This past week has been a wild one at our house. School started on August 8th, and so began the chaos. Dance lessons, cheerleading, homework, early to bed, early to rise...yuck, yuck and yuck (those yucks are directed towards the last three tasks). Allison started the 7th grade and Mary Carolyne started Kindergarten. So far, so good :) I've been so busy with those two starting school, I failed to recognize that one of my little ladies was getting lost in the shuffle. Laurie. My sweet, precious little Laurie Beth. My first red flag should've been on the first day of school when we brought Mary Carolyne to her classroom. MC was all smiles and was more than ready for us to leave so she could embark on the magical journey that is Kindergarten. I told Laurie to give MC a hug good-bye and she slowly walked over to her sister. Laurie laid her head on Mary Carolyne's shoulder and I watched her big blue eyes fill up with tears. MC didn't notice of course, but I did. Laurie was struggling to be brave....that was her best little friend we were leaving. I could only imagine what was going through Laurie's mind. " Who am I going to play with now? Baby Anne Claire? Are you kidding me? Please. Anne Claire can't have karate matches with me. She can't do cartwheels in the den with me, even after mom says stop. Anne Claire can't have a contest to see who can stand on their head the longest." The entire day, Laurie never left my side. Every few minutes she'd ask, "Can we go pick up Mary Carolyne now?"
A few days later, Laurie started ballet and tap for the first time. She was so excited to be taking the same class the Mary Carolyne had taken the past two years, but I made a huge mistake. I didn't tell Laurie that Mary Carolyne wouldn't actually be in that class with her. She walked in the ballet room so excited, but her face fell when she realized she was once again without her sister. I watched her wander around aimlessly for most of the class. When the other ballerinas jumped and pranced around the room, Laurie shuffled sadly, shoulders slumped. It was heart-breaking. I realized how lonely she was without Mary Carolyne. She wasn't moping around the ballet room because she didn't like the class. She was feeling things that a three-year-old can't put into words . She couldn't say, "Mom, I'm sad because you failed to tell me that Mary Carolyne won't be joining me in ballet class. I feel you misled me and now I'm going to shuffle around this room like a Charlie Brown cartoon character." When class was over, Laurie wouldn't even walk over to me. She just glared at me...angrily. On the way home, she hardly said a word; just stared out the car window. I had grossly underestimated how hard Laurie was taking the separation from Mary Carolyne. I told Ryan about it, so we made sure to pay extra attention to Laurie. We loved on her a little more, slipped her a couple extra cookies...you know, the kinds of things that speak to a three-year-old :)
I'm happy and relieved to say that things are slowly getting back to normal. Laurie is returning to her old self. Why just yesterday,she attacked Mary Carolyne with a stick horse and later she kicked her in the mouth ("It was an accident, Momma," according to Laurie...yeah right). Who knew I'd miss the slightly violent, story-telling Laurie? I'm sure Mary Carolyne didn't miss her :)