More Marvellous March Break

March break has been great so far but I keep thinking we've done more than just two days of it. We've crammed in a lot of excitement already, so hopefully we didn't peak too soon.

Monday morning we got up nice and slow, and then Delphine and I did some jobs around the house; we sorted and put away all the girls' laundry, we baked cookies from a mix she got in a party loot bag, and Cordelia joined us in cleaning the kitchen floor, which we did with two buckets of soapy water and a lot of cloths. Cordelia mostly splashed around but Delphine really helped. She was very agreeable company all morning.

After lunch Delphine went on a bike ride with Blake, and I put Cordelia down for a nap and then lay down on the couch myself. I read some of the Globe, then fell asleep and woke up in time for Cordelia to wake up and Blake and Delphine to get home. I really should have cleaned the kitchen at some point, but instead Blake suggested we watch The Sound of Music. So I popped some popcorn and the girls and I snuggled on the couch for their second movie ever.

Delphine loved it. She loved the songs, most of which she already knew, she loved the children, she loved the story. She even got into the romance, which surprised me.

She was really scared by the Captain at the beginning; she was petrified that the children were going to get into trouble all the time. She really doesn't like stern people, and she's petrified of authority figures, of getting in trouble, of doing the wrong thing, and of displeasing authorities. She gets it from me, and I'm not sure what to do about it. Anything? But we talked to her and got her thinking about whether all rules are worth following, and about whether getting into trouble is really the worst thing that can happen. We're so subversive.

Oh, and she was scared of the Nazis at the end. (Or the Nasties, as she called them at first.) I figure the sooner you learn that Nazis are scary the better.

Cordelia was a little bit scared of the things Delphine was scared of, and towards the end of the show she just got bored and started kicking people.

After the movie, which as it turns out is really really long, I was all logey and out-of-sorts, which was bad because it was 6:30. Dinner is supposedly at 6:00, and choir is actually at 7:30, so I had -30 minutes to get some food on the table and 30 minutes to eat and leave to get to choir on time. I nuked a bunch of leftovers (which was, as it turns out, actually the plan for dinner), ate, got out the door (with some uncharacteristic leg-hanging and bawling from Cordelia) and was only about five minutes late to choir, although out of breath.

Choir was only half-full and I got all cocky and sat off by myself. I was soon humbled by the realization that I don't know the piece half as well as I thought I did; without all those voices around me I missed a few entries and ballsed up a few intervals that I would have sworn I knew. Choral singing can make a person really lazy.

The piece we're doing has some really (really really) high notes and I was feeling very unsure as to how well I was singing them. Sometimes something sounds great in your head but awful outside, and they're such high, loud, conspicuous notes (the ones in the sixth movement, for those playing along at home (Dave)) that I really didn't want to be fucking them up inadvertently. So I sucked up my courage to ask the conductor how I was doing. I hoped he would say I was doing okay but I steeled myself to be cool if he had a problem, like if I was too loud or flat or something. I know logically that you can only improve by accepting negative feedback and working on it, but like Delphine I like to be perfect at things right away because I hate criticism.

The good news is that my high notes are fine, so now all I have to work on is the whole rest of the piece. Sigh. But I was pleased with myself for having the nerve to ask about it rather than make myself miserable second-guessing my high notes for the rest of the season. Now I can belt them out with great confidence!

I came home all fidgety and still out-of-sorts, happy because of the good feedback but unhappy about the number of mistakes I made, tired but too wired to go to bed. I read too many chapters of Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson, and finally fell asleep.

This morning Delphine had a playdate at a friend's house - a really sweet, vivacious Grade One girl who was in Delphine's kindergarten class last year. They don't get together very often now, but they seem to maintain an affection for one another. So Delphine stayed there for lunch while Cordelia and I entertained a friend of mine and her baby. This is a new friend, one of the many lovely and clever and interesting people I've met in the last year or two. She admired my kitchen. I always appreciate people who admire my kitchen.

After our company left I managed to stuff some food into Cordelia and put her down for a nap before Delphine was returned home after her playdate. Delphine watched some TV while I cleaned the kitchen and did laundry. (Cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry seems to be more-or-less my default state.)

At 1:30 I roused Cordelia and we all headed over to the park to meet Auntie Morgan. The girls are thrilled to rediscover the park and explore all their new abilities, developed unwittingly over the winter. Cordelia loves to go down the big slides which scared her last fall, and Delphine can now successfully pump on the swings (although she prefers not to).

After an hour or so at the park Cordelia declared she had to go pee, so we walked over to my friend Tanya's house to use their facilities. (It's important to cultivate friends who live near the park.) When they heard we were at the park they thought it was such a sovereign idea that they decided to join us, and then we bumped into still more friends, and then the ice cream truck hove into view! The park is truly a wonderland of friends and unexpected frozen dairy treats.

I was the only person there with money, so I bought four little ice cream cones for various little people. I think I got shortchanged but getting that much happiness for under a ten-spot is still a pretty good deal. Plus I got to finish Delphine's ice cream. ("Mama, can you eat this ice cream for me? But don't eat the cone.")

When it was time to leave the park there was some confusion: Delphine wanted to go pee but didn't want to go home, so we all walked over to Tanya's place to use her bathroom again. I knew, of course, that there was no chance that Delphine would just pee and leave - she and Ursa got to playing and Tanya and I were similarly reluctant to part company. I tried to coax Tanya to come to my place for burgers and hot dogs, but she has been sick and was tired, and she had plans to meet her husband, but then it would be easier to come to my place than go out, and burgers are yummy, and the girls are having such a nice time... we dithered, we weighed options, we wasted a great deal of time. I think Tanya was just too tired to make a decision.

Then I suggested a sleepover and Tanya visibly brightened. She asked Ursa if she would like to go for a sleepover at Delphine's place, and the girls acted as if I had just offered them pink flying ponies with sparkly tails. So that was a go. The whole lot of us walked back to our place (desperately slowly, with several wipeouts) where I ended up making KD (it was too late to do burgers and anyway Tanya wasn't staying for dinner). Everyone ate a bunch of KD and edamame, and Tanya and I had tea.

And Tanya gave me a wonderful gift! She's a painter and she painted me a picture of the red Marmoleum floor that I originally wanted (with some broken eggs on it). It's fantastic and I need to figure out where to put it. And which way is up. (Since it's a picture of the floor, any way could be up. I get to decide!)

The girls finally got to bed after far too much foolishness, although they were still awake at 8:40. Hopefully this means that they will sleep in. (Hah.)