Their Fourth, Our Third

The twins’ fourth birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks. Four. Wow. I remember the time when I couldn’t look beyond the next day – forget four, I couldn’t even imagine how we’d make it to their second (our first) birthday, almost one whole year away.

Four promises to be a fun year. We’re past the tantrums of two. Toilet training and related accidents are a distant memory. We’re past the hurdle of getting them settled in school. We’re even past the hurdle of me getting back to work, with all the implications that has on the rest of our small family.

(We’re, in fact, at the exact right place to be thinking of getting a younger sibling for the twins. But we’re not thinking of that – heavens, no! Need I remind you that we haven’t actually got the adoption deeds for these two yet? We might get them by the time we approach three full years of being a family – at the end of September – but you can’t count on it. So no, I don’t think our girls are going to get a baby brother, now or at any other time. Adoption laws in India don’t allow us to adopt another girl, even if there are so many more girls than boys looking for a home. Strange, but true.)

So anyway, their fourth birthday, their third with us, is coming up. Four looks like being a good year, because they are so grown up already. They are more eager to help out at home, they are capable of spending long periods of time playing with each other and they are fighting less with each other. They can do most of their own stuff themselves, though they might have to be told (repeatedly and forcefully). They can build long and complex sentences and hold halfway intelligent conversations. They are learning so fast it is both surprising and delightful. By the end of this year, they might even be able to play a proper game of Snakes and Ladders.

We asked them what they wanted as birthday gifts and they both said they wanted five books. Each. We agreed, of course, but we’ll have to get them something else as well, won’t we? I mean, books as birthday gifts is the best one could ever hope for according to me, but for kids under 5 (who don’t yet know how to read), shouldn’t they also get something more like toys?

Meanwhile, I have started thinking about baking. Last year was phenomenal – now what am I going to do this time around? I’m certainly not going to buy cakes, while they’re young enough to appreciate homemade cakes (and I’m young enough to still make them). Cookies seems to be a good option for school. I made two batches today as a test run – butter cookies with almonds on top, and chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips. They both turned out nice enough, though I didn’t have a few essential ingredients, such as chocolate for the chips, cornflour, Pam cooking spray and so on.

The kids have about 30 kids in their class, and another 15 in daycare. Add in adults in both places, it’s about 60 people. Two birthday girls, so at least two cookies per head – 120 cookies! And you always have to plan for a few extra. I need a bigger oven!

Luckily, the weekend before their birthday is a long weekend. Powercuts in our beautiful city are almost as bad as ever, though, so this is going to take a lot of patience. Luckily cookies don’t suffer like cakes do in the advent of a powercut – you can just put the dough in the fridge and wait.

Next, we need two cakes to cut at home that evening. I’ll probably have to whip those up on the day itself – which means I’ll need some flexibility at office. But if it’s going to be just us four, it’ll be something small and simple.

Since the birthday is a weekday, and since nobody enjoys driving across town for a birthday party mid-week when the next day is a school/office day, we’ve decided that the party will have to be on a weekend. It’s hopefully not going to be a huge affair, and we’re probably going to do it at home again, maybe even with homemade food this time; and it’s definitely going to involve another two cakes.

Birthdays are such fun.

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One – For Half A Day

Tara was off her food for a couple of days. Daycare reported that presented with lunch on Tuesday – which was chicken, a perennial favourite – her face crumpled up and when asked to eat, she actually started to cry. They questioned her health and wellbeing, including asking whether potty was impending, but all she said was, “I don’t want to eat.” Thankfully, as per our strict instructions, they let it go at that.

At dinner time, she drank her milk happily enough and went off to play; but by 8 p.m. when I called them for their bedtime routine, she was becoming cranky and clingy. It was expected by then, of course. If a child doesn’t eat for a couple of days, it’s bound to portend illness and the sooner it makes itself evident, the sooner we’ll know exactly what kind of a beast we’re up against.

Tara looked uncomfortable and tearful for a good solid hour before she made us all a little happier by throwing up in the bathroom. The papaya she’d had in the afternoon came up; the milk she’d had a couple of hours later, strangely enough, stayed down. After we’d got everything cleaned up, we left them in their room and they were both soon asleep.

