We have two bathrooms and four girls.
About six years ago it was really difficult to get my daughter Madeleine to dress herself. Or to wear clothes at all. In fact, one Kindergarten morning found me in a most memorable embarrassing moment when M opened the front door (big, big no-no for a 5-year-old in our house) to the pastor who lived across the road (nice man) wearing nothing but her Dora underpants (if you are in trouble for opening the door at all, how much trouble are you in for opening it while nearly nekked?).
None of that is the embarrassing part.
The embarrassing part is that I was chasing her down the stairs, wielding her day's outfit like a sword and shield, shrieking in my very best impersonation of a fishwife that she would get dressed right now, little miss, right now, and OH HOLY TOLEDO YOU DID NOT OPEN THAT DOOR Miss Madeleine you had better close-it-right-now!
So in our former house in a small town near here, we had the kind of staircase I am sure you have seen in movies. It was a turn-of-the-century grand dame house whose stairs landed graciously in the foyer like a prom date disembarking a limousine.
Me, I landed much less gracefully at the bottom of the stairs, still seeing red over Madeleine's refusal to get dressed for school, demanding that she shut the door. My assumption (and we all know how assumptions usually turn out) was that she had opened it just to irk me, or worse, to run outside to exercise her right to move to a nudist colony.
I was wrong. As you or any other less-freaked-out mommy would have probably already guessed, she had merely answered the doorbell.
All of this I figured out when my nice pastor neighbor leaned his head in to announce that he would close the door.
Imagine my horror. Just sit with it for a minute. Too painful? Then look at this beautiful field instead:
I was just thinking about that.
Anyway I was thinking back to that morning this morning when I was tempted to hurry the girls along in their braiding and primping and sweater selection and oh-my-word-now-we-have-earrings-to-change-to-match-the-sweater extravaganza.
By the way, we visited the pumpkin patch last week.
It was beautiful.
And the girls were too. (Not that Madeleine or Sarah would sit still long enough for a picture. At least I still have Laura and Grace as semi-willing subjects.)