Rainy afternoon. It's been coming all day, wind whipping around the courtyard at school, steely skies where it's normally like being on the face of the sun. I've been looking forward to it, and how wonderful to be snug at home when it started, listening to Jarrah speak softly to her pile of naked Barbies (did they ever have clothes?)
Just had an indoor playdate with my friend Amy, whom I haven't seen in years, and her twin daughters Maya and Zoey. That triangle worked surprisingly well, with only one incident when Jarrah barricaded herself in her room claiming "You don't understand that I'm getting older, and becoming a more sensitive person!" Okay, Dr. Phil--easy now. Being sensitive apparently means that when one designs "rotations" for one's companions, and commands said companions to rotate, one doesn't want to hear that they're "boring."
We also had our first-of-the-year Daisies meet-up today, where I got incredibly cranky when I realized that we never did introductions, even though four out of 10 girls are new, with matching new parents. Sure, we're supposed to hang out every other week for the next six years, but no biggie to have us awkwardly smiling at people whose names we don't know. It wasn't until the drive home that I realized what was really bothering me is that the core group of leaders and leader-friends doesn't include me. Of course they all know each other, even the newbies. I don't like feeling excluded. In fact, I'd say it's my biggest emotional challenge in life. Jarrah, of course, didn't notice anything amiss.
Today was my second day as "Art Helper" in Jarrah's classroom, and it was a lot more anxiety-making. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say I was sweating it. I was pretty relieved when a second mom showed up because the task seemed Herculean: paint apple trees using only the kids' body parts. (Well, and paint.) It's not so much that this would have been HARD in and of itself as that I didn't want to send them back to their seats covered head to toe in glop. Considering I was the reason they were covered (they raised their little arm while I slapped tempera from elbow to fingertips [trunk, branches] I felt honor-bound to scrub their limbs after that stage so they could be smear-free for the NEXT, in which they dipped their thumbs (green, leaves) and pinkies (magenta, apples, yes, I know apples aren't really magenta) and then the washing started all over again. And we had just over an hour to get through 25 of these. Eeeeek! We sort of just barely finished when the bell rang, and that's only by rudely rushing the more thoughtful artists through their paces: "Yes, yes, Sara, lovely, lovely, I think that's plenty of apples, go-wash-your-hands-okay?" Still, I am happy to have this job, and would love to hear ideas from my artistic, crafty, kid-understanding readers about projects for future.
Still raining. Long frond waving in a dancerly way in my peripheral vision. Dinner ready, but no David to eat it because of the sad state of the roads. Jarrah standing over me, trying to engage me in this game where she's not Jarrah, she's my friend "Jenny" who stopped by for coffee. Periodically, she switches back to Jarrah, mostly so she can ask me if anyone stopped by, what we talked about and if I like them. I have to be on my toes, I tell ya.
Oh, and I learned today that all children are apparently tractable and patient as snow when an adult--any adult--grabs their digits and starts scrubbing stuff off of them. This is a skill they must learn very early. There's something very sweet about it. I feel there is a lesson about childhood scarcely concealed here, but I can't quite see it.