Today’s science lesson: If you put your acorns in your dress-up box, you just might find a larva in your fluffy skirt.
She calls to me from the top of the basement stairs, full of excitement: “Mom! I found something in my room!” Her cupped hands wait for me to come see…
It took some searching to make the acorn connection.
And making that connection was quite a relief.
Today, I packed carrots and apple slices and water bottles for the ride home from school, and it was good. Amy had almost twenty minutes to play before nap, because we’d already eaten half our lunch.
Relaxing morning with harp and dulcimer music playing, Amy alternating between painting and eating breakfast — yummy oatmeal with cinnamon, butter, and maple syrup.
Amy: I was telling ____ story!
Me: You’re supposed to be cleaning up, not telling stories.
Amy: I’m cleaning up and telling a story.
Me: You need to clean up without telling a story.
Amy: I don’t know what you mean.
My shivering, nearly-crying-so-cold child, backed up three feet and began to wail at the sight of some nice warm purple PANTS.
a dreamer wants you to be happy with her all the time, but your unhappiness does not motivate her to change anything.
RE: Strong-willed Child or Dreamer
Amy is currently lounging around waiting for me to get off the computer to “help” her with her laundry chore that she is entirely able to do without any help except for a few of Mark’s socks in very similar colors.
I keep saying that the sooner she gets the chore done, the more time we’ll have to play together, and if she delays too much we might not have any time because I’ll need to start dinner.
Any hint of annoyance on my part and she’s all about “You don’t sound very happy…” and any explanation is met with “You’re SUPPOSED to be happy.”
I get it — she just wants me to be with her while she does her chore. And I should finish up the things I got on the computer to do and not delay myself with distractions, and especially not delay out of spite.
(Just now: “Mom? I’m making some progress on my chore!”)
For the second time now, Amy has told me “You should have another fertilized egg.” When asked why, she said, “Because I want a baby brother.”
Amy says she wants spaghetti again for her birthday dinner. Then she says she just wants three bites because she won’t want any more. We clarify that she can choose anything for that dinner… after some suggestions she chooses pizza. Then she starts talking about next year, and goes to check to make sure we have spaghetti for that birthday.
Amy watched her first real movie tonight: Cinderella. She loved it overall, although she found the mice/cat attacks and the king’s temper and sword-flailing upsetting, and she wanted the prince and Cinderella to stay in the palace and not go walking and dancing outside.
On her water-painting board, Amy painted and narrated: “It’s a scab. And there’s a hose above. It’s pointy, because a small part of it is broken.”
Amy: I wonder if Dr. Sue will pick me up this morning. She’s so kind. I love her so much… Is it easier to love your teachers or to love your father and mother?
Me: I don’t know — what do you think?
Amy: … Both is easier! Is that right?
Me: I think it depends on the person.
Amy: … My teacher is kind, and my mother is kind. So it is right.
Later in the morning: When the moon is a whole moon, it looks like a dryer. It looks like it has laundry in it.
Amy: When I grow up, *I* will have eleven little girls!
Amy: There’s a present in your mailbox!
Me: (opens bag) Oooo, candy!
Amy: It’s for the person who gave you the present.
My child’s favorite instruments include banjo, accordion, and hurdy gurdy. You’re welcome.
The happy four-year-old is asleep, as are the other occupants of the house. There were presents (she even exclaimed over the clothes, and the princess stuff has been played with nearly non-stop since it was opened), there was pizza and cake and ice cream, and a bath with new water flutes, and grandparents all day.
Amyisms today: in church, her prayer request was for her dance concert tonight, because she was going to dance on tiptoe and so ask God to help her to not fall down and get hurt. This afternoon, we were playing and her character said, “We should call Amy and ask her to come over. I’m pretty sure she’s dead, though.”
If the waterproof mattress cover is torn, it doesn’t do a very good job. If the tree stand isn’t locked, it just might get stolen. And, Amy says, “Baby Jesus is sad. He wants there to be angels with him on the airplane.”
Amy also says: “She (Cinderella) should go in the Prince’s bedroom — he wants to have a little girl.” (And no, she doesn’t know yet how bedrooms lead to little girls.) [edited to add — she meant Cinderella is a little girl and the Prince wants her to be his daughter.]
And, later, “I’m trying to get pregnant!” (i.e. trying to stuff a doll under her shirt.)
Me: Is there anything you’re going to bring to church?
Amy: I won’t bring the noisemaker.
Me: That’s good.
Amy, getting her blanket back (taken for disciplinary reasons) — “I’m still not very happy.”
She was dancing around with it and laughing when she got it back, and came back a few minutes later with this realization. Nothing created that we pour our hope and energy and will into can satisfy as much as we think it will or should. And created things become oddly more pleasing when we invest less of our willfulness in them.
It was really a beautiful moment — she was quite surprised by her feelings. I told her it might be part of growing up, that it might be she doesn’t need her blanket as much as she thinks she does. I wish I’d had the right words to tell her about what I articulated here.
likes listening to Mark as he plays barbies with Amy.
So proud of Amy for catching herself starting to say “But you need to” and changing it to “But I want you to.”
Then again, when Mark said it was going to have to be a short story tonight, she said, “I’m sorry it’s not going to be.” I really don’t think she’s defying our authority — she’s just talking to us the way we talk to her.
Yesterday in the car I said I was thirsty, and she reassured me, calmly but firmly, that “That’s okay. You can get something to drink when we get to the dining hall.”
