Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The state of kiddette

I thought we could pause a moment and consider kiddette, or as I occasionally call her, Miss Thing (say it with attitude), since she's been largely ignored on thishere blog lately and well, I do have two children.

She is, as one colleague who's met her puts it, "quite a character." She's 3 going on 10. She's already perfected the art of running into her room, slamming the door and throwing herself on the bed, meaning I already know what her teen years will look like. She has no problem being utterly rude to boys if they're in her way, or if they're annoying her, or if she feels like it. She can already write her name -- legibly -- and she draws constantly. One drawing featured her and her brother inside, and then the two of them outside, in the snow, with mittens on. That I believe constitutes drawing a sequence, which is a pretty big concept, artistically. (Still stick figures, of course.)

She picks the most dangerous, age-inappropriate part of the playground -- whatever involves climbing -- and runs right for it. I stand beneath her just in case she falls. Probably I should shoo her toward the swings instead, but I hate to discourage her spirit of adventure, and I'm usually curious as to whether she'll make it. She usually does.

She especially likes to pretend she's whoever she was just watching on TV. Interestingly, she always picks the main character on a show, even if that character is male. Example:

Kiddette: "I'm Jake!" (Of the Never Land Pirates, if you've so far managed to escape that show.)

Me: "Hi, Jake."

Kiddette: "Say, 'Come on, Jake!' "

Me: *sigh* "Come on, Jake."

Kiddette: "Okay, Mommy Jake!"

There's a girl pirate named Izzy, but she never plays Izzy. Only Jake.

She likes to get out of bed after we've tucked her in and turn the light back on. Sometimes I catch her "reading" a book to her stuffed animals. We've found it's best to wait until she's asleep to turn the light off again, because otherwise she gets right back out of bed and flips the light on. Even after she's out, sometimes she wakes up just enough to turn the light back on, then goes back to sleep, and we don't notice till the morning. Thanks for the electric bill, kiddette.

She sits perfectly still for haircuts and then chases her brother around the house. She wears fairy wings and then roars like a dinosaur. She's this fascinating blend of "girl" and "not so much." She semi-routinely gets in trouble for talking back. I find her exasperating and hilarious and occasionally I'm a little in awe of her, because no one is pushing this kid around. That'll be great when she's a grownup. Less great now, but what can you do?

One of our friends, who has two sons, was asking me what the difference was raising a girl. I said, considering our girl, that I really didn't see a difference. Our friend seemed skeptical until kiddette ran by, gleefully yelling, and launched herself at the most age-inappropriate part of the playground. And then hopped on the huge ride-on electric kiddie car that she wasn't even remotely big enough for. And then our friend said, "You're right. There is no difference."

Well, with kiddette there isn't, anyway.

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