bought at the baker's shop and was off on another song. As it was still early, and she was being adorable, I indulged yet another song. We sang "Five Currant Buns in a Baker's Shop" and everyone had to put a pretend penny in Buffy's hand and then take, and enjoy the currant bun.

When the song ended Buffy counted her pretend pennies and then magicked them into chocolate coins. A slightly wicked spirit overtook her giraffe* and he gobbled them all up. I admit to playing a part in this as he was attached to my hand at the time. Buffy burst into floods of tears. Heavy tears fell down her cheeks onto Peter Rabbit. She was devastated.

What else could I do?

I laughed.

Katie had a better idea and said, "I've got TEN chocolate coins for you, Buffy!" Tears stopped automatically and the sun spread across Buffy's face again. She picked up five of the chocolate coins, carefully unwrapped them and slowly savoured them. She was so convincing I wiped her mouth when she was done.

*giraffe's name is Baby Jesus. This leads to no end of hilarity. "I didn't want Baby Jesus to eat all of my chocolate coins!"

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