Henry leaves for his school at 6:30am and Georgia has to be at her desk at 7:30 and therefore leaves our house by seven. Josie, on the other hand, doesn't have to be at school until 8:35 which means that she has an extra hour to sleep every morning and an extra hour - SIBLING FREE - to eat her breakfast, talk to her mother, have a considerable closet frenzy, pick the perfect outfit and have her mother style her hair.
Henry is up and out of the house in twenty minutes. His daily prep time consists of throwing on whatever pair of shorts is clean and grabbing a shirt, brushing his teeth, packing his bag and leaving. Georgia takes a little longer to get out of the house, but not too much longer. She follows a pre-determined combination of jeans and tops and she's content to throw her hair into a back pony tail if it means that she can sleep a few minutes longer. Sleep time is a precious commodity when you're growing and you start school so early.
Life is different for the youngest Elliot: in comparison, hers is a life of leisure. What a difference an extra hour of morning time can make.
Having an extra hour of morning prep time couldn't have happened to a more appropriate child. Josie - truly her mother's child - takes forever to put together an outfit. She rarely wears the same combination twice (and please do not read that to mean that she has an excess of clothes, she doesn't. It's just that she is a firm believer in mixing and matching) and she believes heartily that an outfit is more than just clothes: there's accessories and hair to consider as well.
Now that we have that extra hour, Josie has been experimenting with hairstyles.
I should take a moment here and explain that I like the girls to wear their hair up to school. It started during the Great Lice Epidemic of 2005, when it was suggested by school nurses throughout our town that to help discourage the further spread of lice, girls should wear their hair up and use copious amounts of hairspray. I took that advice to heart and never looked back. I have no interest in spending my limited free time, picking lice and eggs out of my children's heads. Ick.
And remember, I'm from New Jersey, so I'm obviously not afraid of copious amounts of hairspray.
The other reason I insist on pulled back hair is that no one - NO ONE - can concentrate on school work when their hair falling into their eyes or if they have to keep tucking their hair behind their ears. It's a serious distraction in a place where distractions are discouraged.
But back to our hair creativity. On this day, I tried something really funky.
I started with two side braids, which I pulled back into a ponytail and then I took the rest of the hair and put THAT into a ponytail beneath the braids.
I thought it looked neat, but Josie wasn't so sure. We compromised by making just one ponytail.
I thought it looked nice.
Josie has a few new favorite outfits this year. We bought her a fun, cotton peacoat which has had a lot of use so far on these cold, fall mornings:
And it is the Year of the Animal in our house. Josie went with a sartorial critter-theme this year. Case in point: her dachshund leggings (above) and her elephant tunic (below).
I may not be able to do a great french braid or follow any of the many hair tutorials on YouTube, but I did create a twist style that I was proud of:
And I was impressed when Josie came downstairs one morning having turned the braided pony tail that I had created into a braided bun:
That whole outfit was really pretty, don't you think?
We'll have two years of this leisurely time schedule, Josie and I.
And then she'll enter middle school herself and we'll rushing around like Henry and Georgia.
By that time, Henry will be a Junior and Georgia will be in eighth grade and I imagine that life will be really crazy - even crazier than it is now, so I'm enjoying this relaxing hour as much as I can.