9.11.2006

Iz Cracking Up

Iz Cracking Up

Oh my, it is easy to amuse a seven-year-old. Just point her to The Llama Song. You need provide no entertainment for the rest of the day. If your computer fails, you can just sing the song for her, since after even a single listen the tune will be stuck inside your head forever.

We can thank Floyd for that particular gift. The two girls and I were visiting him and TLF for new little Talia's baptism (I am her Godmother, which made this 100 % Secular Humanist, 93% Unitarian Universalist* very squirmy during the vows portion of the Catholic ceremony). After dinner, and while I was all distracted by the sweet cute snuggly infant in my arms, Floyd took Izzy upstairs and showed her the goofier side of the Internet. I believe evil strawberries and guinea pigs were viewed. Those two even snuck out on an Oreeos and french fry run.

TLF is one of those completely competent, confident, and beatific new moms. Lovely to see. I am so happy for her, and possibly for Floyd, too.

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Iz and I have already had a talk about how her schedule is too full, and that it is bumming her out. Four busy afternoons on top of five school days is too much. Iz is willing to consider dropping aikido, but not piano. This insanity is one of the reasons I fought with the other Esperanza-to-Big Noggin parents about the kids' after school Spanish class taking up one day per week instead of two, but no one else would hear of it. I haven't met the teacher yet, but really do hope to find a way for Iz to cut her attendance in half. Maybe if one of the other students' heads explodes all over the whiteboard mid-verb conjugation, they'll start to listen to my concerns about over-scheduling. In the mean time I'd really like to get her down to only two busy afternoons per week.

I do love her school, though, and so does she. She declares as much, frequently. They're teaching them proofreading marks, for the love of The Chicago Manual of Style. I told Iz that if she memorizes those marks and learns how to use them properly, she can start her own proofreading business and make $50 per hour, right off the bat. I know college graduates who have no idea how to properly proofread and mark up a paragraph.

I'm not as excited about many of the parents. They are quick to frame concerns as proof that the questioning parent's child is inferior to theirs, or even that the parent is having difficulty understanding what they have so helpfully butted in to clarify. Except it often turns out that they weren't listening to the original query in the first place. Not everyone is like this, but many certainly deserve a good wedgie.

Iz is really trying to be a good student, even though she is so distractible that it is hard for her to buckle down and get the homework done without twenty interruptions and breaks. For the first time since she's had homework, she is excited by it, even if she's not as thrilled by the required effort and time commitment.

I haven't talked with all that many of the other kids, but on the surface they still don't strike me as being all that much like Iz. I guess it's because the ones I've met still talk like children. They don't use words like "destination," "embedded," or "dendrites" in their casual conversations, without emphasis. Even so, Iz is happy there, and feels like she is among friends. She didn't feel that way at Esperanza. That is all that matters.

More Izisms of the last two weeks:

She gets mad because I won't ever give her absolutes. But she always asks context-dependent questions!

"I'm worried that I'll adopt Valley Girl speak as a teenager."

"Mommy, do you think that learning about congruence made more dendrites in my brain connect?"

"No, we had to figure out which spelling words were homophones using context clues."

She schooled us about sharks, first of all that they don't get cancer and are the great white hope for a cure, secondly that they do not go into feeding frenzies. Seymour and I were arguing that yes indeed, sharks do do the frenzy when Iz pulled out a quote from her book about how "...sharks are actually very careful to avoid injuring themselves and others while feeding, and do not go into an indiscriminate frenzy as was once thought." Cue red faces for both of her parents.

*Yes, Thank you, SJ.

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