tondu twirling and skate diving

We may have overscheduled her a bit, but I'm okay with it. Caroline is continuing with hockey (at least for a couple sessions) and chose a ballet/tap combination class as her other activity. Grace and Grit.

She is not always pleased when I open the door to her after school program with her dance bag in hand. In fact, I don't think there has been a single week since September that she has skipped over to me, grabbed the bag from my hand and let out a happy yell. Far from it. I'm not phased by this, not in the least. She is the queen of challenging transitions. There is much whining, sometimes some tears, and eventually she sits on the little bench outside the dance studio with six other adorable ballerinas and waits patiently to be called in by Miss Katie. Parents don't observe these classes, so it's all been a mystery, until today.

Caroline wasn't looking forward to "peak week." We had a good cry over it last week. She didn't like the idea of people watching her. I assured her that the other parents were there to watch their own children, that Mommy and maybe Kiki and MAYBE DADDY would be there just for her. She didn't bat an eye when I mentioned it en route this afternoon. She handled the barre like a pro, but fell apart once they got to the center. We'll work on it. Miss Katie assured me that this was not how it usually goes and that she is shy, but nothing like the scared to participate girl we saw towards the end of the hour. She was unphased by that pesky bar on the floor. She watched and listened and followed and looked so darn sweet.

In comparison, this girl is lightening on ice. Check her out there on the far end of the ice passing up her fellow tiny skaters.

Hockey was a hard sell. We first approached it in a "you decide" kind of way and she immediately, without hesitation declared, "NO!" I took a deep breath. I actually let it go for a day or two and then I sat her down to have a heart to heart. We talked about how she doesn't ever like to get ready to go, that it interrupts her weekend morning play'tastrophe with Con. I asked her if she could remember last year when she was four, how she barely could get across the ice. I asked her if she remembered that in the beginning she cried to get off the ice and then later cried because it was taking too long to get her ready to go on. I asked her to trust that Mommy and Daddy would make good decisions for her and that this was just one of those decisions she needed to hand over to us. We talked about moving up to group two with the rest of the kids who could skate without help, to see what it was like. She raced up and down the ice that first session, racing others to the end line. This past weekend she winded through cones and dove under sticks held up on cones with gusto and fearlessness. She got a number three on her helmet.

Our girl. Half sweet arabesqueing ballerina, half fearless speed skater. I think she is pretty near perfect.


We have now had our first E.R. experience for an injury and Connor's first staple.

We were having such a lovely little Sunday. All was well. The kids had gone to sleep a bit late in preparation for the time change and had magically slept until the light was green at the "new" 6:15. In fact, they didn't poke their heads in until 6:45. It was a day after daylight savings time miracle. We played in the leaves while Steve did a big part of the fall clean up. (I had already done my fall martyrdom of five bags earlier in the week when I just couldn't look at it anymore.) The kids screamed with laughter, jumped into piles, flung leaves into the air. They played together on the playscape and Caroline even tackled the "monkey bars" up top all the way across. I was so incredibly proud of her as she reached the end and slapped Connor's awaiting palm. She did it again and again and on what was to be the last time, she declared "no hands, Mom!" (as in, don't spot me) and fell hard on her right side. I encouraged her to jump up and do it again and she did, but it was clearly time for cocoa and an ice pack.

The adults showered, we ate lunch.  We sat down with a movie while the kids played quietly. I lugged the chest of costumes downstairs and we had a buzz lightyear and a princess in five seconds flat. Connor was hanging out, solitary, pulling out matchbox cars. It has been a bossy weekend over here. Caroline likes to be in control of play, executing her vision with Connor's assistance or without it, either way acheiving her own goal. She couldn't help but go behind the couch to investigate and thus, take over. I asked them to "please bring the cars out over here where I can see you." They were tucked into a corner, WHY do they do that??You can always sense with them when it will all go bad. I just knew this was not going to end well. I listened carefully, waiting for a snark or a whine or an anything to intervene. Unfortunately, this episode ended with a whine and then a scream and a trip to the ER.

When I leapt around the couch, Connor was lying on his back, Caroline across from him. It was clear she had pushed him, he had hit his head. It wasn't until Steve picked him up that he realized, pulling his hand from the back of his head and seeing it blood red, that this was more serious than a pushy bossy instigation. This was my worst fear realized. I put off building or buying something for the hearth downstairs because it is SO long and the most dangerous pointy part is usually barricaded off with pillows and doll strollers and shopping carts. Today, none of that was there, Connor had instead barricaded himself INTO this precarious spot and wham-o. Needless to say, I'm done holding my breath every time one of them runs, skips, chasing a hockey puck or rolls over within twelve inches of the hearth.

I am not proud to admit that I lost it. In a moment where a Mom needs to hold it together, I totally lost it. I mean, this is what I had been dreading and yet, I was shocked. After forcibly placing the pusher onto a step and then yelling down to her from the kitchen to take off her costume and put on her sneakers, I sobbed into Steve's back. The ugly cry. Connor stopped crying, pretty much stopped bleeding and we pulled on coats and grabbed a bag with virtually no snacks nor amusements and headed to the hospital. Steve suggested one of us go and one stay with Caroline, but I was determined that they both needed to see what the hospital was all about. Heck, they had heard me say it enough, "Stop running over there or you will slam your face into that fireplace and go to the hospital!" I guess I just wasn't expecting it to be at their sibling's hand. I don't know the details of the squabble that preempted this, all I knew was I needed to really hammer home this "hands are for hugging, not for hitting" thing. Pronto. She didn't mean for him to hit his head, I know this, but Caroline had a rough weekend with lots of pushing and kicking and carrying on and ugh. For it to end this way...

Connor could have cared less that we were at the hospital. He sat quietly while they took his vitals. He barely spoke when the doctor said hello. One staple. They didn't have numbing cream because it had been recalled as part that compounding situation in Framingham. They could do two injections to numb it and then the staple or just the staple. I opted for just one ouchy. Kid did not even flinch. He did not cry. He did not react in anyway. A staple in my son's skull. He has not complained even once, except for exclaiming "ouchy" when we laid him down to change him for bed. I put him to sleep on the unaffected side, kissed him goodnight and counted my blessings.

I'm buying the materials for that hearth cover asap. Your worst fears sometimes do come true. Trust that itchy part of your brain. I sure wish I had.