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Phoebe's first day of preschool is tomorrow, sort of; she's just going in for an hour, with me, to meet her teacher and figure out the lay of the land. I'm supposed to write down my "goals" for Phoebe and give them to her teacher, and I'm having a hard time with that. Would it seem totally unambitious of me to say, "I just want Phoebe to be safe and happy for three hours, three days a week"? Maybe I can add that it would be nice if she could learn how to use scissors, or how to hold a pencil correctly. Maybe I'd like for her to become more confident around people she doesn't know very well. I don't know, she's so little, she just turned three. I don't care if she learns her letters this year, or how to count past fifteen. Then again, she's always going to be one of the youngest in her class, so I guess she needs to start catching up as soon as possible.

I feel like I haven't written much about Phoebe lately, although I certainly haven't lacked material. She's kind of taken on the role of Family Jester, presumably because the role of Family Drama Queen is being filled by her sister. At mealtimes, especially, she is full of jokes and funny faces. She rarely walks; instead, she runs, or skips, or hops, or hops sideways, or jumps. Her "pretending" monologues are a thing to behold and can go on for upwards of thirty minutes. She, very helpfully, chimes in whenever we are discussing things with Mallory ("Mallory, Mommy says that's not nice. That's not necessary, Mallory. Mallory, why are you so rude?"). Both girls have become huge tattletales, and Phoebe always follows up her tattle with the plea to "Tell Mallory don't do that anymore!" She says "mecause" for "because" and "esterday" for "yesterday" and "wallemon" for "watermelon," but I can't think of very many other words she doesn't say correctly. We've had a bit of a breakthrough lately in that she will occasionally wear something other than a fancy dress. She gets very, very sad when Mallory goes to play with friends without her. The other day a commercial for Visine came on; she watched it very intently and then turned to me and said, "Mommy, does that stuff really work? Mecause sometimes my eyes hurt." She is, in other words, growing up.

The biggest difference I can see between my two daughters is in the social realm. At this age, Mallory was asking me if she could go up and hug every child we saw at the store or at the park or anywhere else, and couldn't understand why I would say no. Mallory still has an intense need to find and make and spend lots of time with her friends, and my main worry is that she's so desperate for friendship that she lets other kids walk all over her. (For example, last night she mentioned that her best friend was her "boss." Then she said that all the other girls in her class would take turns being the boss, but that she herself would never be the boss because she was the youngest one. I said that she actually wasn't the youngest girl in the class, and that she should take a turn being the boss if she wanted to. She replied that she didn't want to be the boss, that she liked being told what to do. I'm not sure what being a boss entails, but it seems to me that Mallory's being taken advantage of somehow.) Phoebe, on the other hand, although she likes playing alongside Mallory and her friends, doesn't seem interested in other people or other children at all; she's very shy around people she doesn't know well and doesn't seem to crave the company of others that way Mallory does. Maybe that will change when she gets a bit older, but I think she's going to be my introvert. If she's like me (and if she's lucky), she'll make one or two good friends in school and be satisfied with that.

Anyway. Phoebe. Preschool. Tomorrow. Yikes.


Anonymous said…
Hope that all goes well. Maybe an appropriate goal for Phoebe would be to become less shy. I can't imagine, as a teacher, asking parents what their goals were. What if one parent wants her child to read the complete works of Shakespeare!!

aimee said…
I remembered being asked that question too. I answered vaguely but I think being happy was one of them.

Wow. She is growing up so fast. She's our baby.

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