November 19, 2015

This fall.

We've been out feeding on fall all through October and November. Cement towers/canyons possess most of the city, but then there is Central Park, where trees reign and seem to be hand-picked and perfected seasonally.

Our neighborhood has some great fall flavor as well, including Romy poised in the streets.

Fall moments at the Joly Johnson abode...Colette in her converted home in the living room. And all the girls with their papa.

November 3, 2015

Joly Johnson Halloween 2015.

In contrast to
last year’s united front, for Halloween this year we were a patchwork stew. Colette – the super magical (and mysterious – a word she likes to use) fairy, Marguerite – the steadfast witch (5 Halloweens in a row), Romy – madame dinosaur – she does the roar and was a show-stopper in terms of cute, and Xavier made a fine Top Gun fighter pilot. Hamilton Heights has become a hot spot for Halloween. A really great holiday to watch little ladies take their fancies out on the street and parade around.

October 28, 2015

Shot the girls last weekend - framed by blushing leaves and fall sky. They were on parade.

October 24, 2015

Three sisters.

Full of delight to have the biggest one here.

October 23, 2015

Romy (21 months), Colette (3)

Our little Romy Danda is an intrepid force. She follows kids right up a steep slide, gripping the sides to climb. She runs into a hole with an underground ladder leading up to a high lookout. I try to follow. She darts away from me and frantically climbs the ladder to top. Before I can get up to follow her - she is down the 15-foot slide, backwards. I slide down quickly to try to catch up. She is already back at the top. Parents are coaxing kids twice her age to go down the slide and then they actively decelerate them as they come down to dismount. They look at Romy with wide eyes.

She gets injured a lot. This summer her teeth went through her bottom lip. Her head is goose egg central. She cries for a bit, but then spots the next high thing to climb and reaches out her arms toward it.

Romy has been obsessed with scooters at the park for months. She is such a little peanut still, we didn’t think it was relevant quite yet. So she got really good at stealing scooters and taking off with them – very fast. After seeing her repeatedly do this we bought one. Colette is still a bit timid on the thing – eyeing us for support. Romy dashes off, propelling herself forward, looking for downhill slants to pick up speed, paddling along with confidence.

Whenever she sees an iphone, she exclaims with puckered lips, “Moomie!” She likes music videos.

(Colette one evening after bath, before bed)

Colette makes a very funny Catholic.

I was concerned the other day when I heard her downstairs saying, “Jesus! Jesus Christ!” I wasn’t sure if she was using the name casually or if it was with a holier intonation. She was leaning over something, staring at her hands, looking worried. “I broke him, mama. He was just hanging there and I broke him.” She had been given plastic rosary beads at school and clearly treasured the offering. We fixed Jesus and she ceremoniously re-hung him back around her neck. She informed me, “He made you, he made me, he built this house.”

Then, on a walk on the other evening Colette looked up at me dramatically,
Colette: "Mother, may I pray?"
Me: “Yes sure Colette, of course”
Colette: "Call me child, not Colette"
Me: “Ok, child”
Colette: Nod of approval – eyes closed with drama
Me: “Please pray so we can catch up with Romy." Romy was trotting on ahead. I was antsy to catch up with her.
Colette: "Let's stop"
Colette lined up her two hands, palms together, fingers perfectly mirroring each other (full 2-minute process), then released them to touch the top of her head, her chest and her shoulders: "Name of the father, name of the son, name of the hooooooooly spirit" AMEN

Just after she had begun school and she was learning the ritual, she took a more militaristic style. On day 2 of school I asked her about praying. She looked at me and saluted with a stiff right hand to forehead: “Name of the father” – shifted the salute to her chin: “Name of the son” – then hand to chest: “Name of the holy spirit.” I was cracking up.

I hear her around the house saying things like, “Mother of God.” But respectfully – in recognition of her.

Other funny Colette-isms of the moment:
“I’m a doctor nanny,” she announced playing pretend.
“I’m the controlling one” she declared, not pretending at all.

I asked her to shut the door so mosquitos wouldn’t come into the kitchen a few weeks back. Colette looked terrified and whispered, “Are they looking for skin?”
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