Day 417: Today was a Sad Day

by lara,

For the Little Dictator, among others of the Tumaini children. Today, Tonny Bones and Rolen (tony and Lauren) went home. And they are already very very missed, as numerous notes, requests for games etc. can attest to.

It is a funny thing, seeing those youngsters (by youngsters, I mean tony and Lauren) in action. They made such a huge impact here, and the kids were SO thrilled to have them here it was slightly obscene (it’s humiliating to have the kids run toward you only to discover they are running past you to someone else). And it’s fun to watch the kids show off for them, and to remember how entertaining these kids are from a new perspective etc. etc. etc.

However, it is an odd thing to suddenly realize that Claire and I are the ones really living here, and while the other volunteers are on much more than a vacation, we have become the Mother Hens. We have to explain how everything works, deal with discipline, catch the kids lying, fix any wounds they inflict on each other, and generally be the Bad Guys a lot of the time. This is particularly true when jaded Claire and I sit in the living room ignoring the knocks on the door, while the newer volunteers answer all the doors and find the queries waiting for them on the other side absolutely delightful.

For example, who wouldn’t want to answer the door to an adorable mismatched urphan, asking to understand what this word “peanut” in their book is? How quaint, how endearing. It is delightful to open a child’s world and to explain to them how to open the peanut shell, how to enjoy the tasty treat.

So it’s less than stellar to then be the one who then has to explain that actually Jane does know what a peanut is; she had one last week. And yes, it is entirely believable that little Jane came up with this elaborate lie about “what is this…pea…nut???” all wide-eyed and innocent and sweet in order to milk Katie for a couple more peanuts while my back was turned. Sneaky minx.

But don’t get me wrong…it is an overwhelmingly positive thing to have everyone here. It feels kind of cat’s cradle occasionally, with all of these new people reminding me that I’ve been too busy to find the off-tune loud singing anything other than annoying these last few mornings, and that the humor has gone out of the kids’ tendency to just repeat your name while you talk to other people until you can pay attention to them. It all used to be adorable and thrilling…and now the volunteers have come just in time to remind me that it still is.

It’s almost as if this experience is teaching me that motherhood will not be all glamour, relaxation and well organized outings. Frankly, I’m shocked.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

You are, however, (to borrow syntax from Paris Stilton [who is at this moment still in jail]) totes mistaken in this mythical "running past" reference. You seem to have forgotten what actually happened, which was that when the kids were running in legion toward us, we opened our tired and beleaguered arms, and as they approached they asked "where is Crayor and Rora?"

That was so weird what Claire wrote about that whack preacher. I'm sure Eunice was glad she walked out. I can't imagine what I'd do in that situation. Anyway, miss you guys.

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