Monday, May 23, 2011

All of Her

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with Hadley's preschool teacher for a parent teacher conference.  At the risk of sounding like an obnoxiously prideful parent, Hadley's doing awesome. 

She loves school, loves her classmates, has gone beyond meeting all the benchmarks, etc, etc.  The teacher says to me, "It's easy to see why she's so successful.  You're so literary, and I'm sure that rubs off on her."  Please.  This has nothing to do with me.  This kind of smart is all Jesse.  You see, Jesse and Hadley are what I like to call "quick smart."  There is nothing quick about me unless it involves running from a wasp or dog.  But Hadley and Jesse process things quickly, and once they have, they move on.  1+1?  2. Done.  Moving on.  Hurricanes?  They're bad.  Take cover.  Moving on.

Hadley is also very literal, and this makes it hard for her to understand why one needs or would want to use one's imagination.  Take today for example.  Hadley was playing with paper doll princesses.  These princesses were all trying to get to a ball of some sort and Hadley wanted to help them get there.  She told me her dilemma and I said, "Why don't you ask Tinkerbell if she can help?"  So Hadley walks over to find Tinkerbell and here's what happened (keep in mind this is all Hadley talking):

Hadley: Tinkerbell?  Will you help Cinderella, Bella, and Snow White get to the ball?

Tinkerbell: What?

Hadley: We need your help.  Cinderella, Bella, and Snow White need pixie dust to get to the ball.  Do you have pixie dust?

Tinkerbell: Yea, I have pixie dust.

Hadley: OK, can you share some with the princesses so they can get to the ball?

Tinkerbell: Well, I'd love to but I can't.

Hadley: Why not?

Tinkerbell: Because I live in a different story.

And that was the end of that.
Hadley also likes to know why things are the way they are.  This is also from Jesse.  Yesterday the two of them were discussing the different kinds of ladybugs: what they eat, what color their spots are, and why they can't live very long in buildings (we had one in our building that clearly wasn't going anywhere if you know what I mean).  Hadley's need to understand the way things work clashes with my need for her to JUST DO WHAT I SAY on a daily basis.  She wants to know why I want her to not do something and I want her to just stop doing what she's doing.  It makes it so that I feel like I'm in the middle of a "Who's on First" kind of conversation.

Here's what happened today:

Hadley (who's in the bathroom): Mom!!!!!!  I'm doooooonnnne!

I walk into the bathroom to find Hadley facing the opposite direction that society expects one to sit when one sits on a toilet.

Me: OH, HADLEY!  What are you doing?

Hadley: I'm sitting this way.

Me: WHY?!?!?!

Hadley: Why not?

Me: Hadley, you can never, ever sit like that.

Hadley: Why? What will happen?

Me (after a long pause): I don't know.  Just don't ever sit like that again.

It's a wonder I haven't been on any talk shows to share my outstanding parenting skills, folks.

You know what though?  I do so enjoy Hadley's company.  From the moment she was born, she's shown me that there is this other way to see the world, and while I struggle to keep up with her, I'm thankful she wants me to come along for the ride.  The other day when I picked her up from preschool she told me that one of the teachers who put her in the car called her "Holly." 

I said, "That's OK, people used to call me by the wrong name all the time." 

"They did that when you were a little girl?"


"I should've been there to help you."

That would've been nice, Hadley.  That would've been nice.


Mink said...

love it...

Becky said...

That was a lovely post :) She sounds awesome. I hope my kids grow up to be as cool as her