Harper

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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It's Only Been A Month Of Kindergarten...

...And I was surprised when Harper told me someone told her that her Lightning McQueen shoes are boys shoes and why is she wearing them.

Harper said she got embarrassed! NOOOOOOOOO!

So I told her that there is no such thing as boys shoes or girls shoes - boys can wear Frozen shoes and girls can wear Lightning McQueen shoes, it doesn’t matter. And I told her she could always wear anything she wants and I love when she wears whatever she wants.

GAH!!

I talked to her twice about it, making sure she heard me, though I'm not sure she totally understands. But one day she didn't want to wear her Lightning McQueen shoes, specifically, even though she needed sneakers for after school. That made me sad. But we will continue to encourage the "whatever you like" style of clothes and shoe shopping. 

I consulted a dear friend, a wise and wonderful woman who has a nine year old daughter. I wrote her an email with the above and she wrote back almost instantly:

Don't you wish you could say, "Honey, there are fucking assholes in this world that want to steal your peace.  It is okay to tell them to fuck off."

This is why I consult with her. She also had some other good advice about watching videos of kids who dress in all different ways as well as wearing "boys" clothes myself from time to time. So my Christmas list will have some "Boys" items on it...

Raising a girl in this day and age. I'm going to need a lot of deep breaths and to always speak my truth to my beautiful strong girl.


In Which Harper Starts Kindergarten


But first there was Kinder Prep Camp. Brilliant idea to have one week of day camp on the school campus where your kid will start kindergarten. We discussed it a lot before it all happened and Harper seemed excited. And she did great. On the Thursday of that week we arrived at school and found out there was a field trip. On a bus. Going to SYLMAR! (That's an hour a way for those of you non Angelenos.) The communications had not been clear. I suppose it was better for me as I didn't have time to be nervous about her first school bus field trip! At home that night I asked her about the field trip. "Harper, did you ride on a bus?" "Yes! ON THE FREEWAY!" That was the most exciting part for her.

Kinder Camp, making friends (thats her in the back, under the whale tail):

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Then actual Kindergarten started and we had a good first day send off.

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She even finished her first homework assignment. She made her letters "pretty". 

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I've had a lot to learn too. New morning routines, new lunch boxes to fill, though Harper doesn't seem to be eating much these first few days. I'm sure it's all about adjusting to the new world. It's a challenge to fit stuff into tiny sections, but I'm working on it. Harper doesn't like peanut butter so there's 50% of lunches I thought would be a no-brainer. Oh well. 

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It's a whole new world for us all. And we are taking it one step at a time.