This picture is of Chic and Chicklet at this year’s Independence Day Parade. That has nothing to do with this post, but I thought you might like to know when it was taken.
Today I thought I would tell you a little about those two sunbeams in my life. OK, one of them is more of a storm cloud a lot some of the time, but when she is sweet, she is really sweet. At those times she makes up for all the bad in the world, not just her own.
Chic is 6. In just over two weeks she will be entering first grade. I am not a big fan of the school year in general, and especially not fond of it beginning on August 11. I don’t care if school is out mid-May. The pool is not open then. It is often still cold then. I would be much happier starting after Labor Day and going until Memorial Day (and cutting a couple of days off of the newly-lengthened Spring Break.) But I do not make the schedule, and neither do the immediate administrators at the school, so I have to deal with it. But this was about Chic, not school.
Chic loves school. She thrives there. She entered Kindergarten reading (through no fault of my own. I try to provide a learning environment, but my attempts at “teaching” her anything have all pretty much been dismal failures.), and left reading rather well in my opinion. She can sit down and get through books beyond her grade level and can figure out most words. I would say by the end of first grade, she’ll be reading “real” books all the time and all the way through. She loves reading. She has always loved my reading to her, which I still do almost daily (unless it’s a pool day, and sometimes even then). And here is what she said to me this week before a story time:
“Mommy, I love reading. It makes me feel like I am inside the story and living a completely different life.”
Really, how much happier could any mom be than to have a statement like that come out of her 6-year-old’s mouth? That’s exactly what I love about reading (doesn’t everyone?) and exactly why I want my children to love to read. It was definitely one of those “success moments.” There are always rewarding things about motherhood, but most often, at least to me, they are unexpected. This was so rewarding, I suppose, because it was a set goal in my own mind a long, long time ago, and I actually got there.
Here are a couple of other amusing things to come from Chic’s mouth recently, totally unrelated to the above…
At Vacation Bible School this summer our church was participating in a nationwide project called “Bottles of Love” in which each child was given a water bottle to drink, then refill with loose change to raise money to build wells on Navajo reservations. They were supposed to bring change back every day, so I had Prince Charming get a bunch of change from the bank in order to fill the bottles (for both girls) about 1/3 full each day. The first day when we were getting ready to go to VBS, I noticed Chic’s water bottle was more than half-full. I was concerned she had found the money and used more, meaning we would not have enough for the whole week without another trip to the bank. So I asked her where she got the money. She replied, “From my piggy bank.” Now let me state that she does not get regular contributions for her piggy bank. Prince Charming and I give the girls a little once in a while, but definitely not often, and our girls do not have friends and family with pockets full of change for them. So I asked, “Did you use ALL of it?”
“No,” she said. “I left a little. I have to keep something to live!”
Had to admire the generosity, yet sensibility of her thought processes there!
Another amusing thing she said was in regard to a babysitter coming to watch the girls while I had a meeting and Prince Charming was out-of-town. Usually babysitters are called (4-6 times a year) for our “date nights.” So Chic asked, “Since we’re having a babysitter, is Daddy coming back for a date night?” I told her he was not and like I told her before I had to go to a meeting. She remembered. Then she said, “Why do you have “date nights” anyway? Don’t you already know each other?”
Chicklet is four. She is the storm cloud, but she actually started life as a hurricane and has improved with age. I have been known to say on more than one occasion, “She became tolerable after she turned three.” Sounds horrible of me, doesn’t it? But it is true. Maybe sometime I will write about her early days, including before she was born, but for now I will just stick with the fact that the older she gets, the more wonderful she gets. I do not ever miss the passing of time with her. When Chic went to Kindergarten last year I was concerned Chicklet would regress to one of her former selves, but she actually got even better. I think she was meant to be an only child. She is an absolute JEWEL when it is just she and I at home.
Chicklet is clever and savvy. She doesn’t give a rip about learning, and she will not start Kindergarten until she is six. She has been able to roll her eyes appropriately since about 18 months. Her sense of humor is beyond her years. She warms up to men better than women most of the time, and she pretty much wraps everyone around her finger. (Except her mommy.)
When we were in Missouri in May, some good friends had the girls over for an afternoon. That would be the girls without their mommy, which meant Mommy could go shopping alone. (Louise hates shopping and usually only does it when out-of-town.) I cannot remember the details of this story, but it was something like I am telling you. After a fun afternoon, there was talk of bringing the girls back to me. Chicklet was astounded, and said she was going to spend the night with the friends. The wife of the couple said, “Well, we were not really planning on having you spend the night.”
Chicklet: That’s OK, I can stay anyway
Wife: Hmmm… we really don’t have a place for you to sleep.
Chicklet: That’s OK. I can sleep in your bed.
Wife: I don’t think there is room enough for three in my bed.
Chicklet: That’s OK. You can sleep on the floor.
By Louise Cannon