Much has changed since the last entry. We enjoy the younger children’s company less, much to our dismay, but it cannot be helped. Despite such upheaval, life has been the same, plodding on. This week, the elder female spent extra time with the benefactor, due to needing extra medical attention. She was so enthused to spend time at her employment that she demonstrated her fervor by melting into her chair while listening to music, generally avoiding the benefactor, per usual.
The elder children have been contemplating their future, and spent an evening with the benefactor and the hound, mapping out their prospects. It started with the elder male, who plopped himself on the mattress in the benefactor’s boudoir, later joined by his female twin. He is excited to have many options and programs to choose from, while the elder female has decided to travel to Botswana to observe the foreign culture and learn about the conservation of animals, which is very exciting.
Meanwhile, the younger children are acclimating to their reduced time, trying to regain a sense of rhythm and structure that has since been lost. It has exhausted the younger female, who after being put to sleep the other evening, attempted to journey after waking, only to fall asleep on the floor of her bedroom, folded like a towel.
Much of this transition seems to have also affected the mutt, who appears more lonely and needy than usual, cuddling up with the elder female at every opportunity she can grab, or stealing into any empty lap where she might lie her head. The younger male has become more protective of his canine pal, as he demonstrated when the elder children were teasing her by yelling, “Don’t touch a morsel on this dog’s hair,” which sent everyone into peels of laughter. Per usual, she sleeps in the empty beds of the younger children when they are not home.
The benefactor discovered that the younger male’s attention is in demand at his ballet studio. One girl frequently stops to talk to him, eyelashes fluttering, sending him into a tizzy where he now ‘disappears’ when he sees her approaching. As he has told the benefactor many a time, he is just not ready for that type of commitment, yet. That seemed reasonable to the benefactor, more so than his insistence on wearing his tighter dance pants, to give his ‘little man’ more freedom, as it seems the opposite would be true. Shortly thereafter, we discovered he was actually wearing his younger sibling’s pants, and a hasty change of clothes was required, as was much laughter.
Despite such a week of chaos, the benefactor is thankful that the sun still shines, the moon still rises, and she still gets to spend precious time with her four, gorgeous hearts.
It has been a tense week for the benefactor. The elder children seem to have made it their missions in life to make her own weepy and miserable, and she appears to be approaching her wit’s end. Many an argument has ensued over the elder children’s inability to take care of mundane tasks, such as garbage, dishes, and room maintenance. ‘Tis a neverending, infuriating battle, it seems. The elder male also found himself in greater peril when he decided to defy the benefactor and get a 'ride' home with a friend after his dance training, an adventure which took 90 minutes, despite the distance from the house to the studio of less than 5 miles. He has now lost the privilege of using his board with wheels attached that he rides for transportation for the next week. There is great concern if the two elder children will, indeed, reach the age of 17.
The younger children and the benefactor spent a great deal of time this past weekend utilizing the media box and learning about the magnificent wildlife that inhabits the earth, as well as about extremely dangerous creatures from South America that could easily cut your life short. It has been eye opening, enjoyable, and terrifying all at the same time. The younger female also cajoled the benefactor into making art using wax sticks and a book with preset designs. Much to her surprise, the benefactor found it oddly therapeutic, and hopes that it becomes a regular practice she and the younger female can indulge in.
There has been great battle over dinnertime in the household. The younger children protested at great length about the nutritious and delicious meals the benefactor provided. While the younger male pretended to try a bit, he then complained until the benefactor capitulated and provided him with tamales. On the other hand, the younger female took a very clever route and simply fell asleep, refusing to rouse for her nighttime repast.
Last night, the younger male hemmed and hawed at having to practice his musical instrument. Intentionally, to protest, he began to blow notes loudly and off key, and while it initially irritated the benefactor, she merely placed special speakers in her ears and listened to more appealing music until he calmed down. Eventually, he began to practice in earnest, and she was taken by how much progress he has made. After complimenting his artistry, the younger male treated the benefactor to an impromptu concert, which made her heart happy.
This morning, the benefactor took great pride in waking early to perform her calisthenics and have the younger children ready for a day of education. As they jovially left for the day into the crisp air, she discovered that the transportation vehicle had died overnight and would not awaken. While she did not panic, the benefactor required a few moments to herself to problem solve. She called for a company to come and assist with giving her a ‘jump’ while the younger children were more than delighted to sit and enjoy beloved tales about dragons on the media box. One and a half hours later, and they were finally able to get on their way. Although it was frustrating, the benefactor enjoyed the more languid morning pace, and having the opportunity to spend a bit of extra time with two of her favorite people in the entire universe.
'Tis a miracle! We have survived over 200 days since this journal began, despite many obstacles. Another new year beckons!
Before the New Year could fall, we descended into chaos while making homemade pickles, which should seem like a simple task, yet became a battleground for arguments and never ending nitpicking, particularly on the part of the younger male, who refuses at any moment to let a disagreement die an honorable death. Per usual, he was slighted by being asked to chop two different things while the younger female merely had to add herbs to a jar, both equally age appropriate tasks but nonetheless fodder for incessant complaining. He disagreed so vehemently that it drove the younger female to tears and she left her responsibilities to the elder female.
To assuage the younger female, the benefactor had her assist with making posole, a spicy stew of hominy, and a New Year’s Eve tradition. Together, they measured and mixed ingredients to ensure the perfect blend of red chile flavor with other rich spices. Afterward, the benefactor took the younger female aside and they spent some quality moments applying lacquer to their nails and bonding. The elder female then assisted both the younger female and benefactor with applying fancy face painting for the evening’s festivities.
In the evening, we sat down to usher in the New Year as a family, enjoying our posole and reflecting on the year past and the year to come. Soon, it was time for the younger children to leave, and the benefactor transported them to the home of another benefactor. When she returned, the elder children relayed that they had crafted plans to spend the evening with companions in the town square, leaving the benefactor to her own plans.
When the benefactor returned home after the turn of the day, the elder female was alone sitting in pajamas, watching the media box. The elder male had relayed a message that he would be spending the evening at a friend’s home. As she cleaned up the kitchen, the benefactor came across a glass bottle filled with juice doctored with a brown liquor gifted the benefactor during the holidays, and which was now lower in volume. The elder female denied having anything to do with the concoction, and promptly ratted out her twin sibling.
In the morning, the benefactor woke the elder male with messages, demanding his presence at home immediately. He claimed he could not return right away, as he was at a different friend’s home than the one originally stated. Instead, the benefactor swooped him up as she traveled to her employment, and they had a tete-a-tete regarding some of the poorer life choices the elder male had recently made. He apologized to the benefactor, assuring her that none of the mixture was imbibed, but mostly created for jest. Regardless, the elder male will be forbidden from socializing for approximately 30 days, many evenings of which will be spent in the direct company of the benefactor. The benefactor thanked the elder female for being less worrisome, and for spending much of her time at home, in pajamas, even though she has taken up the irritating habit of making three cups of time at one time, and leaving them in small piles across the living and dining room.
On the first day of the new year, the younger children returned, meeting the benefactor and elder male at her employment, where part of the day was spent squabbling with one another. Finally, they returned home, collecting a nice, warm meal, and then spent time looking at the lunar landscape through the younger male’s new astronomical spyglass, as well as peering at select stars. Despite the bitter chill, the children enjoyed their time outside and having the opportunity to see the moon up close and personal.
All in all, as we settle into a new year full of new adventure, we hope that you remember the things we have learned to treasure this special holiday season: family, laughter, and connection. May the year two thousand and eighteen bring you much joy and love, as it will us.