our girls

Lovely Like a Banshee

Our mornings are getting into a routine. We've always had a routine, but this is a new routine. Sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 (usually closer to 6:00), Buffy decides to wake up. Some days she is in our bed and some days, like today, she is in her own bed next to Katie's. (Hey, I didn't say it was a great routine.) This morning they roused themselves just before half six and started giggling and messing around. Katie is a real superstar and takes her morning duties seriously. She shushes Buffy (loudly) and tries to keep them both on track. With Katie at the helm, they go down to the toilet and then back up to get dressed. Katie dons her uniform while Buffy puts on something ridiculous like a Cinderella ball gown and wellies. More often then not they will then grab books and start to read. (Katie reads, Buffy "reads".)

Peace reigns for at least five minutes, at most ten. Then we start to hear the bickering. Gentle at first (Katie) then screaming baby obscenities (Buffy). This was this morning's conversation:

Katie: Buffy, no.

Buffy: NO!

Katie: Buffy, no grabbing.

Buffy: NO KATIE!

Katie: Buffy! Nooooo! You are a very silly girl!

Buffy: No, Katie! I am not a silly girl. I a LOVELY girl!

Comediennes

Katie's joke:
"Knock, knock."

"Who's there?"

"Interupting cow."

"Interupt..."

"MOO!"

Buffy's joke:

"Knock, knock."

"Who's there?"

"mmm... joking cow."

"Joking cow who?"

"mmm... BANANA!"

Before Coffee

This morning while Andrew and I stubbornly refused to open our eyes or turn over lest the other think we were awake, our girls took themselves to the bathroom. Furiously pretending to sleep, we listened to their conversation.

Buffy (screaming): NO KATIE! YOU ARE A VERY NAUGHTY GIRL! (then gently) Okay?

Katie (sternly): No, it's not okay, Buffy. I am just trying to help you learn.

Buffy (happily): Okay!

Andrew and I both laughed and the ruse was up.

Getting Dressed

I thought that Buffy was potty training a bit early, and I wasn't really into it. Now that we've visited the school, however, I realise she's going to need to be 100% potty trained by September. Ack! I've only got a year! The other thing on the school's Must Do list is the girls must be able to dress themselves. The teachers can't be helping every girl on and off with her coat and shoes. This one, while it makes perfect sense, confuses me.

This rule seems to imply there are children out there who aren't either stripping or changing clothes at the first opportunity. Where are the children who let their parents dress them? The thing is, my girls HATE letting me do their clothes. Buffy would rather struggle for half an hour with her tights than let me near them. We can be five minutes late and Katie still won't let me straighten out her buttons. Buffy got some new Converse High-Tops (Chucks!) yesterday and is already trying to lace them on her own. She does it with one hand on each shoe, so she makes zero progress, but we admire her determination.

As well as Buffy does at getting herself dressed, she absolutely excels at undressing. She is an undressing superstar. We may be under pressure to crack potty training by September, but, by God, my girl can strip!

Holiday Round-Up

So, we had the big holiday to America. It was awesome. It was hot, which apparently it wasn't in England, so that's an added bonus. Not only did we get a summer holiday, but we got a proper summer.

The pictures mostly tell the tale, so I'll just let them do that. We got to see almost all the friends and family we wanted, which is remarkable. There really is never enough time to see absolutely everyone, but every now and then someone throws in a family reunion which makes things so much easier. Even better, there are those rare occasions where someone has a wedding at the family reunion and your dearest brother just happens to be visiting his mom at the same time as the family reunion neither of you were actually invited to. And he comes. And so does his awesome Mama. And his new wife. Lots of birdies covered with that pebble!

The highlights include Katie's getting to be a flower girl (to someone she'd never met), getting to spend lots of time with my wonderful sister, Shannon, and getting a whole week in the great city of Chicago. There is no way I'm going to get to boil down a month of travel and excitement into one post, so I won't try. Please visit the photos. I am still updating the Chicago ones. My computer is being very cranky with Picasa right now. I need to mediate. Maybe get them both a box of chocolates to share. Maybe I'll just eat the chocolates.

On the whole I am very happy. The world is a smaller, friendlier place, filled with wonderful people who care about me and my family. Life is good.

Now we're back to school and Routine. We love Routine. We missed Routine very much. Katie loves her new teacher and is settling into the tougher regime of being a Year 1 girl. Buffy and I are catching up on a summer's worth of missed lattes and babyccinos. We are spending time with friends and remembering all that we love about England. Tomorrow night a friend will join me in listening to Andrew's choir perform the Paco Pena piece. Wonderful. I might even get to have dinner with my husband beforehand. It just keeps getting better!

"Get Used to London, Katie"

We're back in London if not yet on London time. We did manage to rouse ourselves around 7:00 this morning, which is a vast improvement on 10:00 am yesterday. Well done, us! I think the promise of picking up *new bike* got Katie's morning juices flowing. She was dressed and fed in lightening speed and begging to go get the bike, "Melody", around 7:30. Unfortunately, we had to wait for the shop to open, and Daddy had a rehearsal, so she could only cycle as far as I could hold her and push the buggy simultaneously. I think that was still enough for Katie's cycling talents. She'll improve, but right now she's feeling cool just pushing it around the park.

We are all doing our best to get back to being here. I ran into some friends in the park, which always helps me feel happy and settled. Buffy is sleeping in her own bed for the first time. She is not happy nor settled, but her parents are determined. Whose will is stronger remains to be seen. I'd say we're 1:1 as the stakes go.

I overheard Katie talking to herself as she shoved a fairy wand into an orange sock, "Get used to being back in London, Katie. Get used to London, Katie. Get used to London, Katie." It's sad in a way, but that's how we all feel. School starts next week. That'll do the trick if the fairy wand hasn't sorted us out by then.

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