Amy told me she made a painting for her friend Sarah at school. She says she liked it. She says it was a picture of poop and pee. The long one was the pee.
Amy: “Now can you draw me dressed up as Ms. Dunbar sniping?”
(It’s funnier if you remember sniping is Amytalk for farting.)
Amy’s current favorite song is “Hard Times” as sung by Jacqui McCarthy.
Amy: “I gave her some groceries, so she wasn’t sad.”
“When I’m a big girl I’m going to teach my little girl how to bottle beer.”
And the barbies cleaned up after dinner before going to their ballet concert.
January 27, 4:20pm
She had quiet time today, not a nap, and was playing heartily the whole time — then silence fell just minutes before the time was up.
Amy: “I should have my bedtime story taken away, because I didn’t stay on my bed during naptime.”
We had pancake “cookies” for breakfast today.
While using the bathroom at the dining hall, Amy pretended to be using the bathroom.
My child is afraid, not quite of the dark, but of what the dark looks like before her eyes have adjusted.
Amy: (low and dramatic) In the borage! Laurie took a deep bow. A boy began to dance!
Amy: She smelled something — it was a skunk!
Me: A woodcutter came by and dug a hole and buried the skunk so no one would smell it.
Amy: She still smelled it!
Me: He buried it deeper, so no one could smell it.
Amy: She still smelled it!
(Insert more repetition of a similar nature)
Me: The woodcutter threw up his hands in disgust and ran away.
My daughter took care of her own nap today.
I came home super tired after preschool and told her I needed a nap. She accepted my offer to set the timer to sound at her naptime, and I vaguely heard the timer and heard her get her books, use the bathroom, turn on her music, and get in bed. Well-done, Amy-boo.
I am awaiting my first bad phone call from the teacher.
I picked up Amy in her building and she told me she had had a hard day and told me about the three things — sewing on her clothes instead of on the sewing work, having to put away an art work because she was putting her fingers in another girl’s paint water (she says the other girl said she could, the first time), and then not respecting personal space on the line (banging her boots and swinging her tote bag).
So, nothing truly awful, but still!
I passed her teacher on our way out and mentioned Amy feeling bad, and the teacher said yes, she’s planning on calling me this afternoon.
…Whether she knew doing those things was not a good idea and wanted to do them more than she wanted to obey rules, or whether she never even thought about whether they were good ideas, it’s not like she was deliberately hurting someone or being purposefully disrespectful. And someday, she’ll realize that it’s okay to admit when you’re wrong, and that it’s not good to claim forgetfulness or pretending etc.
And I just put down the phone, and it was painless. Teacher wasn’t even annoyed, just wanted me to know what had happened and how she’d responded. I’m pleased with the combination of firmness and kindness in her response to Amy, the concern for fairness with the incident with the other girl, and the appreciation of Amy’s growing comfort in the classroom and increasing interest in and attention to other children.
Amy is singing “She’s a string made out of piiiiiiine!
She’s a knife-cutting witch!
Cut my paper tape with scissors… knife, fork, and spoon!
She grew beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer!”
Amy decided she would rather stay inside than go outside wearing pants. Guess it’s time to have designated play skirts that I don’t mind getting dirty.
Amy: “Okay, everyone has their own dessert and their own Claritin!”
Oh, and the other day we were pretending to have a flat tire and she offered to “tighten your lug nuts for you.”
And today she got her wheelbarrow out of the shed and gave it a shoulder ride — you know, the opposite of having a wheelbarrow ride.
Oh, and picked Amy a spinach leaf from the overwintered plants, and she liked it and asked for more.
Slush, slush, here we go
Slush, slush, through the snow.
That’s a silly thing
A butterfly wing.
Seems she’s been interested in rhymes and other word-play forever.
One of her favorite things is to start all words with “b” — often she claims this makes the words Spanish. Best one ever was this evening: Bitchfork.
She’s good at arguing, too. Lately, it’s a lot of never and forever — I’m going to cry forever, I’m never going to stay in my bed, Nothing’s going to help. She tells me she stops loving me when we’re angry. And she told Mark “If you take away my blanket, I’m not going to live in this house anymore.”
“This is NOT working.” “I’m NOT HAPPY at ALL.” “I can’t do ANYTHING.” These are also favorite refrains. Quite articulate for the intense feeler, much more appropriate than “I hate you” or other typical responses… but clearly room for improvement in frustration tolerance and perseverance.
Amy: “Pickles don’t have veins.”
”Look, Daddy, see? You can’t see my veins, because my hands are little. There’s your veins — they show, just like Grandma’s.”
Her mom, of course, once told her grandma that grandma’s hands looked like chicken skin.
Amy also says “I like to look fancy. I don’t wear my sweatshirt often, because it’s fancy.”
More recent Amyisms: “I’m a good girl. … I’m a sinner.”
“I’m still angry, so can you leave me alone please?”
Amy: “My nose is all stuffy. Why is that? That makes me very angry.”
“Sometimes my dolls are rude to me. They are my children, and I care about them, even though I am a child, too. Just like you. Everyone’s a mama and a little child.”
”In my album, when I’m peeping over the bathtub, I’m peeping at myself. Baby Amy is looking at 4-yr-old Amy.”
Today, she said that the car has five nipples and three belly buttons. The nipples are buttons for hazard lights, defroster, and the like. The belly buttons are round stove-like controls for heat and fan.
Amy, complaining that no one (not even her dolls) was available to play with her, added, “I’m not available either.”