I was getting Claire ready for her bath tonight. For some reason, Claire observed that she was small. I said yes, she is small now, but she is growing every day. One day she will be really big, just like a grown up! Claire did not have any of this. She said in a slightly worried tone, “I don’t want to be a grown up.” The other day, when I picked her up from school, Claire said, oddly, “We need to figure out how to keep me from growing.”
I thought all kids wanted to grow up and be big so they can eat and drink whatever they want, and go to their fancy offices, and stay up as late as they want, and drive cars around really fast… you know, the whole nine yards. But Claire seems to have her eye on the ball on this one. She knows that being a kid is so fun, why would you want to grow up? It’s preposterous.
Let’s see what she says in another 10 years.
Claire has scored more than her share of candy lately. First, Valentines Day was a jackpot. She came home with a white paper bag full of candy (and accompanying valentines cards) compliments of her 16 classmates. I think I was those only parent who just sent Valentines cards and no candy. I figured I was doing other parents a service by giving them one less piece of candy to deal with. I can see now that this is an uphill fight, and maybe I was just being uptight about the whole thing. Next year, it’s Fun Dip for everyone!
The following day was a birthday party for her friend and classmate Georgia. As luck would have it, the party was right after Claire’s swim class, a couple of doors down. So Claire topped off her 40 minutes of swimming (well, crying) with another 45 minutes of running and jumping and rolling around. Then came the pizza and juice boxes, after which sadly, Claire could not eat all of the birthday cake put in front of her. To top it off, they sent her home with a party bag full of candy to add to her Valentines collection.
We dealt with this candy glut by giving Claire one piece of candy each morning and one piece each evening (Kit did some of her own “helping” as well). One night after Claire had already enjoyed her candy allotment for the day, she started asking for more candy. She was being very sweet about it, actually. But I said no, she already had her candy for the day. She asked again nicely, and I said no again. Then she sighed a slow “oookaaay” and carried the white candy bag over to her “timeout” corner, where we normally send her for two minutes if she misbehaves (like hockey). She left the bag on the floor there and walked back to me. I asked her why she left the bag there, and she explained that the candy was having a timeout. That nearly killed me. I almost gave her a piece of candy right there on the spot just for being so cute. (But sadly, I did not.)
This morning, I was explaining the day’s plan to Claire. It seems to help her to know what to expect. I started with the basics: it is Sunday, so it is not a school day; it is a Mommy & Daddy day. Claire corrected me and explained that today is actually a Mommy, Daddy, and Muffin day. Then I went on to explain the errands for the day. First we would go buy some shampoo, and then we would go to the bookstore and get some new books for Mommy. Claire glanced up at the 12-foot tall bookshelf in the living room, half covered in books, and looked a little confused. After a few seconds, she said, “Are we running out of books?”
Claire always loves her kids’ music. She loves to hear anything from the Countdown Kids. She will listen to them sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame or I’ve Been Working on the Railroad over and over dozens of times. She is also enjoying a Backyardigans CD I bought her recently. They sing so high and squeeky, but the music itself it not half bad.
Normally Claire is not a big fan of “real” music. When I play my own CD’s in the car, she’ll say, “That’s one of your songs, Daddy. Is it time to listen to one of my songs?” But occasionally she actually likes grown-up music. Her current favorites are the Fleet Foxes. They are a very strange group, combining folk, progressive rock, and lots of vocal harmonies that sound kind of folksy and choral at the same time, along with a little Beach Boys tossed in for good measure. It is weird stuff, but Claire likes it. She asks what the songs are about, and she asks to hear them again.
Her other favorite is Christmas with Weezer. She just cannot get enough of the perennial geek rock band performing We Wish You a Merry Christmas. She has enjoyed Weezer in the past too. There was a period about a year ago where she seemed to enjoy The Sweater Song. She even noted, “That is a gooood song.”