It was 4 a.m. before the sequel was enacted. Tara coughed mildly in her sleep, woke up, and came to us crying that she’d vomited. I couldn’t see any evidence of vomit, so I thought she’d probably just coughed up some phlegm and I put her back to bed. This happened another couple of times before I realized what was going on. Of course – she was hungry! And her cough was making her retch. Around 5.30 I gave up on sleep and gave her some food instead. She ate eagerly enough and – thankfully – it stayed down. She went back to bed for a short while and then it was time for breakfast. She had her milk again, but soon after that, instead of looking happier, she began to look positively woeful. By 7.10 a.m. she was steadfastly refusing to go to school.

I’m happy to say that my girls are not the sort to actually want to miss school. Like me (and unlike my sister), they love school. They go eagerly and enthusiastically and they don’t quite understand why we have to have weekends. So if either of them doesn’t want to go to school, it means she really, really doesn’t want to go. Even when Mrini traipsed out of the door with Amit, smiling happily and waving, Tara only sat in my lap, clung to me, and looked miserable.

It was a complicated sort of day. Tara and I changed out of work and school clothes into home clothes. I had to unpack the kids’ lunch and reduce everything to make it suitable for one child. Then Amit forgot to take Mrini’s lunch with him to drop off at daycare on his way to work. Additionally, there was some kind of strike in the private van industry, which meant that the kids’ school van wouldn’t pick Mrini up from school and take her to daycare. So it was beginning to look like I’d have my hands full, lugging Tara to school, picking up Mrini, dropping her at daycare, and coming back home with Tara, all before lunch. I could also have just brought Mrini home – but then I’d have my hands full anyway, and why deprive her of the fun of daycare?

It all turned out well enough, though. Tara rapidly improved in the morning and when she looked grumpy and I asked her why, it turned out it wasn’t her stomach; it wasn’t a fever; she wasn’t tired or hungry or thristy; she was just missing Mrini. From 10 a.m. she asked me every few minutes when we were going to fetch Mrini. When the doorbell rang, she wanted to know if Mrini had come home.

Whenever she wasn’t asking about Mrini, she sat sweetly next to me “reading” a book, colouring in a drawing book, singing songs to herself, and hardly disturbing me at all. It was hard to believe this docile little girl was Tara!

By the time we went to get Mrini, Tara was sure (sore – as she says it) that she wanted to go to daycare. I guess the thought of spending the entire day at home without Mrini was too much to bear! So I lugged up the forgotten lunch bag, put back in all the food I’d taken out, got out of my ragged home clothes and put on my office clothes again, and left to pick up Mrini from school. The drive was more chaotic than usual due to a few new spanners the civic authorities had thrown into the works, so we got there ten minutes late, but Mrini wasn’t complaining. The girls greeted each other with utter indifference. I asked Mrini if she’d missed Tara and she said “No. I was in school.” I told her Tara had missed her and she looked faintly disgusted, while Tara looked distinctly embarrassed.

I dropped them off at daycare, updated the coordinator, and got to office just in time for lunch.

At the end of the day, when I picked them up, I was informed that Tara had been ok and though she didn’t eat much lunch, she ate a hearty mid-afternoon snack. Mrini, on the other hand, was distinctly off her food. Looks like it’s her turn next. If this is a stomach viral that Amit brought back from Delhi, it might even be my turn after that… Sigh.

Leave Education to the Schools

It’s all very well when you don’t have kids and you think: “Oh, when I have kids, I’ll teach them this and I’ll show them that, and I’ll share the other with them, and I’ll always do this and (especially) I’ll never do that,” and so on.

When the kids are there growing up in front of your eyes, you really have to pin down and put in words practically your entire belief system – and that’s not so easy.

One thing I’ve realized I do believe – if for no other reason than out of sheer laziness – is that it’s best to leave teaching to the schools. I’m a lousy teacher anyway. They, hopefully, know what they’re doing.

My mother was probably a good teacher. At least, I hope she was, because she taught tiny tots in school for a while. She likes to talk about her unconventional – for that time – approach to teaching. I remember her sitting with me while I painstakingly learnt to read. As one of the most impatient people I have ever known, the thing that stands out most is her patience while I struggled to piece the words together. (According to her, I was mildly dyslexic.) The other thing that stands out now, in retrospect, is that she didn’t try to teach me to read; she just sat there and let me learn it on my own.

