Monkey and Chickadee are safely home again. They arrived yesterday evening, tired and cranky and all hopped up on a long day of travel (because LORD KNOWS there are no direct flights between Boston and Atlanta, nooooooo! I’m certain that flying Boston to CHICAGO, then Chicago to Atlanta made the most sense, and probably saved hundreds of pennies in the process) and hungry but too tired to eat and excited to be back but bereft over saying goodbye to their father and generally at the very edge of their ability to cope.
I squeezed them tight and kissed their cheeks off and went almost an hour before telling them they were making my ears bleed. It was THAT perfect.
Chickadee is taller, I swear, although her new tween growth phase which I lovingly refer to as Flipper Foot (where her feet are suddenly huge, nearly as big as mine, despite the fact that she only comes up to my chin and weighs 60 pounds soaking wet) hasn’t changed. Monkey finally has a sliver of tooth making a crooked appearance in the large gap he’s been sporting in his smile for months. Other than that, they are just as I left them—loud and goofy and with a little bit of food nesting in their hair.
(Hey, should they ever get lost in the woods or whatever, at least they’ll have a little snack before they starve to death.)
Because they’ve only had four Christmases this year, or whatever, we felt it necessary to go have dinner and then come home and have a celebration of Monkey’s birthday complete with presents. There is a part of me that feels it a ridiculous excess to do the whole birthday thing so soon after Christmas, PARTICULARLY when Christmas has been a multi-stage event (just about the second thing Monkey said to me at the airport was “I have 10 Webkinz now!” and I had to resist the urge to smack his father, because honestly, TEN? couldn’t you just buy the kid a car and be done with it?), but on the other hand it probably sucks to have a birthday so close to Christmas and the suckage can only be intensified by a well-meaning parent saying, “Oh, well you just had Christmas, let’s not do much.”
So! Presents and cake it was!
My stepmom and dad sent this cool Pokemon game for Monkey, and along with it they sent Sorry! for “Christmas or whatever” (I think my stepmom got a deal; a woman after my own heart, she is), so I got the brilliant idea to give Sorry! to Chickadee while doing Monkey’s birthday presents, to somewhat soften the blow of there being presents for him but not for her.
And by “soften the blow” I of course mean there was a pile of presents at Monkey’s seat at the table, and then Sorry! at Chickadee’s seat, and when they came into the kitchen I said “Happy birthday, Monkey!” and then turned to Chickadee and said “SORRY! It’s not your birthday!” Because I am sensitive that way. (Rest assured, she spent the entire evening crowing, “SORRY! It’s not my birthday.”)
(Also, after the birthday stuff there were more Christmas presents from all the grandparents, SHEESH, what a burden to have SO MANY PEOPLE LOVE YOU, kids.)
Eventually the children had unwrapped, eaten cake, showered, and gone to bed. Phew.
Today they are back to their perky selves (thanks to sleeping in until almost 9), running and playing and snuggling and bickering and inexplicably sticky despite still smelling of soap and shampoo. The house is noisy and someone took a huge chunk out of the corner of a wall upstairs (though both children claim ignorance) and Monkey just asked me what a jackass is.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh. It’s good to be back to normal.