Saturday, October 27, 2012

Four Years

Dear Peeper:
You are four years old today. How is that even possible?

I don't think you can really believe it either. So far, every time the subject of your birthday comes up and someone asks, "How old are you?" you say that you're three, but if we ask, "How old will you be on your birthday?" then you say four. I wonder if you'll own up to it today.

So, what can I say about four-year-old Peeper that's not been said a million times about almost-four-year-old Peeper?

You are very, very into US presidents these days, and we've checked out several books about them from the library. You have a whole repertoire of presidential trivia in your little head, and when you're not collapsing in giggles over the idea of John Q. Adams swimming nude, you love to share it. I've really got to get that on video.

A few nights ago, I got you up to pee, you did your thing still mostly asleep, and as you stood up, you opened your eyes and said, "Abraham Lincoln said 'If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong!' Abraham Lincoln said, 'Enough!'"

You also know all the guys on the money, even Alexander Hamilton, who you always point out "was never a president." As you opened your birthday cards, you identified the cash gifts by the guy pictured on it. "Alexander Hamilton! Andrew Jackson!" (Alas, no Benjamin Franklins.)

It's been a bit challenging for me to decide how much history you're ready to hear about, and I do censor the Lincoln book a bit. I've decided I can't explain away enough illustrations to not sort of explain slavery, which I've described as "Some white people were being really mean and making some black (here she corrects me "you mean brown!") people, and making them work really, really hard and they didn't pay them any money" but I skip the part about dead soldiers and in my version "President Lincoln died" but I don't even touch on how it happened.

Now, when you see the pictures of the master cracking a whip over the heads of the slaves as they're picking cotton, or the pictures of Civil War soldiers, you always say, "I wouldn't want to be those guys" (slaves, master, Confederate soldiers) or "I would want to be those guys!" (Union soldiers), "because slavery was mean!"

You are still going to both Mother's Day Out and dance class, and you're starting to relax more about "the bye-bye" part of both of them. This week we had very few tears before we left the house for school/class, you didn't cry when we got there until you actually walked into the room, and then you got happy very quickly once things got started. 

This week you missed me "for one minute" at school, and you're saying that next week, you will be ready to "miss me for zero minutes!"

You got a time out at school last week, for kicking over three (three!) kids' buildings. I was just so relieved that it wasn't for hitting someone that it was hard to be too upset about it.

That's settled down some, but mostly, I think, because I'm more careful about what kinds of activities I take you too, so you don't have as much opportunity, and because T's schedule has been such that you've not been around C very much lately.

The hitting and pushing and toy stealing doesn't seem to bother her, though. T told me last night that either at your birthday party or the Halloween party, C asked you to be her best friend. You said no.

You also said no (well, more like "NO!") when J said that you two are best friends. (Which is kind of funny, because you really don't see each other very often at all.)

This was after your second birthday party in one day, so I told her, "Honey, Peeper's tired and grumpy," so she said, 'Maybe she'll want to me my best friend tomorrow.

I'm not sure where the "no" reactions are coming from, but I might need to have a talk with you about not hurting your friends feelings. I'm not quite sure how to handle it though, because you do have a right to say who's your "best friend" and who's not (whatever that means when you're four years old) but I really don't want you to hurt anyone's feelings by jut staying "no!" when they ask.

Of course, the main thing I got out of the whole situation was "Yay! Kids want to be her best friend!"

I think I've already blogged about this one, but it bears repeating. When we were in Texas a few weeks ago, you were helping me put away some clothes, and we had this conversation:
Mama: Now I'm going to put away Grandma's panties.
Peeper: I can't watch you do that.
Mama: What do you mean?
Peeper: I don't want to see Grandma's panties. It's too freaky.

You can file this under "If they're old enough to . . . ."

 While we were in Texas, I was having some with with dinner (With Grandma and Grandpa) and you asked me, "Mama, will the wine get in your goody milk? Because little girls aren't supposed to have wine."

While looking for clothes for our family photos, you wanted to sit in the makeover chair (because the chair looked fun, I think). In the ensuing conversation, we told you about makeovers. You later referred to it at "getting fancy Chapstick."

iPad game: COFFEE
Mama: Do you know what that word says?
 Peeper: What?
 Mama: It's something Mama likes to drink.
Peeper: Wine!

Oh! This is certainly worth mentioning: You can read several sight words!

Your list includes all of our names, "sign words" like "stop" and "exit," and a few other simple ones.

Speaking of signs, you're very interested in the various traffic signs, and ask me about them quite often. The only problem with this game is that, because you're still rear-facing, I don't always know what sign you're talking about.

Last week, you found the nailbrush the tub, so you scrubbed your fingernails and your feetnails.

While playing a game on the iPad, you said, "The car drived away all by itself! What a talented car!"

You love to play with the Halloween decorations at Target, especially the skulls. I've taught you that when you pick one up, you're supposed to say, "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well."

Another story from our nightly readings of Looking at Lincoln: There's a page with a picture of Sojourner Truth, and opposite is a picture of Frederick Douglass. In the text it says that Lincoln, "loved justice and truth." One night, when I read that line, you pointed to the first picture and said, "There's Truth!" (ok, fair enough) and then pointed to the second picture and said, "And there's Justin!"

See what I mean? You are just amazing in every way, and we love you more than anything.

Happy birthday, big four year old girl!

I love you!


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