Our niece is staying with us for a week. Things to know about V: she is an only child, very precocious and dangerously smart. She talks A LOT. Her parents work, among other things, in real estate, which meant that for years, she had two parents home with her virtually all the time, and she had a very charmed life. Lately, her father has been ill, and her mother has gone back to working as a home health care nurse (in addition to managing a large number of properties), which means that V has had less attention. It has done her a world of good. Because her parents have been under extreme pressure and stress, I asked if V could come stay with us for the week. She showed up on Monday (her mom forgot to let us know when she'd be coming, so we were at the grocery store) and we plunged right in.
It has been surprisingly easy to care for an eight year old and a one year old- surprisingly easy interspersed with moments of terrifying impossibility. I fell off the earth mother wagon with a vengeance, allowing her to stay up until midnight last night for a Wii Marathon, and then shoving cocoa puffs and Hawaiian punch at her for breakfast (on the run, in the car) on the way to my mother's house to let her swim for an hour before picking up and Owen and bringing him home for a nap. Of course, she had a glazed doughnut at Mom's, and asked her for another even after I said no. Mom promptly sent her home with half a box full. In an attempt to regain authority and prevent the ineveitable melt down once the sugar high wears off, I ran V a bath and gave her some water to flush out her system. She will easily stay in the bathtub for over an hour (as I learned Wednesday morning) which is FANTASTIC. I asked what she wanted for lunch today, and got the same answer I always get: watermelon. With further prompting, macaroni and cheese was added to the menu. (V has never been a fan of my cooking, so I decided to give in and just serve her kid food all week- macaroni and cheese, Stouffer's lasagna, Capri Sun juice boxes. I am about to die from lack of real food). When I asked if she would like broccoli and dip to go with her lunch, she gave me a distaining look (as only an 8-year-old can give) and said "Of course. Who wouldn't?" Well, duh.
One of my favorite conversations from this week:
To my father, who fool-heartedly asked her a GIGANTIC open ended question at the beginning of dinner:
Dad: So what have you been doing since school let out?
V: Well, I have been to horse camp. What do we do at horse camp, you might be wondering? Well, don't worry, I am going to tell you everything you might want to know. (This caused my mother and I to exchange a look of sheer panic, as we knew she meant what she said.)
A lengthy discussion of horse camp ensued, including a recap of the field trips they took- one to a puppy mill!?!?!?!?! I thought puppy mill was a derogatory term, but apparently not.