Over the last few weekends, I've been introducing my girls to one of the most wonderful stories ever written and captured on the screen. Of course I'm referring to Pride and Prejudice and of course I'm referring to the BBC production of it. I flatter myself that I have a bit of Elizabeth in me (don't we all?) or at least the quiet simplicity of Jane. But lately I'm afraid I've seen more of Mrs. Bennet in myself. This is horrifying.
I blame the Olympics, which our family is quite devoted to. The skating events immediately inspired Little Miss to start saving up for some rollerblades (much more feasible than ice skating around here). During the snow storm she even offered to organize the game closet to earn a few bucks toward her goal. ("This is taking longer than I thought, Mom.") My sister heard of her plan and quietly mentioned that they had a pair at home that no one was currently using. They are now on the feet of my princess. Right now. Still. And always.
It's been so rainy lately that I said it was okay for her to skate inside. She quickly found a route from the front door to the school room and began gliding back and forth. And back and forth. And back and forth.
Aidan started to see the fun in all this and suggested that he might like to buy some blades, too. Last week on the way home from piano lessons, we decided to pop into Goodwill, just in case. And there they were, practically brand new rollerblades, just his size, just the right price.
So I now have two children gliding back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. It makes school rather interesting. (They're allowed to keep the skates on as long as it doesn't interfere with their work.) One morning they made a game of their flash card drills. Aidan held up the problem and Avery had to zip by and say the answer without stopping. Of course it took much longer, but I'm not going to make a fuss about kids having fun with their multiplication facts.
The thing of it is, rollerblades are just so loud. Those children smack and crash and flop all over the place and I find that my shoulders are perpetually tense as a result; I'm just waiting for the next boot to smack into my chair or the next pair of hands to collide with the front door. I've become Mrs. Bennet, utterly convinced that no one has any compassion on my poor nerves.
They ask to help with dinner, and glide about the kitchen fetching utensils and slicing olives. It's loud. Things land on the floor. Children land on the floor. They ask if they can wear them in the car. They glide out the front door, smack into the car and clumsily climb in, smacking and crashing all throughout the drive. (Have I mentioned my poor nerves?) Whenever they get a chance, the blades go on. (I did have to put my foot down, however, when they attempted to wear them while using the bathroom.)
But I really shouldn't complain. It's winter, it's wet outside and they're having a great time. They laugh and smile as they time themselves and race each other, trying to beat the record for how many seconds it takes to go from the front door to the school room counter. (Smack!) Five seconds. All the same, I'm frantically wracking my brain. Surely there's a gym around here with a nice, smooth floor, that would welcome two children. Wait -- make that three. Bethie's saving up now, too. So a gym that would welcome three children . . . and Mrs. Bennet.