Frances, watching pumpkin-toy review on YouTube:
“Peduncle! It’s peduncle! Oh! I have no patience for that!!”
(from 2014 journal / 7 years old)
Frances: You enjoy a toy at first, right? Then it just becomes part of your background, right? Then another toy, and background, right? That’s the way it works, right?
(December 5, 2014 / 7 years old)
Frances: I don’t want to hurt your feelings, Mum, but it isn’t ‘bath time’.
Me: Oh, why not?
Frances: If it were ‘bath time’, I’d actually be in the tub right now. I think you mean that it is almost bath time. No offence.
I love her logic!
(She was six years old at the time and had just learned how to tack on ‘no offence’ at the end of her very honest observations. She still does this.)
From my journal of January 11, 2014, when Frances was six years old:
What if I was the only kid on the planet…? Then, I would be lonely because I would be the only one in my class. The good part is that I would get a lot of time on my own…
I have been teaching Frances how to say good-bye to someone at the door when she leaves the house.
This is not something that has come naturally to her.
From the time that she could speak, there were no greetings or goodbyes for anyone entering or leaving our home; there was no acknowledgement whatsoever. Even leaving her at school met with silence.
In January 2014, something wonderful happened: I stood partially clad at my cold front door blowing kisses back and forth with Frances as she left for school.
My daughter, who was six-and-three-quarters, had never blown me kisses before! Not once, even though I would blow her kisses; now she was doing it, and I was at once lost in the moment and aware of how joyously elated I was.
(To most people, such a typical demonstration of affection between mother and child would not merit a blog post.)
After that, as she left for her school day, she would occasionally say, “See you tomorrow!” I didn’t correct her. I thought it was cute, but, more importantly, I thought it was enough for the time being that she was aware that something needed to be said. That was a huge success!
One day, she said, “I get the impression that I’m supposed to say something else, but I don’t know what that is.”
At this point, I explained that she could say, “see you later” or “see you this afternoon”. She started using these phrases once in a while.
Within the past year or so, at eight years old, she started to say “bye” or “see you later” after I said it.
(And she still blows kisses to me.)
I’ve written about her intense interest in dolls, but not many people know this: Frances much prefers watching toy reviews on YouTube to actually playing with the subject toys.
She watches toy reviews at every meal (if we didn’t let her, she couldn’t sit still long enough to eat) and while she is actually playing.
As a result, her knowledge of toys (especially dolls) and toy brands as it appears in casual conversation can sound impressive.
Today, a family friend gave her an unopened Barbie, and Frances said: “This was released in 2011.”
Me: How do you know that?
Frances: I saw it in a toy review.
Me: What happens if you press these buttons when it has batteries?
Frances: She’ll start talking about Ken and other things.