NOVEMBER'S END

herb boy spice girl

The last day of November. Another 31 days and the end of the year will soon be upon us. This time of year tends to go by quickly and before we know it, the year's cycle starts once again with the renewal of the spring season.

We made it to the gym this morning after 9am. From the choices available to them, the children chose to spend most of their time in the outside play area. After all, with the temperature at 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit), one would hardly know it was November's end today. I wonder when winter will appear this year, if at all.

On the way back home we stopped by HEB for some baby tomatoes I was craving for breakfast. As we walked around, the children started arguing about some colouring pages they received from a lady at a stand outside the store. I told Cinnamon to take her brother to get some more papers (as the ones he had did not appeal to him) whilst I finished gathering a few more vegetables. I pointed towards the entrance and they were on their way.

After I paid for the grocery items, I noticed the children had still not returned. I searched the aisles but did not see them so I enlisted the help of two store employees who had someone page the children on the store intercom. Without doubt I got that 'look', followed by a smile, when I stated my children's names. The look which says 'those are really their names?'. Within minutes, my little ones were discovered and brought to the checkout section of the store. Cinnamon informed me they were still looking for the entrance door.

Once out the door, we stopped by the stand where a lady handed both children three different colouring papers. Sage was not quick enough to make his last choice so he left unsatisfied and kept insisting we return for another choice. And insist he did as we continued to drive. I put on some music on the way home and eventually he relented.

The children requested Special K cereal for breakfast whilst I enjoyed a plateful of veggies, cheese, and bread. The cereal I bought for a vegetarian casserole (a meatless loaf) I make and one which nobody but Saffron and I eat. Cereal is not something I usually let the children eat - and never the coloured and sugary kind most American children indulge in on a daily basis. On a typical weekday morning, they eat yogurt or bread with almond or peanut butter and honey.

Sunday is normally a day where I would hope we relax and not go anywhere but today was not a normal day. There was no special breakfast and it was a Sunday where the children had scouts. At least they were supposed to have it. Only after having driven half an hour to the place the scouts are held did we find out the leader was ill and there would be no meeting today. I felt we had wasted a perfectly good Sunday waiting for something where we could have better spent the time at home or elsewhere.

I decided we would simply go to the Cherrywood Coffeehouse - a place I usually sit and wait for the children to finish with scouts - and enjoy a coffee and some sort of cake. We sat outside and shared a slice of carrot cake as that was the last slice left. A cortado was my coffee of choice today. On the stage outside, various young children played guitars and sang. The last set was the 'Let It Go' song - with which almost every parent is familiar - sung by two children not much older than my oldest who is eight years old. They played on kid size guitars and played beautifully.

children guitars

We went home shortly thereafter. I went upstairs to grab my camera and asked Cinnamon and Sage to let me make a photo of them. This time Cinnamon had no problem embracing her brother and even kissing him - on the eye at one point. They seemed to be enjoying this silly and fun moment.

kissing

The two played outdoors for a long while until a bee decided to interrupt them. At one point the bee made its way into the house but I managed to catch it in a hat which I threw out the door. Playtime resumed indoors whilst I finally found the time to Skype with my boyfriend. He let me know it was cold there and advised me to bring a warm coat. I told him how warm it was here and wished I was there enjoying a real winter. Five more days.

Dinner was simply fruit and mini pretzels tonight since the children expressed their dislike of any cooked meal I wanted to make. 'Eat what's on the table' is something which will take a while to enforce as I realized too many options existed in previous years. It seems most of us parents these days find it is easier to acquiesce and give them pasta most nights than to enforce a rule most of us grew up with decades ago. Having children experiment with different foods is a better option. How to do that at this point in time is a challenge for both parent and child and something I hope gets easier as the children get older. Nobody ever said parenting was easy, yet somehow we figure things out along the way.