Harris went through the biggest hair transformation. Of course, I forgot to take his "before" picture, but here's one from yesterday's "Patriotic Sunday" photo shoot.
That's right. I brought back the worst picture ever of June and Gwen for a second posting. They deserve it.
And here he was during the cut:
What a doll. Sometimes I find myself whispering into his still-innocent ears: "Don't turn on me, Harris. Don't be like the others."
Then it was Gwen's turn.
While Gwen was getting cut, June entertained herself by taking pictures of any place she found our letter of the day. (Today was "E" for those of you playing along at home.)
I've always thought an education was incomplete unless it had Vogue in it.
She may have inherited here (in)ability to shoot a proper photo from me.
Then it was June's turn.
Her hair isn't really wavy at all; it had been in a braid all night.
Anyone remember the time June cut her own hair?
This is where those poor massacred strands sit now. We have probably a good year left before they are grown out. Sigh.
It was about at this point when the kind stylist called out, "This one's got a big personality!" Yes, she does.
Gwen wanted me to take more pictures of her while June was getting cut. Here's a very natural pose. I call it "Ode to These Here Magazines."
Look at that face. I feel like she's about to sell me insurance.
So haircuts were a total success. And then we went to the dentist.
Have you ever seen a more relaxed sitting position in your whole life? She's watching a movie while they work on her, and I think she was somehow mentally transported to another dimension. Her leg was dangling from the chair and her arms spread out, and she didn't respond to any of the questions posed to her. She may have grunted once.
I'm pretty sure Gwen's favorite biannual experience is going to our dentist so that she can watch shows her cheap parents don't provide at home.
On the whole, the kids were all great for these appointments, and neither of them had any cavities. The Jolleys, who previously singlehandedly kept our local dentists in business have not had any cavities for two years. I am just waiting for the morning where all of my teeth are gone (this is actually a nightmare I wake up from frequently) to make up for the past 24 months of good dental reports.
So, to recap. Haircuts were a win, dentist appointments were a success, and then I decided to squeeze in just one more thing. Walmart.
Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
Am I a rookie at this parenting thing? What in the world was I thinking?
Walmart was a nightmare. Walmart without kids is a nightmare. Gwen and I knocked heads about every single thing, and then she lost the thing I told her she could get for our upcoming trip, and then she wouldn't stay with me, and then I had to hold her hand as she was screaming and trying to jerk away, and then she almost tipped our car over, and then I tried to carry her tantrum-ing body out to the car while also pushing said cart (which was carrying Harris) out to the car, but I couldn't physically do it. And then we finally all somehow made it to our van in the 95 degree heat and were sweating and crying. And then I stepped in gum. And then I wiped said gum off my flip flop and went to load our bags in the back of the van when I stepped in the same gun again.
Then we got home and I made dinner, and Dan came home and reminded me that we had promised the kids that FHE would be at the pool. So we ate fast and changed into our suits and had a good time. Until Gwen threw another huge fit about not having the flip flops she wanted and then everything was contentious and terrible again, and I just started taking things away.
Taking things away from Gwen is hard because she doesn't seem to care.
So I finally got desperate enough to leave the realm of any sort of rational parenting and told her that she would not be able to listen to me read stories that night. Instead, she would have to go straight to bed.
I don't know why I thought it would be okay to take away something I want her to do. "That's it, Gwen! No more literacy for you! Only ignorance from here on out."
It was a dumb punishment.
But I held to it. June and I read our book out in the hallway, and Gwen tried to attend, but I made her go back to her room.
And then she finally got smart and camped out in the hallway with her blankie and stayed out of view. I knew she was there, but honestly felt like such an ogre having her miss the final chapter of A Bear Called Paddington that I felt fine acting like I had no idea she was just around the corner.
When we finished the last page, I put the girls to bed, but not before having a long talk. We talked about the good parts of the day and spent a ton of time talking about the stinky parts of the day. I laid out tomorrow's schedule and expectations and told them tomorrow would NOT look like today.
In my mind, I thought I sounded quite in charge.
But I think the girls probably realized I was actually just begging them to please act better tomorrow.
And then we said prayers and they went to bed.
I went to my room and started folding the many loads of clean laundry that had accumulated on my bed from the day. But I kept thinking about my girls.
I finally walked back across the hall, quietly opened the door to their room. Gwen was sitting up in bed and quickly fell back and closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep. I crawled in their bed. They have bunk beds but still share just one of them. I crawled in and lay down and put my arm around both of them. I realized that the angle my arm was resting on Gwen was quite uncomfortable for her, so I withdrew it and just put my arm around June. In the dark, Gwen's little hand searched until she found my arm again and put it around her. Poor girl.
I stayed like that for a few minutes, and then told the girls that I loved them very much and then left.
This parenting stuff is hard business. I hope tomorrow goes better.
We will be starting to pack and get ready for our two-week vacation. First stop is Las Vegas to visit Dan's family. Here's the forecast.
Ay yai yai.