The mommies and Random Granddaughter just left for the return ferry after a two-day pre-Christmas visit. The visit went very well. On the whole, RG had a good time, but she still is a world-class drama queen and still has a very tumultuous relationship with food, so there were scenes of great drama, and it was clear that RG still considers starch and sugar sufficient to cover all nutritional needs.

RG visited the Friendly Neighbors, bringing along a digital camera that takes videos and eager to try out making a video of the the “ladies” [hens] to see if they might someday be fit to star in a  movie. The Friendly Neighbor handed RG batches of “scratch” (chicken feed) to attract the chickens to get them to pose for for their screen test. After a few minutes the, Mrs. Friendly Neighbor joined us with a bag of her homemade chocolate chip cookies, and began tossing chocolate chip cookies to the chickens, who began eagerly consuming them.

I asked RG what would be the effect of tossing chocolate chip cookies into her kindergarten classroom. She was much amused at the thought of her classmates scrabbling for chocolate chip cookies over the kindergarten classroom floor.

Mommy has directed RG to select six of her friends to invite to her birthday party (which will occur in February). The mommies have been concerned about RG’s attachment to a little friend whom I designate as BIP (Bad Influence Peer) who happens to be the daughter of a billionaire. Apparently, the family of BIP travels frequently to expensive ski resorts during vacation times, so the chances of BIP attending RG’s birthday party seem a bit uncertain at the moment.

Chicken Soup for Christmas

December 14, 2009

The Mommies and Random Granddaughter are scheduled to make an overnight visit a couple of days before Christmas.

As RG is so finicky about food, we requested suggestions about the menu. My daughter replied:

Thanks for asking about food – it’s nice of you to take the kid limited palate into account.

AE requested chicken noodle soup, but if that doesn’t seem Christmasy enough, baked chicken (or turkey breast) would both be kid-approved. She would like homemade pizza for lunch – is that a possibility? She usually really enjoys both helping make it and eating it, and since you have the fancy pizza stone and all, I thought that might be a winner.
We will see what happens when the rubber hits the road.

Grandparents Day (Part 6)

December 4, 2009

The evening of Grands [Grandparents] day at the private school, the mommies told us they are also a bit taken back by Random Granddaughter’s extreme moodiness.

“She will come home from school and be in an extremely bad mood and not want to speak to anybody for half an hour,” they said. “And then she will perk up and play and talk in an normal way.”

I suppose it is only to be expected that a science fiction child will go through adolescence by the time she is five years old. Perhaps she will be fitted for a training bra by the time she is six.

Grandparents Day (Part 5)

December 2, 2009

When my wife and I talked with the mommies after Grands day, we learned that Random Granddaughter is working quite diligently on creating a life full of tumult. Mommy gave the private school counselor a ride to her home after work and learned that RG was recently involved in some “creative story telling.”

I don’t remember the exact details, but it involved a toy or piece of costume jewelry that had disappeared for a couple of days ago and RG found it and shared an imaginative story about how it had been discovered again (by her, of course).

The mommies have always encouraged RG to be truthful. Until the age of four she was notably honest.

I suspect that children, in general, learn, from about the age of five, to embellish and manipulate and “spin” information before presenting it to adults. In other words, children learn to lie by the age of five.

I remember when I was five leaving a jacket at school and telling my parents a lie about it. My father, whom I suspect was a pretty good liar himself, punished me severely and gave me a big speech about always telling the truth. My reaction, of course, was to dedicate myself more diligently at concealing and dissembling to the adults around me.

Grandparents Day (Part 4)

December 1, 2009

After our visit to Random Granddaughter’s kindergarten class and observation of her performance as a cow in the bowdlerized dramatization of “The Gingerbread Boy,” we joined the mommies and RG for dinner at their house. After a very weary RG had gone to bed, we learned a little more of the back story of her attachment to BIP (Bad influence Peer).

As the private school has a preschool, fourteen of the sixteen children in the class were peers in preschool and already knew each other and had already formed social bonds before kindergarten began.

Who knows how friendships and bonds form at the age of five? Perhaps there was some initial chemistry between RG and BIP on the first days of kindergarten. However, as two children who found themselves as the outsiders in an already existing social group, there were powerful forces pushing the little girls toward forming a friendship.

The other interesting part of the equation is that BIP is the daughter of a billionaire. Her daddy’s name does not start with Bill or Paul or Warren, but he is someone who is probably on a first name basis with those people. Pictures indicate that her mother is quite beautiful. Other information indicates that she is a younger second wife and a former ambassador.

In any case, the mommies regard RG’s close attachment to BIP with some misgivings, and have been trying to get RG to extend her social horizons. Other children from her kindergarten class have been invited over to the mommies’ house for “playdates.”