Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sigh. No matter how hard you try.

Charlotte, referring to her decorated Easter eggs: This one is a girl, because the shell is pink. And this orange one is a boy. Orange, green, blue, those are boy colors. Pink, purple, light blue are girl colors.

Mama: Hmm. I feel like you know how I feel about this. Colors are colors. Anyone can like any color. For example, Aunt H's favorite color is orange.

Charlotte: But what's your favorite color?

Mama: Green. And Purple.

Charlotte: But what's your first favorite?

Mama: Probably purple.

Charlotte:

Mama: But what's your favorite color?

Charlotte: Pink.

<"Blue like my eyes.">

Mama: Oh, okay. I guess these things change. Since when?

Charlotte: Since Marcia*. And Kindergarten.

Mama: Ah. I see. I guess I just worry that you changed your favorite color because of what other people say, not because it's truly your favorite in your heart.

Charlotte: Pink CHANGED MY LIFE.

****

I think what she means is "Marcia CHANGED MY LIFE." She loves having a girl friend to boss her around, to lord imperiously over the other kids, to set the rules on What Is Done and What Is Not Done. Though Charlotte does periodically mourn that she never gets her own way. At home, Mom & Dad make the rules. At school, it feels like Marcia makes the rules.

It's sort of crazy, to see Charlotte going through these social things, these girl things. Because while there aren't girl colors and boy colors, I feel like there is, in this culture, this girl friend thing. The Queen Bee thing. And while Marcia uses her powers for good, most of the time, she is a very forceful, intoxicating personality who occasionally does things that Charlotte doesn't agree with. I'm very proud of Charlotte that she will stick up for other people when Marcia hurts their feelings....though I wish Charlotte would feel a little more comfortable standing up for her own feelings.

I really thought we had Charlotte vaccinated against the boys=blue, girls=pink thing. But I can't deny her the highs of an intense friendship like she has with Marcia. I still love that experience. I also know my kid, and I know how stubborn she is, so I'm prepared to sit quietly and let Charlotte have her favorite color. She's allowed that. She deserves that respect. She deserves me to believe that she knows her own mind. She can love pink, she can change her mind. But there are two things I am not going to do - I'm not going to let her say that colors are "boy colors" or "girl colors."

And I'm not going to tell my mother-in-law that Charlotte's favorite color is pink now.



* name changed

Friday, February 7, 2014

Six years old is so cool. Tonight Charlotte went to a little Pajama Party with musical guest at school. I stayed home because I felt lousy, and was swamped with work. When they got home, I was chatting with her about the musician. "Did you like the music?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said.

"Was it his own songs or stuff that you already knew?"

"Mostly I knew them."

"Did he play any Pete Seeger?" I asked. Pete Seeger is sort of a sensitive subject. She's bummed that he died. But glad that he left such a catalog to go through.

"Actually yes," she said. "And he played a banjo most of the time. I love the banjo."

After I tucked her in and was sitting back at my desk, it sorta blew my mind that we can have conversations like this. She knows who Pete Seeger is, she knows his songs, she knows the instrument he played most often, and we can chat about how this guy she heard tonight relates back to it.

Now I just have to teach her about Joy Division and New Order, and that will round out her education nicely.

Charlotte's favorite "Girl Power" jammies, with female superheroes.



Monday, January 27, 2014

Well, it finally happened. The argument when my kid said, "i hate you." 

It didn't even hurt, because the whole scenario was ridiculous.

But the part that almost made me cry was when, crying in my arms as her tantrum continued, Charlotte sobbed, "I'm a horrible daughter....I'm a horrible daughter! I said 'hate' to my mother!"

I almost laughed, I almost cried. I told her she was sorry & I forgave her, and she's overtired & overwrought. "Words are powerful," we've been saying a lot lately. And I think tonight Charlotte finally understands what that means. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


They really do listen to everything you say. This picture is sort of hard to understand - on the left is a mama orca and a baby orca free and in the wild. On the right is an orca in a tank at Sea World. Note the red X through the poor orca in the tank. Charlotte drew this picture after overhearing a small discussion Matt and I had about the movie Blackfish. 



Monday, November 11, 2013

Charlotte has been exploring "fashion" lately. For her, fashion = accessories. So, the more jewelry or hair clips or scarves she's wearing, the more "fashion" she has. This afternoon she came into the living room wearing an extra cardigan, one of my old headbands, and two necklaces.

"Oh, nice fashion," I said. "I like those necklaces."

"This isn't fashion," Charlotte answered seriously. "I'm Princess Leia. These are data necklaces. They have plans for the Death Star on them and I'm sneaking them out."


Friday, June 28, 2013

The Next Taylor Swift?

Charlotte is currently writing a country song. I think. It involves a lot of "oh oh oh" and horses and cowboys. Though Matt is the one who started her and he spelled it as "oooow" which is annoying to me. Charlotte also made up her own lined paper, which is sort of hilarious. I also think I need to teach her about rough drafts and final copies, since she is getting stressed out about putting words in the wrong place.

note that the caption "title" is the largest print on the whole paper. 

Transcript of rough draft (spacing my own, spelling preserved):

"Riding Through The Town" 
Oooooow the horses run in the desert
Ooow ooow ooow
The cowboys ride on the horses
Ooow ooow ooow 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 and 8 horses
Ooow Ooow Ooow
The towns people saw the horses
and they

So far, so brilliant, right?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Last Day of Pre-K

Today was Charlotte's last day of pre-K. It also happened to be "costume day." The kids had earned a reward, and one they had decided on was a dress-up day. Their teacher, Mrs. R, was sort of reluctant to put that pressure on everyone the last day, but one of the kids reminded the rest of the students, so she was kinda stuck.

That's okay, it gave Charlotte an excuse to dress up as a pirate again.



This year was a GREAT year for Charlotte. I think I have blogged about it before, but I was really conflicted on whether to push her into Kindergarten this year or have her do a second year of Pre-K. She needed the second year to kind of reinforce all the school rules, and to get extra PT/OT services without it disrupting her academic schedule too much, but I was worried she'd be bored. As I had predicted, she went into the school year reading a few words, and finished pre-K a proficient reader. Well, proficient for a 5 1/2 year old. But Charlotte really needed the extra time to bake. And the extra time with the low student to teacher ratio you get in pre-K. She had three amazing teachers this year who all helped her grow immensely.

Charlotte is feeling a little nervous about Kindergarten, but I know she'll nail it. How can she not? She's Superman/Captain Jack Sparrow/Super Hello Kitty/Charlotte Emily. She's my favorite superhero.