Look at Rambos

My daughter is intent on pleasing her teacher, who (I think) cannot be pleased. In my opinion, her teacher’s a bit on edge and as an adult I can see the tendrils of a temper– I’ve known people like that and you can’t please them. You simply can’t. There will always be something, and you will always have to pander to some new frayed nerve. It never ends! Still, in this case, Iso’s striving for perfection is helping her to try harder at school.

She has made To-Do lists. She sees me make them all the time. I don’t always follow them, but they are my way of silencing those nagging thoughts rattling around  noisily in the empty cavern of my brain, like marbles in a tin can. A really large tin can, because my head is HUGE. Seriously, hats tend not to fit well. I’d like to say I have a large and intelligent brain, but really I think I have a big noggin, and that’s all there is to it. Anyway.

Here is Iso’s to-do list:

This is not the to-do list of a little monster.

I found the list while I was tidying up, and I do remember her being really industrious with her pencil and eraser and crayons the day before. My favorite part is how she has scheduled in some time to look at rainbows. Also, she’s going to help our dog, Alice, though I’m not sure how she’s planning on helping her. Patrolling the yard, perhaps? And at the very bottom, I’m assuming before bedtime, she’s leaving some time to watch Tinker Bell (Tegkr Bell). I swear, it’s like reading Turkish or Dutch or something. The numbers are supposed to be times. I’m blaming the weirdness (2:60– is that am or pm? Either way, it’s 3:00, isn’t it?) on the digital age and the replacement of wristwatches by cellphones. Even wristwatches tend not to have actual clockfaces, especially watches for children. I’m going to have to hunt down an actual watch for her, since a little Teddy Bear book with movable clock arms is obviously not really clicking into place.

As I deciphered the to-do list, though, it occurred to me: this is what is important to her. This is what is going on in her little kid brain. These are the things so important to her that she feels the need to take great care in writing them down.

I’m not going to go into great detail, but it’s pretty well documented here that my mom and daughter ram their heads together nearly every time they spend any time with one another. The last time they were together, my mom said some upsetting things about my daughter’s intentions and temperament. As mama-bear as I felt, there was still that little seed of doubt in me, since it was my own mom telling me these things and not some random person. I wondered, was my kid a little monster, and was I just too blind to see it?

But this is not the list of a little monster. It’s the list of a well meaning little kid. Paint. Go to school. Look at rainbows. Do my homework. Play outside. Help Alice. Watch Tinker Bell.

Last night she made another to-do list on the back of the original. It doesn’t have pictures, but here it is:

Exhibit B

Again, the list of a normal little girl. Go to school. Have a race. Play outside. Play with my Rapunzel doll in my Sleeping Beauty costume.

She does have a strong personality, and she can be bossy, and she does tend to interrupt. But she’s a kid and she’s learning! I don’t think she should have tantrums thrown at her by adults. Sigh.

In other news, my writing is going along well even though right now it’s just a bunch of typing and rewriting. I’ll get more done today in a few minutes, after I bake a batch of lavender-honey cookies for this. It’ll be a small batch, so if I feel energetic I’ll make some sugar cookies or something, too.

I am listening to this:

and this:

And I know full well I’ve put them up before, but you know how you just get a craving for a song, or a sound? Like right now, I’ve got a craving for Marmite on toast. Yesterday I wanted to lick the salt off all the Goldfish crackers. I see a pattern.

Now THAT's a little monster.

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