I slept not at all last night. I think I had two hours under my belt when I woke up, stayed awake for hours and then fell asleep for half an hour just at dawn. Gah.
I'm downstairs puttering around in the kitchen when Neo, my eldest daughter shows up for breakfast. She shuffles in wearing her robe and says, "You know? I hate my little sister. She's really getting worse. She cries and always gets her way. I never would have gotten away with that. At least I don't remember it."
And Good Morning to you too, my dear. I pointed out that since the little rat fink wasn't even in the room, let alone awake, that this line of reasoning first thing in the morning BEFORE MOMMY HAS HER COFFEE was not necessary.
She perked up and I took her to school. When I picked her up from school, she was euphoric, railing against the stupidity of standardized testing for two weeks, but gleeful in her story-telling. The proctor for her testing is a science teacher with lots of frogs and snakes in the class. Even a native frog, like Neo's four frogs. Neo was even allowed to hold the teacher's frog, which no student is allowed to do for fear of harming it.
I took her to a hair appointment. Neo has thick black hair half-way down her back which was last trimmed I think a year ago. When I picked her up, it was cut to above her shoulders, with layers, and Yen, the stylist, was curling the ends. Neo, all five foot two inches of her, leaped out of the chair, started jumping up and down in the salon, and hugged Yen. "I LOVE IT! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I should have listened to Yen, Mom. She said I should put one more layer in the back. But she says I can come back next time and do it then. Thank you, Yen. I love it! Can we go home so I can call Nikki?"
"Uh, sure." When did Neo ever express any interest in hairstyles? Whoa.
When we got home, Neo discovered that one of her frogs had died. Poor thing. Poor Neo.
This one, Horus, was getting fairly thin and lethargic. And now another one is looking a little hippy. But what can you do? She's had these frogs for a while, and although I'll take my dog to the vet, I'm not really going to pay the $40 office fee to an exotics vet for a frog a Kindergartner pulled out of the storm drain. And Neo knows that. As she was crying into my shoulder she said, "That's it. Isn't it? They're all going to die now, aren't they?"
Oh Christ. Poor kid.
I tell her that I have to cook dinner for the little kids, but that after dinner we can bury Horus. That seems to calm her down.
Standing in the kitchen my son says, "Mom, I feel so bad for Neo. You know what's good though?"
"We're so lucky that we're not having frog legs for dinner. That would really upset her."
"Uhhh. Yeah." Sweet boy. He was very worried about her. Unfortunately she overheard the comment and started keening again. (We've never HAD frog legs for dinner, but at least he's scouting all possibilities.)
After dinner she brought out a small box with a folded piece of paper in it. Within the folds of the paper was Horus. We dug a small grave for Horus, and Neo sat quietly there for a bit, her palms pressing into the earth. Then she said, "OK. Can I go inside and call Nikki now? I need to tell her about Horus."
Within two minutes, she was on the phone with her best friend. About twenty minutes later she said, "OK, Mom. I'm going to bed. Nikki was surprised to hear about Horus, but then she said something which made me laugh, so I'm OK now. She can't wait to see my hair. See ya."
OK. THAT was a roller coaster ride.
I need some sleep.