Welcome to Chickadee Junction

Welcome to Chickadee Junction

I have birdfeeders outside of my office window. My office is in my home, up on a hill, surrounded by trees. The most frequent avian visitors are the chickadees. When the feeders are empty, they come to the window and let me know. They seem to converge here, and draw my attention out...

I wrote a column about life with children for six years. Now I am the grandmother, and I would like to repost those stories. I will also be adding thoughts and reflections, and if inspired - stories from the now.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sleepovers and Negotiations

My daughter had a friend sleep over.  Which means, in order for the girls to have to desired amount of privacy and control of the house, the rest of us must cease to exist.  I looked at the girls.  I looked at my three sons.  I bowed out with the words,  "Make a deal."  The deal was that the boys would go to bed early and let the girls watch a movie.  Then later in the week big sister would go to her room early and let the boys control the VCR.

It worked.  The boys went upstairs and stayed there.  None of the routine bickering involved going downstairs.  For once.

The girls put on their make up.  Heavily.  The bathroom counter is still ready for a night on the bad side of town.  The girls raided the refrigerator.  Heavily.  They scoured the shelves looking for something to make.  They did each other's hair.  They were ready.

The boys did their nightly repeat performance of..."those are my pajamas...he's touching my pillow..." followed by "No!" which brings..."ouch...get away...Mo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-mmmmmmmmm."  So I chime in with,  "If you don't stop now, you will go to bed early tomorrow night."  I have my part down pat.  I can do it without a thought.  This ritual must be celebrated every night to ensure the sleep of the angels.  Going in to check them after they're asleep proves it.  They are gorgeous, perfectly heavenly specimens when they're not fighting, house dismantling or mud wallowing.

Last night the deal was complete.  The boys were totally engrossed in their movie.  Almost.  Big sister slipped down to use the bathroom and,  "You're not allowed down here.  It's our movie.  We stayed upstairs.  Next time we'll come down, too!" was sung in three part harmony.  It reverberated all the way to my room.  I put my head under the pillow.

When the movie was over they trooped upstairs.  It was at least an hour after their normal bedtime.  Instead of being tired and zonking right out, they performed the Bicker Ritual for Proper Sleep with unusual vigor.  I put my head under the pillow.

Mima's Notes:
Stating the obvious, "Time flies." is inadequate.  The baby is going through the process of applying to colleges now.  VCRs are completely outdated.  Now we use Netflix or DVDs.  I wonder if my kids feel the rush of technology change through their short lives.

And, on another note, the two young women mentioned in this column live far apart now, but they are still the closest of friends!  This girl was a child of my heart, one of the kids who became part of the family.  And she still is.

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