Harper

Juice Box Crocodiles and Harry Potter

We've been reading the Harry Potter series out loud to Harper. We have just finished Goblet of Fire. Harper asks us to read all the time, not just at bedtime, but before dinner and on the weekends. We love it. 

The other day, before dinner she asked me to read. Harry and Cedric had been transported to the graveyard of Tom Riddle. SPOILER ALERT - Then Cedric died and now Voldemort was back and wanting to duel with Harry as pretense to killing him. 

So - two things. 

1) The whole time I was reading this very dramatic passage, Harper had been drinking a box of apple juice. As it got more dramatic, I wasn't really paying attention to her except that she was cutting up the empty juice box. I finally glanced up from the stress of Voldemort wanting to kill Harry and Harry with no one to help him and saw that Harper was making this fantastic thing:

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I love it!

2nd Thing) When you haven't read Harry Potter (or seen the movies) in a long time, you forget the details. All I remembered about book 4 is that Cedric dies. What I didn't remember is that when Harry and Voldemort are dueling and they are connected by the golden beams between wands, ghosts start to come out of Voldemort's wands - Cedric, a couple others and then HARRY'S MOM AND DAD!! And they all come to speak to Harry, telling him to hold on, don't give up, they will give him time to run to the goblet/portkey to get back to Hogwarts. 

If you know me at all, you know I'm a big CRYER. So at this point I'm a mess. Harper is still cutting away on her juice box crocodile and she looks over "why are you crying?" and I laugh and beg her for some kleenex, which she kindly gets for me, and say "His mom and dad are here and they are helping him when he thought he was going to die!" She shrugged and kept on with her croc.

When does empathy kick in for kids??? 

She loves the stories and I know she's paying attention because earlier in the graveyard scene Voldemort talks to the Death Eaters who have apparated in to meet their newly reformed master. Voldemort talks to Lucious and Harper says, "I think that's Lucious Malfoy!" and when it is confirmed, she is pleased to have figured that out. I was pleased to know she's been really taking it all in. 

For Christmas I got Harper the Illustrated versions of Books 1-3. Don't tell her. 

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You Can Learn A Lot From A Seven Year Old.

IMG_6204On Sunday I did a brave thing. I had two girls from Harper's grade over for a playdate. I was warned not to have three girls at a time-there could be too much drama. Well guess what? No drama! There was one moment, right at the very end of their play time when Harper had a hurt feeling. It last about three minutes. Whew.

They arrived around 11:30, played in Harper's room for a bit. Then I gave them luncheon: quesadillas, apple slices, tangerines and blueberries with a choice of apple juice or water. They also got a small slice of the mistake cake I had baked. (I was baking cakes for a friend's birthday that night and my first cake came out not quite right, so I started over. Bonus for the girls and Kurt. More about cakes and baking in another post.) 


After Luncheon, Harper offered each of her guests a candy from her Halloween bag. Very generous. Then, as Harper said, they did "an activity". I pulled out paint and toilet paper rolls and they made thanksgiving turkeys. I traced feather shapes on construction paper and the cut them out. One of them wanted to freehand her feathers so I said, "Rock on" and she did. I, however, forgot to take pics of their turkeys. Here is Harpers:

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That's a crown and a cape...

While they were working on their "activity" one of the girls got frustrated that it wasn't come out the way she wanted. I said that we had plenty of supplies so she could start over or get new pieces or whatever she wanted.

I said, "Practice makes perfect"

She whipped around and said, "NO!" 

I looked at her and said, "No?"

"No. Practice makes better. Because nothing is perfect." 

I told her I loved that and that I was going to write it down, which I did.  IMG_6276

While the paint was drying they went outside to play on the chair swing and use the sidewalk chalk. 

It got a little rowdy and I caught a couple of moments of the girls almost getting clobbered by the chair as it swung wildly. Fortunately none of them had to learn how to play safely the hard way. 

It was a good time! And I'm pleased it went so well and I learned an important lesson from a seven year old: Practice Makes Better.

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Another Harper Milestone: A Visit From The Tooth Fairy

The tooth had been wiggly for weeks. Monday morning, Harper was being fussy about changing into school clothes. I was brushing my teeth, she was in her room and supposed to be changing clothes. She came rushing in "Mama! I pulled out my tooth!"

And that tooth is so tiny when it's all on it's lonesome. (Sorry, forgot to take a pic of just the tooth!)

Interesting to remember - that was her first tooth to come in. Do they all fall out chronologically?

The Tooth Fairy delivered a silver dollar. Harper commented that Melody (in her class) got $3. "Must have been a bigger tooth." Said Harper.

Must have been, Harper, must have been. 

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Flashback to July 2017 - Graduation Fortunes

Last July (2017) Harper had her graduation from Preschool. You can read about it here. What I didn't include in that post but found in my email recently was the thing they said about Harper. The Teacher read out a description of each student in the class and the classmates had to guess who it described. This was Harper's and it made me so happy:

 

"Which one of your friends can always be counted on to be THE PEACEMAKER?  When someone needs a hand, when someone needs help, when someone needs to figure things out .... Who is THE PEACEMAKER!?"
 
I'll be curious to see how this plays out in her life. 

