Monday, February 8, 2010

Our Visitors

I thought I would tell you all about who drops in and what can be expected during a visit. Each one brings a unique flavor to our home.
To start with I have my decaf drinkers who like to count: Anthony, Tray, and Junior. Two are in 6th grade and 1 is in 5th. They like to visit at the end of gym (8:00 pm). They usually come to the door in little more than t-shirts, shorts, and basketball shoes. They have been playing something in the gym with the collection of other elementary school kids. They usually expect that they GET to come in because their clothing is scant. There are times, like this evening, where I turned them away because of a sleepy baby despite their shivering protests. These three love to drink Mr. Clark's decaf coffee. They like it with milk and heaps of sugar. They feel very grown up with their Styrofoam cups half filled. When they get here, Anthony calls the recliner his throne and all three love to play Paul's counting game (1 hen, 2 ducks, 3 squawking geese...). Junior has gotten pretty far. They like it when I play because then they get to hear 10. Mr. Clark always teases them about not being able to count to 10. Something else I remembered: Anthony always asks if he can eat some of our fruit. "Can I have an apple?"
Autumn and Hannah often come toting a Native Store bag. It is usually filled some assortment of junk food. They really like Hawaiian Punch around here...they call it juice (We are starting to call Tang there any hope for us?). They always ask if Eloise can have some. Most of the time I say no. I am one of those mom's: if it has red dye 40 or ingredients too hard to pronounce I usually pass. Hannah and Autumn are most notable for their incessant giggling. It is unreal how much they laugh. They play with Eloise, but after awhile they are like soggy noodles on the floor. They are laughing too hard they can barely stand up. Often times, they dress up in something and then want me to take pictures. They have delightful imaginations.
Shawna comes to visit because she is truly a fan of Eloise. She is in 7th grade. She comes over for long periods of time and will play just with Eloise. There is often lots of giggling at whatever Eloise is doing. Anytime someone knocks at the door Shawna hides. Paul always says something like, "Shawna isn't hiding in the kitchen." She comes out of hiding with a look of pleasant exasperation and tells him not to tell where she is hiding. It is really funny because it happens almost EVERY time Shawna is here. Paul tried to convince Shawna that when he would go upstairs to play xbox that he was really reading principal books. She grills him and questions him about his so-called principal books. All the while Mr. Clark pretends he doesn't even know what an xbox is. She always strikes a secret deal with me: I am to take pictures of the alleged reading of principal books.
James Edward is in the 2nd grade. When he is by himself he is wonderful. If he is with Mathias I usually send them to play out after 30 minutes. He is very precise in all that he does. He doesn't come to play with Eloise, but with Eloise's toys. He doesn't appreciate her interference in the least bit. If he is stacking blocks he makes bold attempts to keep her from knocking them down. Another very interesting thing about James is that he cleans up his mess. He loves things to be orderly. He has gone so far as to put all the shoes with their mate nice and neat by the door. He is a different boy when he is with other kids. It is amazing to see the transformation. He gets a little rambunctious and has a tendency too play rough.
Mathias is 5 and is a preschooler. Before Christmas he decided to cut his own hair. Things got fixed little by little, but it is still a little choppy. He doesn't really like to play with Eloise. He, too, comes to play with her toys . Particularly the ball that has the handle that you can bounce on. He thinks that is pretty great. He is a world class tattle-tale. He is will tell on everyone about everything. He tells on Eloise all the time. I have to remind him that it is her house and she can play with her toys most any way she prefers. He has the most innocent face and I really do think he knows it. He is a pretty naughty little guy, but tries to get away with a lot. He points with his middle finger; it always make me giggle like a middle school kid inside.
Both boys are precious, sweet-faced kids. It is hard to resist their charms. Someday, if we have a son, I think I am a goner. James Edward and Mathias have my heart through and through!
Leslie and Louise come over every once in a while. They like to play with Eloise for a while, but then they get lost in world of pretend. Today they were playing with the most recently tanned fox. It happened to get to keep its head. It is quite nice as a puppet. The fox was demanding grapes from the peasants (the sock puppets). I am not exactly sure what they were giving him as pretend grapes, but the fox was satisfied by the peasant gifts. Louise is a bit sensitive; Leslie accidentally hit her in the chin with a ball of yarn. It was akin to a bop on the chin. Leslie didn't drill her in the face with a large ball of yarn. Louise, hoping to garner some sympathy, broke down in tears. Later, the girls were hiding a football (masquerading as an egg) and playing hotter/colder. They would take turns hiding the egg. As the other wandered around the house in search of it "You're getting hotter" or "You're getting colder" would direct the egg hunt.
Matthew is another preschooler who comes to visit every once in a while. He loves to visit, but really doesn't like to leave. When it is time to sends kids to play out he likes to tell me that he is staying. It is very matter of fact. He is going to play longer. Usually his brother Gilford comes to get him on the snow machine and only then does he head for home. He has the sweetest voice and the most innocent imagination.
Ashley is in the 2nd grade. She loves to come and make forts. She uses all of Eloise's blankets and the end tables to construct imaginary structures. She is another one of my visitors who is very precise and orderly. She has a hard time with Eloise's knack for playing with whatever is in your hand. Ashley was putting together puzzles and was getting irritated with Eloise for taking the pieces she needed. She loves cleaning up too. In fact, she told me that if I need help cleaning up I should give her a call. What a sweet gesture. Oh, she also lovingly calls Eloise, Eloiser.
That about sums up our company. I guess you could say we have gotten the community's stamp of approval. The evidence is in the fact that almost every day we hear feet tromping up the stairs and hear the persistent and excited knock of our dear little friends. We see their expectant faces as they ask, "Can we visit?"  I am reminded that being an active part of a community employs one's heart. I truly love these kiddos. I have so enjoyed getting to know them. They are wonderfully diverse and complex.

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