Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dear Kid Saturday

Welcome to my first installment of Dear Kid Saturday for 2010. It’s been a really long time, I know. Since September, it’s been hard to talk about…family stuff. And frankly, my attention’s been focused elsewhere. As we head into 2010, however, we have every reason to feel optimistic, and I feel a renewed desire to celebrate the little moments that make parenting a preschooler so much fun.

So, without further ado, here’s this week’s letter to my special girl.

Dear Toilet,

You’ve been a dog now for about… three weeks?

It started as a game you played with the other dogs - you got on all fours, barked, rolled around with them. They went nuts, which you thought was hilarious. Pretty soon you wanted Daddy and I to play along. You wanted us to play “owner” and “pet shop guy,” and you begged to eat your dinner on the floor.

At first we tried to discourage you (honestly, the barking and following us is sort of… trying), but now we’ve settled into a situation we can all live with. There are a few rules - only girls get to go to school or to the grocery store, and no doggies are allowed at the dinner table. As long as we act out our roles and toss you a “biscuit” now and then, you’re happy.

Originally your name was “Princess Poodle,” but you changed it when Daddy tried to put you outside to go potty. You told us, “Call me Toilet now because I’m the only dog in the world that goes potty in the toilet!” OK then.

When you’re not being a dog, you’re doing some pretty amazing things. Over the summer you began sounding words out, and now you can read me a book with only a little bit of help. So cool! You’re also doing simple math in your head and asking insightful questions about science.

You get frustrated easily, though, so I’m careful not to push it. It seems that as long as there’s no pressure, you’re a learning machine. As soon as it becomes clear that I’m in any way invested in the outcome, you totally shut down (usually giving me wrong answers or repeating nonsense phrases - “eyeball alien” is your favorite). You’ll be starting kindergarten in the fall and I’m anxious to see if you have the same issues with your teachers…

You still spend most days singing. If you’re occupied with something - a game or a puzzle - you’ll sing pretty “aaaaaaah” songs that sound like the accompaniment to a fairy movie. When you play with dolls or, more commonly, your stuffed animals, you make up elaborate musicals, complete with ballads and big, exciting production numbers. You pick up lyrics quickly and love to play on the songs you already know by changing the melodies slightly or adding your own words.

You told me the other day that you’d like to learn how to “act out a character.” For a girl whose parents both have theatre degrees, that wasn’t a huge surprise. I’m investigating some kids’ acting classes… so we’ll see what we can do. In the mean time, I’m encouraging you to act out stories from your books, which you think is pretty fun, particularly if Mommy plays the wicked witch.

I love you so much, sweet girl.

More next week,
Mommy

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