Friday, June 09, 2006

Now We Are (Almost) Six

Sofie will be six in August, she is so trying hard and vigorously to be independent. She objects when I say things like "honey be careful with that". She looks at me in "that way" and says with emphasis "Mom, you always say that. I am careful". This can be about all sorts of things, such as assisting me with cooking (I don't want her to get burned) or using a glass drinking glass or her asking to drive the other day.

She is, according to her school teachers and the guidance person, quite popular with her afterschool set. She goes to public school, and her school is at least two thirds African American. Sofie's posse is mostly young black girls, and her language has begun to incorporate some slang terms, ones where I had no idea of their meaning! As in "oh, snap!". For more info on what this means, go to

She is slightly infuenced by her peers, they got her thinking and wearing dresses and skirts, but she still climbs and is an active sporty kid. Plays with girls and boys. Not girly, but is growing hair out and that involves all sorts of hair accessories, which go in every day and often are not there by pick up time. I have taken to buying new ones nearly every time I go grocery shopping, to keep us in hair clips. Not expensive one at a time, but they add up.

We are packing for California trip and she has all sorts of ideas about what toys to bring. She is still snake obsessed and wants to bring these four foot plush snakes in her carry on luggage. That will impress the airlines, I am sure. No dolls need apply. And of course, the portable DVD player is essential.

She asked today why we don't go to CA and get our old house back. I asked why and she said, "because it is bigger" (which technically is not true, both houses are about the same square footage, this one is just configured differently). I refrained from explaining how we were forever priced out of the market there! I told her our current house was plenty big, but she went into a long description of how she used to have her toy zoo in the space in the Oakland living room. Her recall from her toddler years is totally amazing. I could not believe how detailed she described the window seat area. And that toy was a 3rd birthday present , but she accurately remembers it. It "disappearedz" over a year ago. This is why is it tough to purge her toy collection, she has detailed recall and will ask for something I "removed" six months ago.

But I have to do those stealth purges, or the toys will take over her space completely.

Sofie thinks both Jamie and I are too bossy. She should talk! But she is also very sweet, very fun to watch grow up. She is affectionate and will come over in the middle of a meal or something, kiss me and say "I love you mom". She also has become quite affectionate and caring of Gracie, our cat. Her compassion gets me every time!

We are in the process of making the guest list for her birthday. One big difference in being almost six is that she has *very* clear opinions about the whole thing, not like last year, when I got to plan the party. From where to have it (Pump It Up, a place with huge bouncing structures for kids to run wild in) to the gift bag items (she totally rejected my idea of cute little stuffed Build A Bear miniatures) to the menu, she is all over that event. Hmmm, who does that sound like?

It is funny how kids who are not biologically related to you can pick up on your mannerisms, characteristics or whatever. They say kids are born with their basic temperments, which I find reassuring to know. But sometimes, I see myself in her and not always in a good way.

I love watching this process of her growing up.

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