"Afraid so. You're mad. Bonkers. Off your head. But I will tell you a secret... All the best people are."
In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (currently one of my favorite movies, and the theme for our little family Halloween costumes) this quote is what Charles Kingsley tells his daughter Alice Kingsley when she wakes from one of her Wonderland nightmares as a child. I think of this quote often, not only because I've watched the movie more than I should while preparing for Halloween, but because sometimes... I feel as if I have gone stark raving mad... and it's a comfort to me. I am sure everyone feels a little "off their rocker" now and then when they are raising children... and you know what? It's OK!
For Halloween this year, Uncle M (that long distance turned blessed that he is in my life boyfriend) told me that he had an idea so good for our Halloween costumes that I wouldn't be able to turn it down. I (grinning, and ready to prove him wrong) tell him to lay it on me. He then suggests the Alice in Wonderland theme. I then say, "you're right it would be such fun!" So out of one of our too much to talk about not enough time to cram it all in evenings, we decided that Uncle M will be the Mad Hatter (complete with KILT!!!!!), I will be Alice, the Drama Queen will be the Red Queen (AKA Queen of Hearts), the Vampire will be the Cheshire Cat, and Hobie our faithful 90lb golden lab will be one of the card soldiers to the Queen. I have been literally dreaming of costumes ever since and working on trying to pull something together. Uncle M and I dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf complete with Grandma's Night gown and cap the last two years, and took the kids around dressed up last year, so we will be doing it again this year... but as a family!
Our little Vampire had a lovely day yesterday at the daycare. She managed to stay all day long, and only sunk her teeth into one child. The story I am given is that it was over a pillow, so that reinforces the theory that she is biting as a form of communication/control. She had tumbling class last night, which she adores, and was so cute and sweet that I nearly cried. She mothered a little boy that was there waiting for his sister by helping him put the "little people" in their Ferris wheel, and patting him on the head then returning to what she was doing before he wordlessly asked her for help. Uncle M and I sat and waited tensely, the entire time because of her cannibal history, but she was nothing less than kind and patient with the little guy every time he handed her a little person to place back in the Ferris wheel.. She would then glance back at us and we would both smile and I would say "you're being so good, Aunt TT is so proud of you!"
The Drama Queen had good day at kindergarten yesterday, and amazes me daily with her growing ability to read. I love to read, and have been encouraging it in her since I realized she was getting to the age she could. I hope that we can spend some time at the summer reading programs next year at one of the local libraries. I always loved it when mom did that with me. I remember having such a thirst for books that I would drive her insane asking her to take me back to the library! I have promised the Drama Queen that if she is good for the rest of the week at school that we can take some of the money she has earned in her bunny bank and go to the store, and she can pick out and pay for something with her own money. I hope this will give her a sense of accomplishment, help her learn about money, and help reinforce the good behavior.
I am trying to decide if I should purchase a blank baby book and sit down with my mom and try to fill it in for the Vampire. Mom found the Drama Queen's baby book, but we haven't been able to locate the Vampire's. I honestly don't even know if my sister kept one for her, as her life was such a cluster at that point. I would hate to be able to share the Drama Queen's book with her someday, but have nothing for the Vampire, so I'm leaning toward making one up. If there are pages or things that are blank..... it's better than nothing at all right?
Today might or might not be as good as a day as yesterday, but having that 24 hour period where things were mostly all right reinforced my self esteem, my outlook on life, and faith in those two darling little girls. I hope and pray there are many more days like yesterday to come, and will do everything in my power to guide them to more "good days". I will take the bad days in stride and do my best to look at them as more of a learning curve in the grand scheme of it all. So am I certifiably crazy... without a doubt!