Once I’d mastered reading, I don’t remember my mother ever working with me on any school-related task – from homework through projects, and, later on, even to issues with teachers or other students. She never glanced at my homework to see whether I had done it or even to know what it was that I had to do. She never tutored me for tests and exams and she never questioned me on the outcome. She never even told me to go study. But somehow I knew that I must do the work I was given to do, in the time I was given to do it, and I must do it myself, without help from parents, sister, or classmates. I knew that if I had questions, I should ask the teachers and no-one else (and from that I eventually learned that most teachers didn’t like to be questioned and often, especially in higher classes, didn’t actually have the answers.) I learned to be disciplined and conscientious and independent, qualities I now – strangely enough – value highly.

But how did this approach help me? Did it help me excel in school, or in life? Not really.

In school, I was a good student. I was not great; I was never top of the class; I was not even good enough to get a seat in an engineering college – or at least, the only engineering college I did get into was the one my parents didn’t want to send me to (Thapar, in Patiala); and I wound up doing English Honours (which was probably really the best choice for me anyway)… So I was not a great student, but whatever I did, I did well enough.

But is “well enough” good enough? Is, for instance, English Honours good enough?

Now the question is, of course, what do you want for your children. For some people, it might be a difficult question to answer. They might be torn between “doctor” “engineer” and (hopefully) “artist” (either creative or performing). For me, the answer is none of those. I don’t care whether they become doctors or engineers; writers or violinists; Wimbledon finalists or movie stars. I don’t care whether they ever achieve greatness in any field or not. I don’t care whether they have a job and a career or they are destined to penury as struggling artists or activists. I don’t even, really, care whether they make themselves rich or not. What I want for them is something more difficult to define. I want them to be balanced, determined, confident, secure, and independent people. I want them to have the foundations for strength, peace, and contentment. I want them to have integrity, at every level. I want them to be able to take on the world without blinking.

I want them to be people I can look up to in respect, even in awe – not for what they might achieve, but simply for who they are.

How am I going to help make them that way? I have no idea – but certainly not by helping them to learn whatever their school wants them to learn. Not by holding their hands to teach them to write. Not by pinning them to a study table while they struggle with numbers and letters. Not by pushing them to learn faster or better than others in their class or school or neighborhood. But maybe, just maybe, by letting them be whatever they want to be.

When they went on stage a few weeks ago, I was so proud of both of them. Mrini, for obvious reasons – she was unfazed by the lights, the sound, the audience, the strangeness of everything, and she stood in her place and did her part and enjoyed it. She can hardly wait to get back on stage. (I probably should get her into a music and/or dance class soon – she so loves to sing!) She had courage and elan. But Tara – Tara was bewildered by the set-up. The too-loud music troubled her. So she covered both her ears with her hands and just stood there, looking bemused. She didn’t cry. She didn’t run away. She didn’t even look scared; just puzzled. She stood her ground and did what felt right to her and she was not in the least bit embarrassed or upset by her performance. That takes a kind of courage and confidence too.

Academic performance, good or bad, is not going to turn them into the people I want them to be. Excellence at academics will of course give them confidence, but that is a confidence limited to only that sphere, and based on only that success. I want them to have the confidence to go against the flow, to not excel if they choose not to. To take their own time and do their own thing.

And that’s why I’m so happy with the Montessori system and with their school in particular. They let children learn at their own pace, and they have confidence in kids’ ability to learn (as much as in their own ability to teach). At the end of last year, their teacher said, “Well, they should know the number symbols from zero to nine by now, but they haven’t completely got it yet. You can work with them on it over the summer holidays if you want to. Otherwise don’t worry, we’ll do it when school resumes in June.”

That, exactly, is what I want to hear. I want to know where they stand, what they need to work on, and I want to know that there is absolutely no need for me to “work” on it with them. I did talk and play with numbers a bit with them during the holidays, but I didn’t “work” on it. And they seem to have got it now anyway. Ok, they are a couple of months late. Should I be worried? I don’t think so.

I have little enough time with my girls as it is. What time I do have, I want to spend enjoying them. I want to watch them play, and talk to them and engage them in all the things they don’t learn in school – making cake, listening to music (as opposed to nursery rhymes), watching (and playing) tennis, telling stories… And in all of this, if I can somehow impart to them some bits of my desired philosophy, my preferred outlook on life, so much the better.

