Today, if Miss Q’s fairy trap had snared a fairy, she (the fairy) was going to be show ‘n tell. If it hadn’t, Miss Q was going to give her kindergarten class a lecture on The Cats of Kittyville, a nonfiction book on cats living in a no-kill shelter in Utah.
Alas, The Cats of Kittyville won out. None of the fairies living in our backyard had gotten themselves snared in the butterfly net overnight, so Miss Q’s Tupperwear container, complete with Playmobil vanity and lace carpet, was left on the stairs in hopes tomorrow finds it a
Yesterday, at student lead interviews, Miss Q confidently read me 14 tiny books featuring the letters ‘A’ to ‘N’, then plucked up a level 4 reader and slowly worked her way through that.
At the same student lead interview, I learned that Miss Q can dribble a ball, balance a bean bag on her foot, and hang from the monkey bars, using only her legs.
I also learned that the two holes in Miss Q’s pants, and the two other holes I’d found in two different pieces of clothing over the last two weeks were made by Miss Q snipping them (on purpose) with her scissors at school… Can you get a teacher to take scissors away from your daughter for the rest of the year as a consequence?
Miss Q has promised never to do that again; and I refuse (even though the Martha Stewart in me cringes) to sew up the holes. (Natural consequences.) What ever will the other parents think?
All these moments come at the end of a very busy week in Miss Q’s life. You see, while the rest of us were recovering from Christmas, trudging through January, trying to figure out if we had enough new vacation time to take the rest of the year off, Miss Q was planning how to properly turn six.
Turns out, gasp, her ideas were slightly different than mine. To start: she only wanted kindergarteners at her party (two old friends and four new friends).
I have always known all of our girls’ friend’s parents. Through co-op preschool, and my own “old” bosom buddies, I have created quiet the cocoon around our daughters.
But on this, the start of Miss Q’s sixth circle around the sun, I found myself faced with newness. New friends, whom I’d only seen in the line-up to go inside the school; and new parents – most of whom, I had just smiled and said a passing ‘hi’ too; none of whom I’d ever sat down over coffee with.
How was I going to (a) secretly hand out invites; and (b) prepare Miss Q for the possibility her new friends might not be allowed over to her house for a home birthday party because we were strangers?
Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
Just so the new parents wouldn’t think we were hiding anything, I’d written on the invites that parents were more than welcome to come, or they could simply drop their girls off and pick them up.
We must have passed the criminal record checks, as 5 of the 6 girls were dropped off with a promise to return at 1:00. I guess that’s how they do it in elementary school… will the new parents think we’re weird if we aren’t as free with Miss Q come their girls’ birthdays?
Miss Q was on cloud one-million. She and her friends shrieked and laughed their way around our house for 2 hours.
At Miss Q’s request, they adopted homeless animals, gave them names and strung beaded collars for them.
Then, like locusts, they inhaled two loaves of raspberry jam and cream cheese sandwiches that were cut into shapes, half a watermelon, a container of strawberries, and 1/3 of the cake. The vegetable plate sat untouched.
All of the girls were very thoughtful with their gifts of jewelry, fairy princess outfit, Polly Pocket, art supplies and homemade cards (one contained a drawing of a dead fish lying on the lawn of a colourful house).
At one, they all left without a whimper.
We closed the day by dining with family at Red Robins where the waiters made Miss Q stand on a chair as they sang. She soaked it all in happily.
Back on that full-moon night in February 2007, when I became a mother, the thought that my little 9 pound, 5 ounce sweetie would one day become capable of imagining lovely stories, surrounding herself with such great friends, or purposely cutting her newish pants with scissors were thoughts not entertained.
Now, as we leave the comfort of the last six years, I realize how true the lyrics Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold are; and how amazing my beautiful, fairly independent, free-thinker has become – though I’m not ready to let go of her hand just yet.