Sunday, August 30, 2009

Let Us Entertain You

This weekend we road-tripped to Christchurch to help my brother, Jeremy, and his family move - into their very first home with a mortgage attached. This family entertains me...oh, how they entertain me.

High- and low-lights:
  • Highlight - We arrived pretty late. The kids had fought to stay up to greet us, and greet us they did (rather mildly, given their anticipation). After they were all in bed, Jeremy made his obligatory, predictable, usual suggestion, "Time for a movie?" We reluctantly conceded...and he, as always, was first to fall asleep.
  • Highlight - seeing their youngest (9 months)...and Baby E's comparative marshmallowness (3 months).
  • Low-light - seeing now, how my hair looked all day.
  • Highlight - watching their eldest have breakfast, "We just moved and we don't know where stuff is"-style. Maybe with a touch of stalling before his morning shower.
  • High - seeing the staller rob Haki of his beanie (pictured) and proudly wear it from our arrival to departure. The scarf was picked up from an open box and added to his outfit. I love watching how children forrage during a move, finding old possessions suddenly more interesting - they're like little hobos.
  • High - hearing the scavenger-dresser's confession on the couch on the first night. Context: Haki had just farted. He looked at his niece, also on the couch, and exclaimed her name, accusing her of the crime. The curly-haired miss defended herself, "Was not!" Apparently this interaction had ripened the air for the beanie-boy to share; "Sometimes when I fart in the shower it feels solid". Blink blink. Blink blink. He then attempted to cover up this disclosure by saying he meant "arm farts", and quickly put his hand in his pit and made like a chicken. Too late, little nephew...we know the truth.
  • Highlight - watching the shower-farter appear in his own room, where we were camped out on the floor, early this morning. He slipped in between us under the covers. Haki later told me this was pre-arranged; "Uncle Haki? Tomorrow, in the morning, when I wake up, can I come in and snuggle with you?"
  • Low - where was Aunty Ange's invite, huh? Apparently I'm just that inconvenient other human in Haki's bed.
  • High - Soon after, the walking, talking niece arrived in the dimly lit room to join in on the morning snuggle. When I was nearly ousted from the mattress completely, this one spoke in my defence. Good girl. Speaking of the little wonder, here she is...
  • High - observing as four little children got ready for church in a house full of boxes. The necklace Hobo-Miss is wearing was just pulled out a box of paraphernalia and the central leaf is missing from the table...she doesn't care, because there is more sugar than usual on those Ricies.
  • High - The family needed to leave in the afternoon of the big moving day (yesterday) to attend a baptism. We kept on moving, packing, and cleaning in their absence, but after an hour or so said, "Shall we just take a wee break?" Flashforward one hour - we wake, sprawled in the centre of the furniture-less lounge, on the floor, groggy - Haki's head rests on a 3-litre juice bottle (now filled with water for storage), my head is on his arm. Baby E slumbers in her bassinet's removable top beside us, my hand is draped over its side to lay on her tum.
  • Low - being sick. My amount of sleep each night dwindled this week, and as a result, some pesky bug penetrated my immune system's fortress to give me an irritating headachey, sniffley cold. I toted around a roll of toilet / sandpaper.
  • High - Haki's way of dealing with the same affliction;
  • Low - knowing that all this hullabaloo was really disrupting routines for the littlest man (four kids - youngest babe, shower-farter, walking miss, and the almost 2-year old little man...)
  • High - catching him still finding moments to play in the upheaval...
  • High - as Jeremy and family pulled out of their driveway in their people-mover (something I never thought I'd see him in), I spied the beautiful wife applying her mascara before church. I was thrilled to confirm I am not the only woman that believes such things are best left for en route - your hands are finally free, and you've spent the morning getting yourself and everyone else into the car dressed, fed, and armed with necessary items (I find this a feat with just a husband and one child).
  • Low - when, having returned to Dunedin, I remembered laying down my used, reusable nursing pads in my nephew's room...but not picking them up so much...I could just imagine the confessor returning to reclaim his room upon on our departure, cocking his head sideways upon the discovery of the circular "cushy things", and then approaching his mum, "What are these?" Or better yet, deciding to wear them somewhere on his person like the hat, scarf, and necklace that were discovered in the rubble.
  • High - discovering I had packed the milk-absorbers after all.
  • High - hearing Haki snore, as he sleeps on the floor now, next to me and Baby E - who is on her changing mat, kicking. The lovely man drove all the way up for Project: Move'em, and all the way back, happy so long as I kept... a) the snacks coming and b) laughing at his soliloquies in foreign accents (the latest addition to his reappearing one-man-show being "Baza", a brazen Australian, fond of the word, "Jeepers").
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