Things Harper Says - Spring 2018 Edition

 

Harper referred to Willoughby's litter box as her 

 

G L I T T E R  B O X

 

(I think I'll start a new company...)

 

 

Later that same morning she asked:

"How come numbers never end?"

Whoa

 

 

 

And best of all was at her swimming lesson.

The swimming teacher called me over to tell me this story:

Harper told him her birthday is in December. He said, "Oh so you're a Sagittarius?"

Harper said, "No we celebrate Christmas and Easter." 

 

(Whaaaa? How does she even know to say it like that? Genius.)

 


Field Trips

Harper had her first school field trip last week. They walked to Louise's Restaurant and learned about making pizza. It sounded pretty fun for them all and she drew great pics in a little book they all made:

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Interesting to see how 6-year-old, learning-how-to-read/write-brains work. This is how she spells all on her own. Super fascinating to me is how their young brains are still connecting left to right and often they will reverse the direction of letters and numbers.

Anyway - her field trip reminded me about the first field trip I remember - going to McDonald's in Kahala*. I was either in first or second grade and we walked the block or so to the restaurant and got to see inside the kitchen and how it worked. Then we all got a small bag of fries. What a treat! (We rarely ate at McDonalds when I was growing up.)

I love this tiny little similarity in our lives.

 

 

 

*And now I have the damn Kahala Mall jingle stuck in my head. The one from way back in the 80s....


Look How Fat I Was*

MyMarlin*I was not fat.

But boy oh boy, I thought I was. This was me in 8th grade with the first and only marlin I've ever caught. 175 pounds (technically a "rat" in the big game fish world). My dad was friends with the captain, Ben Baldwin (in the boat behind me) and the fish were biting like mad in Kona for a few weeks. Dad called to say, "Come over and catch one!" so I did. An unusual weekend visit to the Big Island during school.

Catching a marlin is hard, btw. It took 20 minutes to reel it in. And as the angler, you have to sit in the chair and do all the work yourself, just in case it is a record breaking fish. (Record breaking fish are 1000 pounds or more, just so you get why this one is called a "rat".) The crew on the boat, all experienced anglers, coach and cheer you on while you do it. It was a blast and I was really excited. 

But back to the fat part. Where did I get the idea that I was fat, ugly, unattractive, etc etc? So sad that I had no confidence in my strong body (well, maybe a bit more after wrestling that fish in). I am working so hard now, almost 40 years later, to feel good about who I am, what I look like and to not say a damn negative thing about myself in front of Harper. Even when she pokes my fat tummy and says "big tummy!" How do I create confidence in her? How do we help her know she's beautiful, inside and out? How do we make sure that when she looks at a picture of herself in 8th grade she thinks, "damn, I look great!" 

I will keep working to make it happen!

Also, in the last few years, I weigh lot more than that rat fish did. And I bought a bikini last year because F*UCK IT. Life if short. It feels good to just enjoy being at a beach or pool. Maybe that's the best way to teach Harper. 


Things Harper Says - "SHUT UP!" Edition

Six year olds. {eyeroll}

We were walking into the school gate yesterday and she said:

 

Mama, when you have your hair like that you look like a grandma.

 

Savage.

I got my hair cut a little shorter and had lowlights put in so that it looks more like how my real hair color looks. It's no longer all super blonde as you see in my picture here, I'm working on growing out my real hair color for a while a) for a change up and b) to make one less thing to have to worry about if I'm going to be working a million hours on a new job. (Which I should be this year.)

In one sentence she tapped into all my fears and sensitive spots about being an older, new (ish) mom. Yeah, I'm a 51 year old menopausal woman with a six year old. And man, some days I feel old and YES HARPER, YOU COULD BE MY GRAND DAUGHTER SHUT UP! In real life two people have asked if I was her grandmother. Oooof. Knife to the heart as I already feel weird about being this age and having kids. Weird as I feel like I was too chicken to have kids earlier in our marriage (it was 10 years before we had Harper), weird like I have regrets for having her so late and then only having one. It's complicated. 

And it all comes splatting me in the face with a comment about my hairstyle. Thanks for keeping it real, Harper.

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Things Harper Says - 6 Year Old Edition

Harper has a t-shirt that says a bunch of positive things on it and I was reading it to her and one of the words was "Bold".

H - I'm not bold.

Me -  Yes you are, you are not afraid to try new things or--

H - No Mama, I'm not bold!

Me - ??

H - I'm not bold, I have hair!

 

A few weeks later I'm at my desk, writing in my journal and she asked what I was doing, what this book was. 

Me - It's my journal, my diary.

H - It's not a diary.

Me - what do you mean?

H - Diary is wet poop.

I about fell on the floor laughing so hard.

 

It was a good few months for learning about homonyms.


New Belts - My Karate Family

Harper started shotokan karate in late spring this year. We were looking for something sporty that wasn't soccer (dear god, I'm putting off soccer as long as I can) and when offered karate, she said yes. With advice from preschool parent friends, we started at the Culver City Rec Center with Sensei John. Turned out there were kids in her class from preschool - excellent! After a short while, Kurt decided he wanted to join in. Both started as white belts, as you do. Harper tested up to Orange a few months ago and two weeks ago, they both took tests. Last night - ta da! Both got new belt colors!

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