I know what you’re thinking: it’s all very well to say this now, when they are not yet four years old and they don’t have tests and exams to pass. Can I stand by this when they are 8, 10, 14 years old and studies become more challenging and the rat race becomes more competitive? I don’t know – but I intend to try. And if their school means to continue along the path it has started out on, I imagine I might have some chance of success.

So here’s my plan: as school continues and they learn to read and write and then go on to arithemtic, geography, history and all that other stuff, I’m not going to be studying with them. I won’t “go over” what they’ve learnt in school each day or each week. I won’t be checking that they’ve done their homework or studied for a test. And I’m not going to stop them if they want to spend their time playing games instead of working. I spent the day before my Xth Standard English Board exam reading Tolkein (which was, sadly, not part of the curriculum) and my parents weren’t in the least bit perturbed by that. They trusted that I’d done my work for the exam – and I want to pass on that trust to my daughters, starting, oh say, a year or so ago. If they don’t do well academically, that’s ok – in the long run, they will learn that they are responsible for their own lives and that is a lesson well worth learning.

Some day, in their own way, they will take on the world. And I’ll watch from the audience and say with pride, “that’s my girl!”

For me, that’s good enough.

Twinnings 8

Kids! They drive you mad! For instance (and this conversation could happen with either child speaking any line and not necessarily in turn):

“I want the blue mat.”

“No I want the blue mat (It doesn’t matter that there are two blue mats; they will fight over one blue mat anyway, and outright reject the other.)”

“If you don’t give me the blue mat then I’ll be sad.”

“If you don’t give me the blue mat I’ll tell mama. Then mama will scold you.” (Truly terrifying, I don’t think.)

“No, if you don’t give me the blue mat, then I won’t give you chocolate. (Not that she has chocolate to give anyway.)”

And finally, the ultimate weapon…

“If you don’t give me the blue mat then I won’t be your friend!”

At this point, if nothing works, physical violence usually ensues, which usually requires some adult intervention. If my hands are full with food and dishes, as they usually are, my preferred strategy is to scream at the top of my voice, sending shivers down spines as far as 300 m away. Amit says all the kids within half a km radius of our house instantly stop whatever they are doing, even those who can’t actually hear me but just feel the shock waves. Maybe even some of the weaker adults freeze for a couple of minutes. Thankfully, it’s not completely ineffective at home either – maybe because I only do this when biting or other forms of grievous bodily injury are imminent. In any case, I always confiscate the blue mat – or whatever prized possession they happen to be fighting over.

The aggrieved parties retire, sobbing pitifully, and trying tearfully to convince me of their utter innocence, the justness of their cause, and the dastardliness of the acts committed upon them by the other.

One-and-a-half minutes later, resigned to using the red mats, they are best of friends again, sharing food, spilling milk, and bubbling over with mischievous (maddening) giggles. While I nurse a sore throat.

————–

Then, on the other hand, they can be such fun…

I took them to the play area today. They don’t have any friends there – just a bunch of other kids who seem to change every day. That doesn’t bother them at all. The other day there were only three other kids in the play area. One kid had his dad hanging around them. A few minutes later, the boy was completely avoiding his dad and running around with Mrini and Tara like he’d known them all his life. He looked a little older than the girls, but was less used to the play area. The girls ran rings around him – especially since there were two of them to do the running, and he probably couldn’t keep trak of which one went where – but he did his best to tag along as fast as he could. It was entertaining and cute to the nth degree. By the time he got home that evening, he must have been exhausted!

Today, there were plenty of kids. The girls ran around doing their stuff. Then a somewhat older boy found a kite. He must have about 8 or 9. He didn’t have a reel for the kite, just a short string, which, in the inexorable wind that’s been blowing the last several days, was enough to get the kite up in the air, but not very high. Anyway, a girl went up to this boy and the boy ran away taking his kite with him. The girl chased him, making him run faster. The girl looked about 6 or so, and might have been a sibling. The two of them raced around the playground, up the steps, down the slides, around other kids and in and out of the octopus-like tentacles of the playscape. Naturally, this was irresistible. In seconds,Mrini and Tara joined the chase. I don’t think they knew that they were running after the kite. They were just running because the other two kids were running. But it was great to watch!

—————

And they are just SO smart!

Tara: That is the train.

Me: Yes.

Tara: It’s moving slowly.

Me: Yes.

Tara: It has so many people.

Me: That’s right. In our car there’s only one person. (I don’t know why I said this; I wasn’t really concentrating on the conversation.)

