Monday, March 23, 2015

In session

At this moment, the girls are playing kindergarten: Chloe teaching Maia how to subtract. "What is ten minus one, Maia?" Chloe says, and when Maia hesitates, "What is before ten?"

"Nine," Maia says. She has three "badges" (stickers from kind cashiers at Kroger) on her shirt because she did great, every time, according to Mrs. Snyder.

(Maia is Rosa. Upstairs, she has a baby doll named Rosetta and two wooden dogs named Rosie and Rose.)

"So," Mrs. Snyder says. "Seven minus six equals. I'm going to draw some dots, okay?" She draws. "So how many does that leave?"


"So write one there. You're going to get another badge. I think we have time for one more and then school is probably going to have to end."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Oh, honestly

Kindergarteners are crazy social butterflies. I'm not sure I can take this. Chloë came back to school after a week away (in Seattle) to an invitation to a party on Saturday. She already had one on Sunday, plus we signed both girls up for a Little Scientist workshop at Imagination Station. Then she got a form for Girl Scouts During the Day, a during-school (gym, in her case) six-week program for areas with few troops. (I knew that. When she got interested in Girl Scouts a few months ago, I tried contacting the local regional group on their website, since I couldn't find anything strictly local. No response.) And a new-to-Girl-Scouts day camp for spring break. And then there's ballet tomorrow and a playdate Friday afternoon. How are we ever going to catch our breaths when both of them are at it?

Chloë came home today and said, "Guess what? Sa'Mya has a loose tooth!" Sa'Mya is one of her closest school friends, due to their sitting across from each other the first half of the year. (Now she sits next to two boys, one of whom is nice, the other of whom is "uh." I'm interested to see who she calls her best friends come June.) She seemed genuinely excited about this news as a piece of news, but Eric and I both wonder if there's a level of when-is-this-going-to-happen-to-me going on as well. She doesn't seem upset about it. I hope she's not. She's one of the few of her friends and classmates who haven't had a loose tooth, but she's also the youngest in her year.

We bought birthday presents for those two parties yesterday (three presents in all, since Maia was invited to one of them too--the birthday girl's mother is one of Maia's preschool teachers) and I left the bag on the landing by the stairs. Today, while I was finishing up my work upstairs, I heard a commotion and Eric demanding to know which girl had taken out one of the presents and left it out. Both girls denied it. "Well, nobody's playing outside until one of you admits it," Eric said. Both girls denied it again. I told them to go clean the living room while whoever did it decided to confess. I sat in the office and worried.

I was sure Maia had done it. She got a Cinderella Barbie doll for Christmas, and while she loves it in general, she didn't like the two long locks of hair coming off the front of the doll's head (I thought it looked cute, since she's dressed up for a night of dancing, but my taste does not agree with Miss Purple-Shirt-With-Green-Pants-and-Magenta-Skirt-With-Stars's.) One day, I noticed that Cinderella's locks had been shorn off. "Did you cut off her hair?" I asked Maia. She denied it for quite a while, though she said "I saw her hair in the garbage," until Eric and I both explained that it's her doll, she can do what she likes with it, but it's more important that she tell us the truth. Eventually she admitted she had done it, and we talked quite a bit about lies and trust.

But obviously not enough. At length Eric came up and we talked about it, and at greater length Chloë came up and announced, "I heard from Maia that she did it." We explained that that was nice but Maia needed to tell us herself, which didn't happen until Eric sat down with her for a while and I took Chloë to the next room so she wouldn't keep butting in on their conversation. Eventually, she agreed that she had done it, and she got a room-time and no treat after dinner--not because of leaving the book out, but because she had lied.

I'm not very pleased about this. Is it normal for a three-year-old to go through a lying phase? I've already known she's in a can't-be-wrong phase: if she asks for bubbles in her bath and I say it isn't bath day, she says "I meant tomorrow!" If I say that no, she can't have marbled cheese (her new favorite thing) because there isn't any but she can have a string cheese, she says "I wanted string cheese!" And, of course, I know that a small child wants to avoid trouble, and knows that lying can avoid trouble. I just hope we're doing the right things to keep it from lasting. If we're raising an evil overlord, I at least want her to be an honest one.