Ziz spread her polka dot table cloth over the dress up box, carefully placed the sofa’s throw pillows to function as chairs, set her flowered tea set in the center of it all and called the other’s to join her.  Then she took Duke into her lap and with her arm wrapped securely about his round-ish middle she poured out the tea.

“I would like raspberry tea,” said Enzo.  “Yes, that’s what I made,” she assured him as she passed his cup.

When everyone was served she picked up one of two cups in front of her, tipped it toward Duke’s little mouth and supplied the necessary sipping sound before picking up her own cup and “sipping” for herself.  Meanwhile, Duke sat in her lap resting comfortably against her and watched the game unfold around him perfectly content.

With the kitchen table moved out to the garage for it’s makeover the six of us are forced to crowd around the wobbly card table.

Working on valentine projects nearly fried my brain.  With approximately four square inches of table space to work with I was doing my best to cut out hearts and draw elephants.  An orange circle here, a green rectangle there.

Moo is applying a layer of glue over the top of what had been a completed card.  “I want the BLUE!” she yells when the stick is anywhere other than in her hand.

Every move, every shift in a chair, every reach for the scissors, every energy spasm running through every child sends tremors through the flimsy table.  “I’m drawing elephants here people!” I tell them, “don’t touch the table!”  Uh-oh, I may have shifted into scary voice.  Nothing says family togetherness like art projects on a small and unstable surface.

Duke has a new trick.  He pulls himself to stand next to Zizza’s cello stool and he pushes it around the room. When he pauses to take a break he amuses himself by drumming on the stool’s top until he’s ready to be on his way again.  The wailing groan of the four wooden legs moving over the floor is hard to take but excusable when  you stop to consider its source and look into his dear little face, ecstatic with his accomplishment. 

When his siblings follow his lead (as all three of them are apt to do) the noise generated is absolutely unforgivable. once you know how to walk you have no business generating that kind of racket just to slide a stool around the living room.  Also, I guess the bigger the kid leaning on the stool the louder the whine against the floor.

One of the resounding unfairnesses of child hood.  Babies get away with everything.

I’m still waiting for the day one of them  grouches “How come Duke doesn’t have to help clean up?”   I’ll bet it’s coming any day now.

At dinner tonight I looked over and saw Enzo with the salt shaker fully inverted over his chicken.  “AACK!” I screamed as I quickly snatched up the shaker interrupting the stream of salt.  “what?” he wanted to know “You’ve just ruined your chicken!” I told him, looking at the drift on his plate.

To his credit he ate that chicken, and without being told to do so.  The only sign he made that it was anything but delicious was a soft sort of a coughing-throat clearing noise he made after he’d swallowed.

I answered by pouring him a glass of water.

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