Oasis-Hopping in the Melodrama
This past month has been a deluge of preschooler melodrama. Platypup, maybe from the new autumn schedule with less time at home or by observing other kids’ behavior at school or just because it’s what three and a half year olds do, has been driving Thor and I slowly insane with his increased wining and aggression and rudeness. It may be settling down a bit these past couple days. Or I may just be leveling up to the new normal.
And yet, like koi in a murky pond, there are these moments, these irreplaceable delightful little gems that are more than making up for it:
The night of the eclipse, we left our house at bedtime to see if we could spot the return of the moon from beneath the earth’s shadow, which, according to Thor’s mildly malfunctioning but still fairly trustworthy constellation app, had definitely made it over the horizon enough to be visible above single story rooftops. In bare feet and pajamas the kids traipsed along the twilit block, followed not just by Thor and I but also by Pickle, the noisiest of our cats. After perhaps a half hour of fairly pleasant but fruitless loitering, we decided to head back home without seeing anything. We must have been quite a sight with our stereotypical 2.5 kids and operatic cat in tow. Once at home, we discovered the moon had risen enough for its rusty specter to peek over the backyard fence, conveniently and irresistibly visible from the hot tub. Plans for bedtime abandoned, we clambered in for our own private eclipse-viewing pool party.
Lying in bed last week, Thor’s hand curved around my ballooning abdomen, patience is finally rewarded with tiny thwumps while Owlet and Platypup riot on the other half of the bed, apparently pretending to be wrestling kittens. Quintessential third baby moment.
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After a month’s lapse from structured musical activities (for pregnancy-sanity reasons this school year I am taking a break from teaching my little kid music class and elementary-school-aged beginner orchestra class) Owlet and Platypup resumed music play, first with renewed interest in the piano separately from both and then with an epic show for an enthusiastic audience of one (who also doubled as the announcer). After I hawked her upcoming appearance, Owlet would play the first song in her violin Suzuki book, I would applaud, and then I would herald Platypup as “the dragon who is going to jump and roar for us!” Repeat with each Suzuki song in order, punctuated by three roaring dragon jumps each time. Eventually there was improvised, dancing violin to accompany the dragon. After a month off from playing violin at all, and a few months at least since the last time several of the more advanced songs were played, I was astounded by Owlet’s rock-solid memory and tendency to sing the tune to find the fingering in trickier spots as well as Platypup’s ability to take turns with enthusiasm.
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Owlet was arguing with Platypup about pronunciation (I no longer remember the word) and so I listed a few examples of words with multiple pronunciations and then pulled out Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” They both snuggled in next to me, listened attentively to every word, and laughed uproariously at some of the goofier parts.
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Owlet straddles her bike with pregnant me hunched beside her gripping the back of the seat. She shoves off with her feet while I push, tries to find the pedals fast enough to gain momentum as I lumber along, and then I let go and jog beside her while she zooms a few pedal-strides before making friends with a neighbor’s shrub. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
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Platypup this morning, with an entire story completely out of the blue: “Once upon a time there lived a family of carrots. They went into a pirate ship and one said, ‘we are pirates!’ And one said, ‘we are fired!’ And one said, ‘yes, yes, we are fired!’ And then they were dead. And then they looked confused.”