Friday, February 15, 2013

The Secret Garden - Spoiler Alert: It's a story about an ugly, cross girl whose parents die of cholera and who is deserted by the servants soon thereafter. (And that summarizes chapters 1-3)

I just started reading this book with Katie and Jacob tonight. (Well, more with Katie because Jake was out like a light by the 8th page.)

She really liked it, even though we stopped at the end of each section to talk about things that happened. Like, say, CHOLERA ("Where is the cholera, Mom? Is it NOW??"), a little girl being left alone when her parents DIE from the cholera ("What do they do with the people who die, Mommy?"), a little girl being totally FORGOTTEN when all of the servants (who don't really like her anyway) DESERT the house, and the same little girl being described as "cross" and "ugly" for the entire first three chapters... I didn't really remember any of this from when I read the book.

Come to think of it, maybe I saw the movie. Where they summarized lots (and LOTS) of the first chapters. I think that's why all of the story setup is vaguely familiar but still surprising.

But, Katie seems to like it. She was "imagining the story" when she closed her eyes and didn't actually fall asleep, so I guess we'll continue on.

(Jacob can join us. This story is great for putting him right to sleep!)

Speaking of Katie, she's been sick all week. She started puking on Sunday and was FINALLY well enough to go to school today.

I knew she was better because, 1) she was no longer vomiting up ONE ounce of water she tried to drink, 2) she was able to keep some actual FOOD down, and 3) she wasn't the polite little girl she had been.*

*Oddly, my kids lose most of their demanding side when they get sick. Not just puking sick, cough and cold sick too. Dealing with the symptoms is gross, and messy, and a lot of hard work to get through, but it's kinda wonderful too. Because it's not everyday that my kids are all, "please" and "thank you" and "may I" and no one is fighting or exclaiming about how the other kid did them wrong...

Is it weird that I'm a little nostalgic?

Not that I like the puking or anything, it's just a nice change from the yelling and arguing that I see more often than I would like.  And I'm expected to mediate for the arguments when there is clearly no answer that won't result in one or both kids being furious with me.

(My newest approach to fighting/arguing is to put both of them in time out when they start up. They both know in advance that this is what will happen, and I usually ask, "Oh wonderful children that are the sunshines of my life [I may be paraphrasing a little bit here], are you fighting? Because if what I hear is fighting you will both go to time out..." because I'm a softie and don't *actually* want to punish anyone. Luckily, that stops things from progressing, or at least pulls it back from the hitting phase, where no one is a winner.)

They *do* get along a lot of the time though. And they bond over school (Katie's the teacher), Spongebob, books (Katie's the reader), games on Katie's nook (Katie's the game planner), and Katie mothering her brothers, and that makes me proud.

Just too bad we can't stretch that "a lot of the time" to include the other 80% of their waking hours.