Mrini (quickly): No, there’s three persons.

Me: That’s true. And when Baba is here, there are four of us.

Tara: Now what is the train doing?

Me: it’s going away.

Mrini: It will say, watch out everyone here I come.

(The train obligingly toots its horn.)

Tara: The train is at the station?

Me: It was at the station, now it’s leaving the station.

Tara: Why?

Mrini (knowledgeably): Because that is what trains do! Cars take people home because that is what cars do, and trains go to the station because that is what trains do.

Ok – so this is why I still want to drive them to school instead of putting them in the school van.

————–

And then, they are just so forward! What is going to happen when they turn teenagers I shudder to think.

Mrini (coyly): I gave Navneet kissie today.

Me: Really!? Then what happened!?

Mrini: Then Navneet gave me kissie.

Groan! They are not even four years old yet! Granted “kissie” is not the same as “kiss” (hopefully!)– but still!

(At least she’s loyal – Navneet has been her “special” friend since she joined school a year ago.)

In Conversation

I’ve been collecting these little snippets of conversation for quite a while. They are not so much fun when you write them down, of course, but for whatever it’s worth, here they are.

—————–

The other day I was telling the girls about a small little girl I’d seen at the tennis court who was really swinging her racket with elan. She must have been about six years old. I told Mrini and Tara about her and Mrini said, “what was her name?”

Tara supplied the answer: “Sharapova.”

Hmmmmmm… they’ve been watching too much tennis on TV. Apart from Roger (whom they can recognize a mile off in any newspaper or magazine photo) they know Rafa, are on nodding terms with Andy (Murray) and Novak, and are almost best friends with “Jelena Jelena Jankovic” and Sharapova.

————-

Tara: Baba scolded me because I’m so sad.

She means, I’m so sad because Baba scolded me. She often gets her “because” mixed up with her “that’s why” (to great effect!) when she’s composing a sentence, though she uses it ok when she’s answering a question that starts with “why”.

————-

At the playground, the girls decided to play running games. Mrini ran, and Tara ran behind her, trying to catch her. They completed an entire circuit, twice, and each time Mrini came running up to me at the end (I was the starting pole as well) and collapsed in my arms, and Tara ran up a couple of steps behind her, grabbed her shirt and said, “Mini, I caught you.”

Me: Now Mrini, you go catch Tara.

Tara: No.

Mrini: Ok.

Tara ran off with Mrini in hot pursuit. Then Mrini overtook Tara and the round ended much the same way that the previous two rounds had ended! They just forgot that Mrini was out to catch Tara!

————-

In the car:

Tara: See, so many cows. One, two, three, four, five cows. (There were three cows. Tara is never going to be a mathematical genius at this rate.)

Me: How many wheels does a car have?

Tara (sitting in the car and counting on her fingers): One two three four five six wheels.

Mrini (getting out of the car and walking around to count): One, two, three, four. Four wheels.

The next morning, they were showing me a sheet of paper on which the outline of a car had been drawn and they had each painted it in, red for the car and black for the wheels.

Me: How many wheels does your car have?

Tara: Two wheels. (It was a side view of the car, so it had only two wheels, of course.)

Mrini (to me): Your car has four wheels.

Me: And how many wheels does your car have?

Mrini: Two wheels.

Me: Then how will it go, with only two wheels?
Mrini: One, two, three, four. Four wheels. (She counted the two wheels that were visible and the two that would have been on the far side of the car.)

Me: That’s good – you counted the wheels you can see as well as the wheels that you can’t see.

Mrini (turning over the paper): Where are the other two wheels?

————-

Tara: I want to open the car.

Mrini: No, I want to open the car! You can lock the car when we get home!

This went back and forth for quite a while, with escalating decibel level, pitch, and frenzy. Finally…

Mrini: Tara, I have a good idea. Shall I tell you a good idea, Tara?
Tara: nodding

Mrini: Today I’ll open the car. When we get home then you lock the car, ok Tara? Is that a good idea?

Tara (nodding happily and smiling): Ok.

Hmmmmmmmmm …. Mrini is the one to watch out for – she just sugar-coated her words and sold the deal to Tara! And Tara bought it lock, stock, and barrel!

————-

Prior to go on any kind of outing, I make the girls use the toilet at home. Typically, this is how the conversation goes:

Me: Girls, go do sussu.

