The good, the bad and the..... you know.
The good: Zoe had her first week of preschool. I now have some time in the mornings to unpack, exercise, walk the dog, and gaze adoringly at my second born without guilt. She wears the most adorable uniform with an emblem on the chest and there is no wrestling over what to wear in the morning. She is very, very excited about the playground there and the "work" that she gets to do.
The bad: She has to wear the same uniform 5 days a week (she changes into regular clothes when she gets home. Which means two changes of clothes, AT LEAST, each day.). She needs an spare uniform at school for emergencies. We only bought her two changes of uniforms because I swear she's growing a foot taller every week and I didn't know what the weather would be like and now I have to do laundry every effing day (or feel the guilt of sending my kid to school in a not-quite-clean uniform).
The good: CG and I were actually able to organize our lives enough to each make a childless trip to the DMV and get our new licenses and registrations before CG had to start his new job. Mine arrived within just a few days.
The bad: On my old California license I am smiling and surrounded by color: "Hey! Welcome to sunny, happy California!". At the Virginia DMV, they insisted on a "neutral face, NO SMILING" and I had barely slept the night before due to homesickness and a strange new bed and hot, humid air and the army of cicadas trilling away at a decibel level that I was sure would deafen me in my sleep. Hence the colorless, humorless MUG SHOT: "I don't know what I crime I committed but I sure didn't enjoy it".
The good: Remember my lemon-lover lament? Well, it turns out our new back yard has apple trees! And we've eaten a few of them! That were quite delicious!
The bad: Sweet Dog loves the apples too. And ate a few. And threw up all over our king sized duvet at 5 am the other morning. OY. MORE LAUNDRY.
The good: I'm standing in front of my new WALK-IN CLOSET. Oh, my, it doesn't get much better than that. I've got two (2!) monitors strapped to me because both (both!) girls were napping at the same time. It doesn't get any better than THAT.
The bad: I have to pass by that full length mirror every time I go to our bathroom. There's a reason why the only full length mirror in our old house was on the door of the guest room closet: I don't like HAVING to pass by full length mirrors several times a day. Also, every. single. time. I bend forward with the monitors strapped to me, one or both of them falls to the floor with a baby-wakening BANG.
The good: The girls are really starting to interact and BOY HOWDY it is so sweet most of the time.
The bad: Every toy that's been given to Eliza winds up in Zoe's possession. Every old baby toy of Zoe's that's been unearthed for the suddenly-interested-in-toys Eliza is clutched to Zoe's chest as her "very favorite toy that's been missing!". My heart breaks for one or the other of them every hour, every day.
U G L Y.
I try to never say the words "fat" or "ugly" around Zoe. I don't have some major parenting philosophy about this, it's just something I started doing when she was really young because I wanted to keep those words, those concepts at bay for as long as possible (That's my philosophy! All negative things about the world will be kept at bay as long as possible! How do you think that will work out?). Books are always rhyming "fat" with "hat" and I'm always and forever messing it up with "large" and "hat-like barge". The jig will be up soon enough, I know, but I'm holding this line, this time before the concepts of "fat" and "ugly" are powerful realities for her.
I particularly dislike how "ugly" people in the stories are always "mean" and vice versa. I want Zoe to learn that just because some people have features that don't add up in our visual processing to equal "beauty" does not mean they are MEAN. How do you explain that to a three year old?
Lately, Zoe's been asking me if her hair is "pwetty", if her outfit is "pwetty", and I always start to respond with a stammer. OF COURSE, she's pretty and beautiful and I want so desperately to tell her so but I usually ask her what she thinks because I don't want to be the great arbiter of her tastes or the supplier of her feelings.
I so don't want to teach her that being pretty is the best, most important thing to be.
But then I think of women I've known whose mothers never told them they were beautiful and how hurtful that was to them. I blurt out: "I love you. You're so beautiful to me!" and Zoe looks at me like I'm a bit of a crazy person.
Both are true. I am a bit of a crazy person. And these girls are SO beautiful to me.