This past week was the last regular week that I'll spend with 'my girls'.
The older one is six (we'll call her B, for big sister), and the younger one (L, for little sister) turned three on Thursday. I've spent approximately 5,000 hours with this family. It's mind-boggling if I think about it too much, so I'm just letting myself be happy about the big picture of where I am right now, and brainstorming fun ways to spend the precious two-hour mini-chunks of time I'll be spending with them in the near future.
Wednesday was the last full day that I spent with them, and it was a really good day.
In the morning, B was telling me about this kind of green worm that gets into all of the green foods you eat, and then you eat it without knowing. She was getting more and more animated as she talked about how creepy these worms are and how she didn't want to eat them. Then she went to find the book she'd seen them in, and when we finally found the picture, she was in full drama queen mode.
And I can't blame her: it was a bright green, highly-magnified tapeworm. It looked like a creature from a sci-fi movie, and anything but edible. So we talked about tapeworms for a long time. She asks pretty amazing questions and I tend to be determined to give her the answers she's looking for. We discussed all kinds of things, but I didn't have all the answers. These days, you can find pretty much anything online, but it's too easy to skip all opportunity for human interaction, so I suggested that we call a reference librarian. L is much more social than her sister, and liked the idea, so I dialed and told the librarian that I was handing her over to a three-year-old.
Imagine how much it would make your day if a little bitty voice called and said, "Um, do tapeworms wive in Indiana?"
They talked for a couple of minutes, and when I took the phone back, the librarian relayed the conversation. Tapeworms do live in Indiana, but you don't have to worry about it if you don't eat uncooked meat. She asked if L her mom cooks hamburger before L eats it. Her answer? "No." This cracked us up, and I said, "Well, that's probably because we don't eat hamburgers!" In any case, the girls were very happy to know that they weren't in danger of tapeworm infestation.
With that out of the way, we moved on to Valentine production. We were all sitting at the table with paper and markers and scissors and glue and things were relatively calm. When I heard the dryer buzz, I excused myself and went to rotate the laundry. And when I returned, I saw this:
The girls had scooted their chairs together and B had- with the ONE permanent marker out of the whole bunch- filled in L's lips, eye lids, finger nails, and toe nails, and was starting in on her own manicure and pedicure. She'd also drawn on a bracelet and necklace, but those were luckily done with washable markers.
Sometimes it's nearly impossible to keep a straight face when you most need to. This was one of those times. I just stood there in shock for a minute. Then I had to take pictures, of course. (I wish I could show you the whole deal, but these aren't my children and I don't think their mom would be thrilled if I posted her kids' faces all over the internets. But if you know me in real life and would like to see the photos, let me know. They're hysterical.)
I have to say that I'm pretty impressed that I kept as much of my cool as I did. Once they were both in the tub, I reminded them that there are actual face paints that would be much better for this type of thing... (It mostly came off, but not easily!)
What a way to mark the end of an era! I'll love them forever.