Tara: I already done sussu.

Me (suspiciously): When?

Tara (with conviction): Today!

I should hope so! This could be at 6 p.m.!

Football Fever (At Last!)

The most magnificent game of football was played out in our living room this evening. Not on TV, of course – that’s just mundane. The most magnificent game was between two four-year-olds with two silky pony tails apiece.

Not that the pony tails are at all relevant to the tale – they just add flavor. It’s so much more incongruous when football is played by female players under the age of four, if the said players have two silky pony tails each.

Mrini stood at one end of the living room. Her goal was represented by the carpet which is laid against one wall. Tara stood at the other end. There’s a broad white granite border running across the black granite floor and her goal lay behind the white border. The border actually spans the width of the room – which is far wider than the carpet – so poor Tara would have had an impressively wide goal area to defend, but the glass-fronted bookshelf occupying a significant portion of the width of the room did make her job somewhat easier.

They took it in turns to politely kick the ball to each other. If the defender fumbled, it was a goal. The goals came thick and fast at first, what with one goalie sitting down on a bolster and another goalie lying down on her tummy on the ground for a bit. Then at one point Tara place the ball neatly in the centre of the room and backed away preparatory to taking a healthy swipe at it. Mrini quickly rushed in and kicked the ball into the goal before Tara could sort out her left leg from her right leg.

At one point, Tara aimed for the goal, but missed and her ball struck the goalpost (the corner of the carpet) and rolled away harmlessly. “Not a goal,” I ruled. “But I did shoot!” came the indignant rejoinder promptly. Meanwhile, Mrini’s strategy was to touch the ball as lightly as possible, so that it barely crawled halfway across the room before running out of steam. She still managed to score a few goals, though.

The game progressed apace, with Tara scoring some spectacular misses, but making up with enthusiastic, inspired goal-keeping. She also had an impressive feinting technique. She lunged at the ball several times, in such a convincing manner that I’m not sure even she knew that she was feinting. When she finally kicked the ball, though, it went tamely straight to Mrini. Then just as it came to Mrini’s turn to shoot, Tara said, “sussu!” and rushed off to the bathroom! She was back seconds later, tugging at her clothes in comic fashion and grinning broadly.

After the game had been on for a while and everybody had lost track of the score, I decided we’d play for golden goal. There were seven or eight attempts without a goal being scored when finally Tara shot wildly, the ball ricocheted off my foot and caught Mrini unawares and it was… gooooooooooooal!!! (Though technically I think it should have been disallowed… if the ball strikes the referee it can’t be a goal, can it?)

With the championship out of the way, the champions were hauled off for bath and bedtime by the referee! I’m sure you wouldn’t see that happening in the televised version of the game! No red cards, no yellow cards, and not even a single self goal! All in all, it was the best match of the season.

Onstage Photos

the kids have turned into absolute bookworms of late. Not that they’ve actually learnt to read yet, but they spend large parts of the day reading to each other and getting us to read to them. They’ve taken to selecting books to take to bed at night. Sunday is the one day of the week when I go to their room at 6.30 a.m. and snuggle up with them for an hour or so. This time, Mrini reached for the books strewn behind her head, took one, lay on her back, legs bent at the knees and crossed, balanced the book against her legs and happily read for a whole hour! Eventually Tara woke up too, and they both lay with their heads on one pillow, a book balanced against one set of knees, reading together.

They’ve learnt to skip, they’re learning to scribble purposefully (as opposed to scribbling at random), and they talk and ask questions absolutely incessantly. I know that we should encourage this and give sane and sensible replies, but sometimes it is really, really difficult! It’s bad enough fielding a barrage of questions when you’re driving and forced to concentrate on the traffic; or when you’re listening to the most divine music; but when you’re trying to get their teeth brushed at 7.15 a.m., with only 15 minutes to go before you leave the house (and the pony tails still to be done) and you can’t get the toothbrush into Mrini’s mouth because she won’t stop talking…!!!

In other news, the CD of their stage show finally arrived. I watched it once and it was so much fun! This one I’m going to cherish for years, and years, and years. Now I want to show it to them, but I haven’t had time yet. I’d love to post it online, of course, but it is in some fancy format that I haven’t even figured out how to copy yet, much less chopping out all the irrelevant bits and reducing it from 2 hours or so to 2 minutes or so. Maybe, some day. Meanwhile, there are photos.