"Back to school." How I remember those words filling me with dread and disappointment when they arrived, halfway through the summer holidays, on signs all over shops - especially next to stationery aisles and clothing racks.
I have had a couple of weeks off work (that's a fortnight for UK readers but most people here seem to have never heard that word) . The sunny weekend that came at the end of it felt a bit like the end of a summer holiday and going back to work was a bit like returning to school at the end of it. Not that it was a bad experience - it was nice to catch up with my colleagues and the progress of various projects etc. - but a shock to the system after a long break.
Exile #3 was also back to school of course and Exile #4 went in too for her assessment prior to starting in September. She took it in her stride as we would expect, although she did suddenly seem very small in that context in a way that she doesn't at home - especially since E5N1's arrival.
Talking of E5N1, he received his Social Security number today, making him the second member of the family to achieve that rite-of-passage (it's the N1 asserting itself). He still has no birth certificate though - I think that's normal, but I'm not sure what the discrepancy signifies about his status. Here he is pictured after his third bath. He seems to be quite content to be bathed - and like Exile #4 he is very happy wrapped in a towel.
Exile #3 was talking non-stop in the bath today, some of it was the Spanish she has been learning from Dora and Diego. She doesn't get the words quite right though - I think there is a fundamental problem learning language from cartoons - no chance to lip-read. "Delicioso" comes out as "Alice-y-Yoko", and I also heard (after Exile #4 had squeezed some water out of a sponge onto her): "Don't squeeze me, squeeze a teenager!" I can't begin to imagine where she got that one from, but I don't think it was from children's TV.