This week’s theme seemed to be “friendship.” Bailey and I had at least 3 conversations this week about her relationship with her best friend and with other children. Bailey often feels frustrated by children when they behave like, well, children. I remember that feeling from my own childhood as well, and told her so.
She is in a tough spot. She wants to play and have fun, but feels like she is too old to play with kids in her age range. Younger kids listen to and look up to her, but don’t necessarily understand what she is talking about. Older kids don’t want to hang out with “a little kid.” I asked Bailey if she enjoyed hanging out with adults she gave me an emphatic “YES!” So I proposed to her that I make more of an effort to get together with my circle of acquaintances (I tend to be a hermit). She specifically requested several members of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) because she says they are “like kids in the way they act but still adults so they’re not mean.”
Part of the reason that Bailey was feeling discouraged this week was because the ball didn’t happen the way she was hoping. Bailey says that she had the original idea and that what she was hoping for was to see her extended family and some friends dancing together and having fun. She had originally envisioned having the ball in a park or renting a school gym. Her friend loved the idea, and they started planning it together, but Bailey soon found her ideas being pushed aside and she felt unable to stand up for herself. Eventually, the entire event had changed into a fancy dress party at her friend’s house with only girls from her friend’s school (and Bailey) invited and none of Bailey’s family invited. The event was Saturday, and from what I hear dissolved into a catty series of “secret meetings” and tears.
One thing I suggested to Bailey was that we could maybe have a fancy xmas party here at our apartment or else we could see about her helping behind-the-scenes at a gala fundraiser here in Kamloops. She didn’t seem too interested in either option but sometimes it takes her a few days to process.
Thankfully, other things happened this week, too…
You had asked me if Bailey ever used our camera for interviews, and lo and behold, this week she did! She did a newscast every morning (with a written script based on the Weather Network and our family calendar), and one day interviewed me about being a mom.
She has been writing a lot this week. One of my favourites was a little song she wrote. It is for the opening credits a (non-existant) TV show called “Twinkle Little Spy.” She is also writing a new story, but I’m not allowed to look yet. 🙂 In addition I bought her a journal-type book with fill-in-the-blanks called “My [Not-So] Perfect Life.” She has filled in about 2/3 of the book already! The questions range from serious to silly. One of the questions asked her to describe how she was different from other babies and she wrote, “I was advanced.” 🙂
She wanted to play “school” this week, so I assigned her a couple pages in a math workbook. She did some multiplication problems (like 87*2, and 42*3).
One evening she went through my bookshelves looking for things she hadn’t noticed before. One of the books was called “Kokology,” and we did some of the quizzes. (From the back cover: “Kokology, the study of kokoro (“mind” or “spirit” in Japanese), asks you to answer questions about seemingly innocent topics–such as which is the cleanest room in an imaginary house?–and then reveals what your answers say about you.”)
On Tuesday we went to the local petting zoo. (Really, it is just a guy’s hobby farm that backs onto a city park.) Bailey had a great time feeding the goats and chickens. She was especially taken with a funny looking white chicken (we think it’s a silky bantam?).
She has been continuing with her cooking and cleaning activities. This week I finally bought a muffin tin (it’s just one of those things that I didn’t have and never remembered to buy) and she made Triple Berry Chocolate Chip muffins. I asked her to use applesauce instead of margarine to help cut the fat down, and she looked up how to do so on her own. They were delicious! I should mention that whenever anything is cooked or baked in this house she always calculates exactly how much we each get so that it’s fair. This has led to us cutting the last perogie into thirds!
We spent some time at the university library this week helping my baby sister with her very first university assignment. I’m not sure how much Bailey took in, but I helped my sister find the right person to ask for help (as I was having no luck) and later helped my sister begin to analyze a journal article about female delinquency, specifically crime rates. This Bailey did comment on, as she was as surprised as we were to find out that the rate of female crime is rising.
This was a week for extended family fun, too. We went to Steve’s parent’s house for dinner on Wednesday night. His Dad tried to teach Bailey about music (keyboard and guitar) and when we asked her later what she had learned she replied, “I learned that I’d rather teach myself.”
Thursday night was my nephew’s 5th birthday party, and we went to my Mom’s (1.5 hours away in Vernon) today for lunch.
Physically, we have slacked off a little in the going for daily walks department. We walked to the post office early in the week and nearly died from the heat! She has been wrestling with her stepdad, though, and when she goes to her friend’s house they are quite active.
Bailey took an interest in the Wondertree Village, too, and wants to join the Fashion Design Conference.
Whew! I didn’t think we did much this week, but I kept notes and that really helped me to see how much we really did. I hope I’m not writing too much, especially about the friendship stuff. As I said, that seems to have been the theme for the week.
One last thing, you asked how often Bailey saw her Bio-Dad and the answer is almost never. It is a long story and I am happy to share the details with you if you think that would help you get to know us better, but to spare you another 1/2 hour of reading I’ll just say that he is a troubled man and Bailey has decided that she doesn’t feel entirely safe with him. Technically he and I share custody and are supposed to have a one week on, one week off living arrangement, but she decided in June 2008 just before I married her stepfather, Steve, that she wanted to live with us full-time. Surprisingly there was no battle from her Bio-Dad, and she has been with us ever since.
Hope you have a great week!