Early, early this morning Boy crawled into my bed saying that he had a leg cramp, asking me to rub it for him, and promptly fell back asleep. Later, when the sun came up, I thought he was waking up and I asked him quietly if he wanted to get up and read. Shhhhh, he said, I’m in the middle of a good dream. He didn’t wake back up until nearly 8am.
Girl has suffered from night terrors since she was a baby. When she was very small, I didn’t understand what was happening. She gets them less and less now, though, and just recently told me for the first time that she’d had a good dream.
This morning, the first thing she said to me when she opened her eyes, wrapping her arms around my neck and looking into mine, was:
I had my second good dream! I went to the grocery store by myself, just with Papa, and I had my own basket, and I got frozen mango and frozen peas and frozen corn. You never know when good dreams will come, they just come when they want to.
When they both got up they first made spiders out of Legos. On their way into the kitchen they started to argue because Girl’s spider had six legs, and Boy said it couldn’t be an arachnid unless it had eight legs, but Girl wanted him to say that it could be an arachnid, even though it had six. I had to rather sternly say that while it was a fact that arachnids have eight legs, this was pretend, and we don’t tell people that what they are pretending is wrong. Furthermore, I added, Boy’s spider had an external brain, a proboscis, and some kind of gun attachment, none of which are features of arachnids. Fine, he conceded sullenly.
Next they wanted to make pancakes. I helped them a little, but mostly they made the batter themselves. Of course, it took a lot longer than I do by myself, and Girl accidentally smashed an egg, but we got it cleaned up no problem. Boy cut the (slightly thawed) frozen strawberries by himself. I just put a load of wash in the machine while he was doing it. I felt like he was more likely to cut himself if I was staring at him, making him nervous.
While they were eating they told a story together with their spiders. Last night we read a folktale called Martina Martinez, in which Martina asks each of a series of suitors (none of which she likes) how he would sing to their babies if she accepted his offer. And she tells each of them, (a cat, a dog, and a rooster), that his song is too scary and would frighten a baby, so no thank you.
I missed how it started, but I heard this exchange between the two spiders:
Girl’s spider: How would you sing to the babies at night?
Boy’s spider (singing softly): Baby go to sleep. Babies close your eyes. Babies rest your head…Close your eyes little babies…
How would you play with the babies? I would give them lots of kisses and piggy back rides.
How would you feed the babies? I would put honey on my feet and let the babies lick it.
How would you carry the babies? I would carry the babies in pouches on my head.
Okay, said Girls’ spider, You can be in our family!
The two of them ate so many pancakes that I only got one half of one out of a two cup recipe. The were eating for a very long time, and we needed to drop some things off for a sick friend, but I still wanted them to go outside with the dog before we went anywhere. Girl hadn’t been outside to play in several days, and was clearing getting a little crazy. So I bundled them up really well, so well, in fact, that they wouldn’t come in even when I wanted them to, and were outside for nearly an hour. And when I called them to get in the car they were pretty dirty–covered in leaf debris and so forth. Who knows what they were up to.
But since we were only driving to our friend’s house and back, not going inside, I thought we could bring the dog for the ride. She doesn’t really go places with us, but she loves the car. And being a smart girl she always knows when we are getting ready to go out. All I had to say was, Do you want to go in the car? And she launched herself down the driveway for the van.
The funny thing was, when we got back to the house, she refused, and I mean really refused, to get out of the van when the rest of us went inside. It might be that she knew, however it is that she knows things, that we were going right back out. (We only had time for a quick snack before heading out to violin, then games day at the library.) So I left her out there for a half hour while we had yogurt and blueberries and went potty and brushed teeth and collected library books to be returned and the violin and a backpack for Girl with her drawing supplies and I took a very, very quick shower and got dressed. But when we went out to the van (and I’d been worried she’d be distressed at being out there by herself) she still refused to get out. I pulled on her leash, she pulled back. Her eyes said: No. What in the world?? I said aloud.
But it was pretty cold today, so I figured she’d be fine, really no different than being in her crate at home. I guessed she could sit in the van while we were in violin lesson? I was worried only that she’d bark at passersby, or get distressed and destroy something, but figured we’d take a chance and see how it went.
Not very surprisingly (after yesterday’s practice) Boy had a very good lesson. Girl was quiet and patient as she always is, and drew these tigers and copied these words:
The dog was just fine in the car when we got back to her, happy to see us, but not visibly distressed. She didn’t seem to have been barking. I took a quick phone call from a friend I never get to talk to while the Garmin loaded an address (“That was a rock-and-roll super fast phone call, Mumma!” said Girl), and then went to pick up one of Boy’s friends at his house to bring all of them to the library for game day.
(It was a little embarrassing having to shove an overenthusiastic Dog into a corner of the van so this poor kid could climb in, but she was reasonably respectful of his personal boundaries once he was strapped in to the back seat. She might have licked his face a little and stared at him a lot in a friendly manner.)
Dog did start to bark at pedestrians as we were driving through a local campus, but after I held her muzzle and said ‘NO’ very firmly, giving the raised eyebrows of extreme disapproval, she totally cut that out. It’s funny that she only barks at people when her people are in the car, not when she’s alone. Maybe she doesn’t feel so confident when she’s alone, or us being there triggers her protectiveness.
Game day was fun, as always, and Miss J our favorite librarian returned a mountain of books for us, and checked out two mountains of holds, and found a great biography of Ben Franklin that I can read to Boy this week. We will be doing a lot of reading aloud this week, and have a lot of great books for next weeks discovery table at Geography Club.
I brought the books out to the car, and by this time the dog had been a passenger for three and a half hours. She looked a little nervous when I checked on her, so I took her for a walk around the little wetland pond on the library grounds. She really liked that, though her tail was tucked with a little apprehension. She’s never been for a walk outside of our neighborhood! After that she was quite happy to be in the van again, and waited patiently until we were done.
We brought out guest home, and his sister, and hurried home so Boy could get another quick snack before ballet.