It's still pretty dark when the alarm goes off. Andy has finally gone back to sleep. Joey is not in bed, he managed to stay in his own all night. I miss him.
JoeyAndyDad is almost ready to go, but we're on a tight timeline. He cuddles Andy. I get up, take my meds, brush my teeth, brush out my hair. I'll shower later. I just need to get any knots out and tie it back up for now. When I emerge from the bathroom, the room is still very dark. JoeyAndyDad is gone. I miss him, too.
I kiss Andy awake, and he curls and stretches, a luxurious kitten. "Time to get ready for school!" I sing, and he giggles. I kiss his tummy, and he giggles some more. Then I have to go get Joey up.
That room isn't as dark. Light is creeping in, and his faux fishtank is on, changing colors in a constant loop, red, blue, green, pink, red... I kiss him awake, too. He opens his eyes and smiles, stretching, happy to see me. "Time for school!" he chimes. I agree.
We tumble into the bathroom for morning routine. Joey needs help with his shirt. Andy want to toss him underwear in the air. The clothes organizer has helped a lot- we lay out clothes for the week, and they just take Monday clothes out on Monday ad put them on. I hunt down some socks. How do we lose so many socks? I send them down the stairs with armfuls of stuffed toys and pair of socks each.
They busy themselves with socks and shoes, and I put together the day's food. I have things in ready reach, ready to go. I haven't had time to repackage the carrots, so that takes some extra time. This week's fruit is apples, so that saves some. It all evens out in the end. The boys have their shoes on, no one needed help this morning. That's an accomplishment. I praise the shod feet. They are busy drawing while Joey plays Peep on his computer. Joey is writing words, his favorite. Andy is drawing a house, and talking about who is in all the windows: Rabbity, Beavery, Chipmunky, Twisty-Twirly Tail, Chris, Smiley Lolly... Its time for coats. We hunt down the jackets we forgot to put away properly when we came home yesterday. Joey gets his own zipper up, all buy himself. That's a huge accomplishment. Praise ensues. Andy gets upset because his zipper is being persnickety, and he needs help. Praise ensues for asking instead of screaming. Backpacks are pulled on, and we're off to see the Wizard.
The morning is crisp, and the boys race each other to the corner. Now that I am assured, from practice, that they will go to the corner but not into the street, I permit the race without comment. They bicker about who won. We hold hands and start to cross the street together, but both boys let go and race across from about halfway. It's fall, the street is full of leaves- mostly ones someone has taken care to remove from the sidewalk. The boys commence creating a large leaf pile in the middle of the sidewalk.
We're about halfway through this process when Joey notices that picking up leaves gets your hands dirty. He starts to get anxious. I assure him it is OK to wipe his hands on his pants, because I have nothing to wipe them with, and I would prefer he not wipe them on me. They get clean enough to calm him, and he resumed leaf-collecting. Then they start jumping on the pile and giggling wildly. I wish I had a camera with me.
They are starting to rebuild the pile when the bus comes down the street. Andy races on without giving me a kiss, excited to see his friend K today. I wave an "I love you" to him as he settles into the first seat. He sets his fingers, then waves them back the same. The bus is gone. I miss him.
Joey and I amble back to the house, hand-in-hand. He is motor-mouthing the announcement for the buses from the end of the day: "V van, R rabbit, T turtle, W watch, please *mumble mumble* boys and girls!" (He actually mumbles in the middle in a very exact imitation of a mumbled and muffled announcement. Its actually pretty cute). Then he looks at me and bursts out with, "It's fall!" We cross the street. "I have a boy dog and a boy cat. They are pretend," he explains as he pretends to hold leashes. I pet the new pretend pets. "The dog is Sy. The cat is Beryl" he tells me as we wait. I hear the familiar brakes, and give him a kiss. "I love you, Mommy!" he chimes as the bus turns the corner. I wave to the bus driver. He is on the bus, settling into his seat. I wave my "I love you," but I'm not sure he even sees me. That's pretty par for the course, actually. I wave anyway. He's gone again. I miss him.
I fetch a broom, wander down the street, and start sweeping the leaves off the sidewalk.