January in Oxford

It is fairly quiet here at this time of year.  Far fewer tourists are wandering around, looking lost, and the students only just came back from the holidays.  Things are also fairly quiet in our house, as we try to keep the kids in a normal schedule while their parents come and go.  Sydney’s currently in the States, and I’m surprised to find myself with a relatively easy solo-parenting gig.  The three nursery mornings each week help a great deal, as does the fact that the kid are now old enough not to go from content to I’m-actually-starving! crying (can you tell I don’t miss the baby days?) in one minute.  They’re also interested in reading books, playing games, and helping me cook, so inside time has been quite pleasant.  Without any other adults around to hear, we’ve also done a lot of singing.  Nathaniel has pieced together most of the ABCs from listening to Katherine, but both kids have also picked up on some of the gospel-choir songs I’ve brought home from rehearsals.  “There were times I thought I’d never see the break of day” came tumbling out of Nathaniel’s mouth the other day, so I had better choose my songs wisely!

Katherine had a bit of a fit the other day, so I told her to go upstairs to her room to cool off.  Nathaniel, after watching her stomp off to her room, turned to me and said in a confessional tone, “I tore the spider off the wall [an incident from three months ago].  Katherine popped the balloon [two months ago].  Katherine colored on the wall [the day before].  Naughty, naughty.”  In a perfect imitation of his sister’s behavior in these situations, he admitted wrongdoing but then made sure that his list was shorter than hers.  For kids who are surprised by rain every time we step outside, they both seem to have a good memory for the things that get them in trouble!

We have been outside every morning this week, despite daily highs at freezing temperatures.  England has been getting its annual snow this week, with dustings each morning, and a bit of a storm scheduled for this weekend.  Katherine loves it, Nathaniel is curious, and as long as I can keep their mittens on they don’t get too cold to go out and play.  My college roommate, Lisa, is scheduled to fly in from Switzerland for a weekend visit late this evening, so we’re both anxiously watching the weather forecast and the flight schedules.



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