Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Cousin Runs a Tight Ship

The Cousin is more mature than most adults. She sails this weekly ship single-handedly with Ginger and I sniffling and whining down in the hole.
She's in charge and that leadership goes into full force every Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. Using well-derived sentences that begin with words like "Actually, Val..." and "First of all..." and "Well, this is how it works..." We begin our day.
My name has evolved over the last 1.5 years too.
First came "Wallery" which, over time, formed into "Valerie."
Now, she's taken a more direct usage.  I'm simply "Val."

"Val, you need to remove your shoes before you rest on the couch."
"Val, actually, my sister doesn't like spinach and rice baby food anymore. She eats people food but you have to break it into small pieces."
Another duh.
There are commands that are truly helpful though.
"Val, do you need me to make her laugh so her crying doesn't bother you?"
Ahh, that would be an affirmative.

And now she's in school. That has lifted her confidence and strengthened her forte in dictatorship to a whole new level.
"Val, you sit over there and criss-cross applesauce your legs." (My teacher pals know this lingo, eh?)

So, as I mentioned, The Cousin goes to preschool.
Her mom gets her ready in the morning and Ginger and I pick her up at noon.  She even directs while she's getting ready...
"Don't let her put the toys in her mouth today, Val." And she questions everything... "What are you going to do when I'm at school?" "Val, you need to wait for me to do projects, okay?"

Oh, I don't know what we'll do without you, but somehow we'll try to survive. It'll be tough.

And we do survive while The Cousin is learning how to gain her confidence and use her words, learn her numbers, criss- cross applesauce on the carpet for calendar and circle time, etc...
We do more than survive. The bonding is getting thick and we're becoming quite close. It's a cool connection really except for at nap time, which is a full-on 30 minute screaming session until she wears herself, and me, out.
But except for "n-time,"  this is one happy kid!

And the kid has a tongue-thing going on. It's in every picture I take, as if she has a mouth full of novocaine and her tongue becomes too big to fit.  She and I have some good times when The Cousin is at school, truth be known, but I dare not tell The Cousin because there is a jealousy thing slightly brewing. When she needs my attention now, she crawls or whimpers like her little sister. And when Sweet Pea hangs out with us, it's even more amplified. I suppose y'all are wondering how Sweet Pea is doing? Well, she's got the personality of rock star and the guts of a US Marine. Here's some rock star action...

I'm gonna tell you something. Sweet Pea's mom will give birth (again) in 4 weeks and for the life of me, I don't know how she's going to manage two.  Hell, really it's going to be 4 all under the age of 3 for this tight-knit family. What the hell were they thinking?! Certainly not birth control.
Okay, I get it. They're young. They've got stamina, but it's their damn conscientious way of parenting that gets me. I mean, of course, they're "all natural" moms and they breast feed.  But that equates to zero wine for the 9 months preceding the grand entrance of the kid and for an additional year or so after!!! Their wine well is dry for almost two fucking years!! No can do. Though Sweet Pea's mom did inform me recently that there can be some pumping during that year, that often times, gives way to a glass every now and then. I guess it's all about the pumping and the timing. That exhausts me just thinking about it.

"I got your number, Val."

"I can do it myself. Back off."
"Watch out, cuz this red hair means business."

So, we made it through Halloween. You'd think a girl like me would be aware of implementing only age-appropriate activities, and yet, I ended up carving the whole damn pumpkin sola.   "It's taking too long to become a jack-o-lantern, Val."
I know because you're 3 and you can't use knives or matches, says the ex school teacher who appears to be suffering memory loss. In addition, The Cousin hates to get her hands sticky/dirty. What the hell kind of artist are you, sister!?
"Val, it's too yucky inside the pumpkin. I'm done."

Yea, of course you're done. And I've got a screaming baby on the floor and slimey seeds and pulp all over the damn kitchen.
"I've had it."

"Ok, I'll smile for the pic and then I'm getting my hand the hell out of this."

"A little Himalayan Pink Salt and we're good to go."

Sweet Pea changed her mind a dozen times as to what she would be for Halloween; a princess, Curious George, and finally, a dolphin.  But The Cousin never deviated. It was always the Wicked Witch of the West.
"Ah, my pretty! I'll get you and your little dog Toto too!"

She digs the story too and has me tell it to her, over and over and all the while, I must act out every damn turn on the yellow brick road before she'll take her nap. And if I leave out any detail, she makes me go back and start over.
At the end of the day, when my feet are up and my right hand grips the stem of a glass and brings it habitually to my mouth, I must admit these 3 are worth every second of being pee'd on, pooped on, cried at and bossed around. There's a smirk at the corner of my smile right now, like there is on yours, because the truth is, they rock my world, once in week, in such an awesome way.