Standing in front of a bookshelf at her school, Curious Girl and I are waiting for her class to arrive. She has strep throat, but has had enough doses of antibiotics that I think it's safe enough to take her to school to go to the auditorium to see a cool guest artist perform. We're in front of the parent resources section, and there are lots of books about families. "I miss my dad," she says. "I really miss him." I squat down to be at her level. "I know you do, sweetheart." "Do you have his phone number?" she wonders. "No, I don't." "I really miss him." "Honey, I don't have his phone number. But you can draw him a picture any time you like, or write him letters, and I can help you save them in a special box. So if you ever do find out where he is, you could give them all to him. But I don't know where he is now." She shakes her head, looks discouraged. Then perks up. "Maybe you could ask someone! Someone else might know his phone number."
How soon until she can read Marginal Utility? (or, more econ/math skills are on their way eventually, right?)
My parents sent Curious Girl a card today and included a five-dollar bill. CG literally jumped for joy. "My first real dollar!!!" She was giddy. "Is this real money? It looks like pretend money. Is it real?" The notion that it was a five dollar bill was somewhat confusing (those numbers in the corners are just details, apparently). "Someone wrote on it. Why did someone write on it?" We talk about the Secretary of the Treasury and the Treasurer. Then we talk about Abraham Lincoln and end up discussing John Wilkes Booth and what happened to Booth.
But the moment I knew would happen, because kids her age equate quantity with value and money is, after all, pretty abstract: she sat quietly, lookng at the money, and with some wonder, as though she'd just come up with the best. idea. ever, said, "Can I pay with this? Because then I would get even more money!"
***************************You don't need to be older to be the mature one
I need more sleep. This morning, CG spilled her yoghurt after I'd warned her that a) she needed to eat it because it had medicine in it and b) her arm was likely going to knock it over if she kept motioning as she was. I was right: it spilled, and I just snapped and got insta-angry. I was tired, a bit out of sorts over a work problem I'd carried home a bit last night, and I don't entirely understand it but I just got mad. I raised my voice, even, then realized what I was doing--irrationally overreacting--and said I needed a break and went upstairs to just sit and find my own calm. CG came upstairs, though, and that made me angry all over again. A few minutes later I calmed enough, and went down to her. "Mama, I didn't like the way you talked to me," she sobbed. "It hurt my feelings." I told her I was sorry, that I didn't like how I had talked, asked her what would help her feel better. "That you try not to do that again." She held out her arms for a big hug. We hugged. Things were better.
***************************Who Says She's an Only Child?
Right now, Curious Girl is snuggled up with a baby blanket, having a sleep over. She's on the little travel bed we used to use, on top of her bed. "I'm sleeping with all my baby sisters, and all our friends are sleeping on my big bed," she informed me. She actually fell asleep not on top of me for the first time. Siblings are a wonderful thing, and I didn't have to do a thing for the babies. What a life.