Going down to the car

The surprise spot under the stairs. Cora has variations of peekaboo. "pockabee! keekabo! pockabock!"

Molly on the potty. Never stops being funny.

The two sweeties together. The sweetness makes all the tomfoolery worth it.

I usually only update the blog when we do something super fun, but I'm going to try and update about things that seem boring to me now, because these types of things will be more interesting to me in the future, at least I think so, because these are the things that make up most of our life. 

That being said, this post is about getting from the front door down to the car. We do it a million times a day. Sounds simple enough. But it's not! Don't get me wrong, I know we're lucky to live in our apartment. An apartment with free parking! We don't even have to park on the street, like lots of other people do. Or pay for our parking spot, like some buildings make you. We have a garage, with a gate, so our car won't get broken into, or at least it only will when someone breaks into the garage, which has only happened once. We practically live in a castle. I mean, our apartment has two bedrooms! There's a family in our ward who have three kids and live in a one bedroom. We've also got central air conditioning, a disposal in our kitchen sink, and a balcony, so that the cat's litter box is out of smell range. It's a castle! We're also lucky to have a second car, we didn't always have two cars. And of course we're lucky to have these two crazy little girls. 

BUT. GOING DOWN TO THE CAR. Is such an event! Picture the three of us, (because Jack, bless his heart, is always at meetings), all ready to go to church, the two rascals have been fed, washed, dressed, combed, two shoes on the right feet, bags packed with snacks and books. I probably even remembered to eat breakfast. It's 10:40, church is a five minute drive. I'm feeling pretty victorious. But what I haven't realized, and I really should have by now, is that we're not even close to leaving. 

We've got three staircases to walk down, three staircases that Cora must walk alone, or else give up all dignity and purpose for living. Mother's hand and the hand rail are insulting to her supreme stair walking abilities, and are rejected, so she teeters on the edge of death with each step. 

At the bottom of the first set of stairs, the neighbor's cat will be out sun bathing, so we must stop to say hello. The cat is old and grouchy, and will hiss, but that won't stop us from trying to pet it every single time we see it. 

Then we have to stop at the neighbor's bougainvillea plant. This poor old plant has been ravaged and pillaged and picked to death. My hands are usually full of library books, a stroller, Molly's scooter, or whatever else needs to get to the car, so all I can do is prepare my statements. "We don't pick flowers! We want to leave the flowers there so everyone can see them! Judith worked hard to grow those flowers, let's leave them there to make her happy. Get away from the flowers! Hands off!!!!!" But luckily on a Sunday, I only have my purse and a plate of cookies for the choir, so I can actually grab the upper arms of the girls and scoot them right past the bougainvillea without any flowers being torn off. 

If the building manager has watered the plants in the courtyard that morning, we'll have to find any remaining puddles, stomp in them, make footprints, squat down to study the footprints, lay down to lick the footprints, and repeat. 

Then we get to the first door. We all three grab the doorknob, because we all want to open it, but only I know how to open it. But "doors are power," (a wise observation by Grandma Hawkins) and whoever can open this door holds all the power, so we all three have to try to open it every time. 

Through the first door, we find ourselves at the top of the second set of stairs. Slow and steady.

Molly races down the second set of stairs, like a total champ, because it's under these stairs where all the fun happens. There's a nasty little area with spider webs where they can stand and hide and cover their eyes and say "surprise!!!" and I act super surprised or don't look at all, depending on how late we're running. After Cora makes it down the stairs, she joins Molly in the surprise spot, but Molly is done and goes to sit on "the potty." The potty is an empty flower pot that has been next to the pool fence since we moved here. Cora's main interest in life is sitting on potties, flushing potties, taking off diapers, trying to get a look at other people's business in the potty before it gets flushed, etc. So this pretend potty joke is always funny to her. She and Molly both sit on the potty two or three times, inbetween Molly wrapping this certain dead vine on the fence around her waist and running against it, which is one of the most important rituals. This is all done while I am rummaging through my purse to find my keys for the second door, which is a locked door, and I always forget to keep my keys out in my hand ready to go. I find the keys, open the door, threaten to close it if they don't follow me, let it close on its own, and right before it closes they get off the potty and out of the vines and push it open to come through to the last set of stairs! 

These are the jumping stairs! If the car that parks in front of these stairs is gone, this leaves a clear area for some prime jumping. Molly has been working her way to jump from the bottom step, then the second step, and now she can jump off of the third step if she's feeling brave. Cora also wants to jump from wherever Molly is jumping, but she doesn't want to hold my hand, so she'll gear up to jump, decide it's too high, then accept my hand, and complete the jump with help. We're almost there! 

Our parking spot is right next to a little yellow post that is in front of a cement pillar. It's there to prevent you from driving into the pillar, and also to be a microphone. It's just at the right height for both girls to stand on either side and yell some songs into the top of it. 

When we get to the car, Molly will get right in, so I open her door so she can climb in and buckle up in her seat like the little obedient angel that she usually is. But as soon as Cora realizes that we're near the car, she will make a run for it if I'm not prepared. If I don't grab her arm immediately after the microphone singing, she'll be out of there, and she runs super fast, and if there are other cars coming in and out of the garage, she will inevitably end her own life. But thankfully, she's still living.

I buckle Cora in, get in the car, look at the clock, it's 10:58. Someday we'll make it to church early! 

The other day when we didn't have to be anywhere on time, I took my camera and snapped some pictures of the foolish behavior. Most of our day is full of exasperating and sweet moments just like these ones. And even when I have to scrape the bottom of my soul for some more patience, there's really nothing else I'd rather be doing than going down to the car with these two ladies to go out on a fun adventure.