Thursday, April 29, 2010

Portrait of a Phase

If you're a parent you know (and if you're not yet, you'll find out) that your kids' lives move along in phases, undulating like really slow tide changes: they're sick, they're well; they're toothless, they're teething, their teeth fall out; they're chubby babies and then they're tall, lanky kids. But more generally, there's kind of an overarching ebb and flow that lasts anywhere from two to six months per cycle. For a couple months they fascinate you, amaze you and fill you with pride. Then that phase passes and for the next few months they defy understanding, amazing you in less positive ways, adding gray hairs to your head and causing you to question your abilities as a parent.

Lucky for me, I'm enjoying the former with my five-(almost six!)-year-old. She's in the best phase yet, really, because the good stuff keeps getting better as they get older.

I am just soaking her up right now because she's so much fun to hang out with. Brevity (you might have noticed) is not exactly my thing, suffice it to say that she's turning out even cooler than I hoped. I'll resist the urge to wax on and keep it to a short list.

Here's a Top Five list of Mazzy's recent obsessions, which all contribute to the increased level of coolness:
1. Jem

Jon opened up this can of worms, and Mazzy has found her kindred spirit. They watch a full episode on YouTube every Saturday morning. Now all she wants for her birthday is "Jem stuff:" glitzy fabric for Jem outfits, hair spray (which really means hair dye), and face paint. It's truly outrageous, indeed.

2. Horse Kisses

She made up a new kiss that puts Eskimo and Butterfly Kisses to shame. It's awesome.
Here's what you do:
Grab your child or anyone else you're in the mood to love on and tell them you want to give them a horse kiss (best to let them know what's coming). Rub your cheek against their cheek, then forehead to forehead, then the other cheek. Repeat until your heart is full.

3. Unsolicited chores

All kids "help" at times, but at five, she's old enough to actually help me around the house. Sure, she wants money in return, but emptying the dishwasher without being asked is well worth a quarter. She also likes to separate the laundry and set the table, but she draws the line at sweeping.
*click note for translation*

I'm not the first to dive into Laura's world, but we've finally arrived. I've tried a few different chapter books with Maz, but she usually only lasts four or five chapters before she's over it. I wised up and got Little House in the Big Woods on tape from the library. The effect was immediate: Mazzy was doing needlepoint before we got to the second tape.

5. Pictures

Now that she can read, Mazzy pronounces a few words differently. My favorite is "picture," which she pronounces with a T sound (pick-ter instead of pick-shur). "That's how you spell it, that's how I'm saying it," she insists.
She's also taken to a bit of photojournalism. With my camera, she documented two recent outings:

She took a picture of just about every flower on the property, and there are hundreds... the beauty of digital.

She had Eden pose for her.
She even shot from a tree she climbed.

Not bad for a Kindergartner.

Then there was our annual Spring trip to Forni Brown for garden goodies

Seeing things from a child's perspective is one of the great rewards of parenting, after all.

Particularly when that child is a total bad-ass.


Amy said...

Wow, Mazzy's pictures are really amazing. I'm so happy she's entered the Little House world.
I love her alot and agree that she is BAD ASS!

Amy said...

I love this post, particularly the child's-perspective photos. Hmm, I wonder if my son will watch Jem with me one day?...

CRS said...

Love this kid! She is A-mazz-ing. I sort of don't like sweeping either. Love you all!! Cerissa, Brandon and Emily

Soulyluna said...

I love love love how you eloquently slipped in your joy and admiration for her developing literacy in this piece. I knew it was coming, and I've been waiting to see how it would unfold within her mother's own beautiful writing. Mas Kudos para mama Jones.

Sarah said...

What a lovely tribute! My oldest just turned 6 and I agree it is such a nice "phase."