The letter of the week for Molly’s class was T, so for Show and Share on Friday, Molly brought in a tiara from her dress up collection. Molly had let the tiara idea leak the day before. Her friend Joycie showed up on Friday with a tiara too. They had a good giggle over the whole thing.
Molly has been interested in death for a while, especially the exact time that certain people will die. A recurring question from Molly is, “When is (some person) going to die?” She finds the honest answer, “I don’t know,” unsatisfying. So she takes a guess at it herself. Sometimes the person is scheduled to die next Friday, or say, 20 days from now. But her favorite prediction is today at 6:00! (cue the scary music).
Molly did this to her mom a couple of weeks ago. She said, “Mommy is going to die today at 6:00.” She said it in a very calm way, like “It’s going to rain today.” Fortunately, Kit survived that day alive and intact. Molly did it to me this morning. “When are you going to die, Daddy?” I offered up, “I don’t really know, hopefully a long time from now.” Molly said she was pretty sure I would not live past “today at 6:00.” Eventually I talked her into “50 years from now”, and Molly concurred. “Ok, we can do that,” she said.
We have had several conversations about death with Molly, and she still seems to think it is little more than a brief inconvenience and of little concern. We have made it clear to her that when you die, you go away and never come back. Molly does not seem very concerned about this, the central tragedy of life, the unescapable fate of all people. It must be nice to be four years old, in this way at least.
On a slightly related note, about death, we had a laugh in the car the other day driving back from a weekend trip to Houston. Molly, wiped out from the trip, fell asleep in the car on the drive home. Kit asked Claire to keep an eye on Molly and make sure she was “okay”, meaning “still alive”. This fear probably goes back to the fear of SIDS, when a newborn baby quietly dies in her sleep. It is a terrifying fear that parents have for their little babies. But Molly is pretty sturdy now. Claire checked on Molly, asleep in her car seat. Claire laughed and said, not as a challenge but just as an observation, “What’s she going to do, Mom, just fall over dead all of the sudden?” The way Molly talks, maybe that was a possibility. I bet Molly was glad that we did check on her, at least before 6:00 today!
By the way, I am tagging this entry with both the keywords “funny” and “death”. I am pretty sure this is the first and last time for that combination.
With Kit on vacation this week, we were able to make a quick trip to Houston to see my parents, for the first time in about a year (they had been to Austin several times, though). We were able to leave Friday after school and spend two nights at my parents’ house. This gave us all of Saturday in Houston, where we went to Hedwig Park, had Mexican food, and visited Kit’s cousins Cindy and Duane, who were in town at the medical center.
Claire was anxious to go swimming while in town “because it’s a tradition.” It is true that we have had many great swim sessions at my parents’ big, warm community pool, but this time it was February and not warm outside. I was not enthused, which is rare for me and swimming, but we brought along our swim suits and tried swimming at Cindy’s apartment complex. It was maybe 60 degrees outside, and the pool was too cold to be fun. We all dipped our feet and legs in the pool and eventually, much to Claire’s disappointment, called it a day, opting to explore the apartment complex in bare feet and swim suits instead.
We’ll get back to Houston in the summer sometime, so we can swim and splash in the warm water all day!
Molly has been doing pretty well sleeping in the same room as Claire. Molly is letting Claire get to sleep, and after quietly “reading” leftover magazines (Austin Family, Parent & Child) and catalogs (Oriental Trading Company, Pottery Barn Kids) for a while, Molly gets to sleep eventually too.
But a new round of bedtime madness has come up recently. This round involves not just being loud and keeping Claire awake, but some rather rude behavior too. While Claire is trying to get to sleep, Molly has tried everything to keep her awake, including hitting Claire with a magic wand, hitting her with her lovie, stealing Claire’s blankets and stuffed animals, and finally last night, spitting on her. Yes, spitting. Sometimes Claire partakes in some silly talk and giggling, but this aggressive stuff pushes her over, and she comes to get us for help. We think maybe Molly did not initially realize that spitting is not okay, but now she does.
When things get bad, it’s “guest room city” for Molly. That phrase usually makes the girls giggle. So Molly has been moved into the guest room a lot lately to sleep. Molly takes “all 72 of her magazines”, as I call her stack, and settles down pretty quickly when in there alone. And Claire falls asleep within a few minutes.
With Kit on vacation, Molly has been able to sleep in late (7:00 or so) for the last couple mornings. We think this is making her less tired and more aggressive at night. Molly got up early with Claire like usual today, even a little early at 6:05 for Claire’s before-school handwriting club, and hopefully it’s not guest room city tonight.
With Valentines Day here again, one thing I like about the girls is their enthusiasm about things like Valentines Day. They both dressed special for the day. Molly wanted to wear all pink, and I mean all pink. Claire had been saving up a special red shirt with a heart on it for today. She did not wear all pink or red, but she did wear pink shoes. There is absolutely no cynicism or irony here. The girls still just love to dress up in as much of a Valentines theme as possible. This is one of the great things about their age.
We spent last night scrambling to finish the girls’ Valentines cards to give to their schoolmates. Molly decided to do handmade cut-out hearts decorated with stickers and glitter. She skipped the glitter due to some, uh, issues we had with glitter in the recent past. Glitter does not clean up easily. Molly had been working on her Valentines for a few days now. She thought she was done after she did about four of them a few days ago. She was surprised there were more to do. So we set up an assembly line where I cut out hearts and wrote the “to” part, then Molly added stickers and scrawled her name “MOLLY” at odd angles near the “from” part . Claire started slowly a few days ago, putting off the Valentines project, but got busy as the big day approached and finished up last night by herself with no problem. She gave out pre-made Valentines cards with heart-shaped lollipops (my long-running fight with distributing Valentines candy is basically over). She wrote a special note to her top six or seven closest friends.
I made a heart-themed dinner featuring strawberries in new heart-shaped ceramic bowls for the girls and heart-accented pot pies from Whole Foods for Kit and me. The girls came home from school with a load of candy from their friends, and now we must battle through yet another holiday sugar influx. The girls were so full of candy that they didn’t even want the tiny heart-shaped cake we had ready for dessert. We’ll start up on the usual standard of two candies per day tomorrow!
It was also a treat for Molly. To make the night special for her, we asked what she wanted to do. Immediately, Molly said that she wanted to do fuse beads and have chocolate ice cream. We managed both, and then some. We went to Jason’s Deli, still Molly’s favorite restaurant. She had been clambering to go to Jason’s even since our cherished Friday night swim lessons and subsequent dinners at Jason’s Deli, came to and end in January. Molly loves the cheese pizza and the free ice cream. We also did fuse beads, including the part where you actually iron them together, which we often skip.
We also managed some just-Molly time on the Wii. She took her best shot at Wii Sports Resort, uninterrupted by Claire. It turns out the Wii (at least the games we have) is not that easy for a four year old, and eventually she just wanted to watch. Eventually this morphed into watching the Winter Olympics. Molly loved the ice dancing.
Molly briefly lobbied to sleep in me and Kit’s room, like she did when Claire hosted a sleepover, but she did not push it. It was already a pretty great night.