U-Dad & U-Kid 1 began negotiating for chocolate ice cream with sprinkles, because on a beautiful night in Chicago -- especially one of the first ones that comes paired with long hours of evening light -- bedtimes becomes more of a philosophical idea than a concrete reality.
Well, for U-Kid 2, it was a concrete reality. We parked near the apartment, off-loaded the off-spring and headed towards the door. Except that U-Kid 1 had nailed down a deal of some sort for chocolate ice cream with sprinkles. (u-dad needs nary a Push before he falls right Over, in my humble opinion) So I took U-Kid 2 in for her Evening Toilette and left U-Dad with this instruction:
I'm The Bad Guy all day long. You get to tell her about R moving to Colorado this summer.
He willingly obliged, God love 'im.
Seems that they sauntered down the block -- well, he sauntered, U-Kid 1 hitched a ride on his shoulders. And as they motored down the sidewalk, he told her the news. And we learned that U-Kid 1 not only has a heart -- a sweet, giving, wonderful heart --but that it can be broken.
Her first reply was, "my first two best friends have moved away!"
(reminder: young M left for Vegas about a year and a half ago. U-K 1 still talks about her.)
So they got the ice cream at our regular spot and sat at a table outside. U-K 1 wasn't interested in staking out her own chair or initiating conversations with passers-by (puh-leeze don't let anyone tell you this Chatty Cathy homeschooled kid isn't socialized) or working U-Dad for another fun stop along the way home. She just sat in his lap and let him hold her.
Since then, she's been out of sorts. She just seems sad. I try to pull her out and ask her what's on her mind, but she
Our hope is to keep her busy this summer. We'll skip town for a stretch. And then try to keep putting her in front of friends who are actually physcially here.
In the meantime, lots of hugs (she's become a touch clingy the last few days), an extra chapter or two of the bedtime book, me trying to keep my patience a little longer, etc. And tracking down R for playdates.
I'm open to suggestions for anything else, too!