Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Esky Empathises

This lass is 5.5 years old:
    Before the big haircut.

    "When I grow up, I want to be an animal rescuer, like Diego.  
    Only not drawn." - Esky, 2014

    • Esky is now very speedy on her bike, without training wheels (she got the hang of it just after she turned 5 -- after seeing one of her peers had mastered it, she tried in more earnest).  She was so proud of herself after she rode 10k on the beautiful harbourside cycleway, with Haki.
    • She is willing to delay gratification, especially with treats.
    • She often volunteers for things -- even when you can see she feels some anxiety about it drawing eyes to her -- her desire to help overrides any timidity.  She confidently accepted her first speaking assignment in our church sacrament meeting, at age 5 (Nov, last year).  She wants to be big, please, and perform, but she pulled out many of her nerves-management-quirks to get through (speaking in a whisper, tugging her hair, fumbling with her lips, rubbing her eyes).  But she did it.  
    • She is surprising me with her work ethic, lately -- when she is sweeping bark back into the garden or vacuuming it is actually helpful instead of "helpful."
    • Esky loves jewellery.  She likes to wear clip-on earrings, one ring, and a bracelet.
    • She lost her two top teeth well before Christmas (her bottoms went months earlier), and her new ones are growing in nicely.  (Her first wiggly tooth was at 4.5 years, in Jan, closely followed by the second.  The first came out while eating a meal, and she was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was.)
    • Esky has had quite a few hair-trims already (Haki and I agree, when the bottom wisps reach the toileting wipe zone, it's not good).  Recently, she said she would like to go a little shorter, to make brushing easier (I have often suggested a haircut as a natural solution to her aversion to brushing).  So the haircut happened.  She is thrilled.  I'm still recovering.  Donating her locks helps a teensy bit.
    • When she doesn't join Ivy in the morning, looking at books (and starting to read some of them), she still goes for the train set.  She loves that set!  She also prefers to set it up when Mia is still slumbering.  Other favourite Sans Mia Activities include: playing with Lego, taking inventory of the supermarket minis, and playing card games.
    • Esky leaves flowers in her wake.  A daisy woven into a window latch here, a miniature bouquet of dandelions in a cup on the outside table there.  She loves to adorn all the things.
    • When she sees something she really likes, it takes her breath away!  She often exhales her response, "It's so beautiful!" being a common phrase.  Horses and horse things illicit this response more than anything.  A black, stuffed toy horse recently garnered the Gasp and Praise, and she engineered its purchase through pooling her remaining Christmas money with Ivy, and promising a turnabout system.  It has held fair, thus far.
    • She has proven herself a competent kite flyer.
    • Esky is very, very empathetic.  Every book, recount and movie, she translates to herself.  When we were reading about housing in India, Esky looked up at me, concerned, from the page depicting and describing slums in Mumbai.  She asked, "If they have so few things, do they have blankets?  Do they get cold at night?"  Me: "In some parts of India they might get cold at night.  Part of India is a desert, and the desert can be extremely hot and extremely cold."  Esky: "If I lived there, what I would do, is get a coconut and make a needle from it and sew together leaves to make a blanket."  Me: /blink blink.  I refrained from commenting on the unfortunate unlikelihood of finding coconuts in the desert parts of India, since they prefer the tropical climate of the coast. Also refrained: laughing. Her imagining was too rich and specific to interrupt.
    • She is still home-schooled.  We are happy.  I mean, she clearly has survival instincts locked in, already.  We've got this.
    • Around a month ago, we were laying in in the morning, and Esky pointed at the ceiling in the bedroom. This ceiling:
      Moving her entire arm as she pointed, she said, "3 times 2 is 6 and 2 times 3 is 6!"  /glee.
    • Sharing Christmas with this child is a delight.  She focuses so much on wrapping small treasures for others, thrilling at simple traditions, queuing carols on Spotify, and the stories of Christmas.  We studied Saint Nicholas and the Nativity story together this year, and she really got it all.  She would suggest we "be anonymous" when we baked enough to share with others, or explain to her sisters the parts we do and do not know about the place where Jesus was born.  I still marvel at her assumption about letters to Santa, last Christmas.  So Esky.
    • She still has regular nightmares.  Sometimes she tells me about them before she is all of the way awake.  Esky: "I had a bad dream. When I have a bad dream I try to wake up but I don't always have the key; sometimes it's locked."  That's rough.
    • Esky: "I prefer animals on all fours, because animals aren't really anthropomorphic, you know?"    Aw.  Poor Lily!  Remember your sweet (admittedly anthropomorphic) crochet elephant?  You know the one?  You shared stories with her, shopped with her, nursed her, found comfort during hard times with her, and now?  She stands wrong.  And wears clothing.  Alas, they all choose their own course, these chidluns...and it's a changing road.  /sigh
    After the big haircut.  With a lion that is on all fours.
    Last post on Esky here.
    Before that here.




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