Forty Months: When I Get a Big Girl

I'm doing a bit of backtracking here, because I've actually made little notes about what's going on each month, even if I haven't blogged them.

May was all about what you will do when you get to be a big girl: cross the street by yourself, decide whether to wear a jacket or not, wear earrings. We would tell you you couldn't do something, and you would answer When I get a big girl, I will. Overall, this has been much preferred over temper tantrums about what you can't do, we appreciate you taking the long view.

You also started talking about friends at preschool this month. For months you've been talking about your teachers, and when we sing our preschool song, you always pipe up with other children's names. But this month you started reporting on their activities, and your communal play, in a way that has us all very excited to get to school. I think you'll really enjoy going more days this summer, although I'm sad about giving up my Fridays with you. My work is ramping up, which is no doubt the cause for such statements as I can't come to dinner right now, I have a meeting and I can't go to the playground with you, I have to go to work.

You started a drop-off swim class last month. You've been taking swim class with your Dad for a year now, and when you turned three, none of us were quite ready for you to head into the class on your own. But by the time an opening popped up, you were more than ready. You're now reliably wearing goggles, swimming from the float to the wall or the steps, getting yourself in and out of the pool easily using elbow-elbow-tummy-knee-knee, and in general behaving like you love to swim, as opposed to loving hanging out in the water chatting with your Dad. All this progress culminated in your first ribbon this month. At your swim school, the ring the bell at the end of the session and announce all the ribbon awards. I didn't think you even noticed this was going on, but when they said your name and gave you your Rainbow Ribbon, you did a hilariously infectious little hip-twisting dance that perfectly communicated your excitement.

You also love to be in the kitchen, removing fava beans from their pods, stirring pancake batter, measuring ingredients and helping Mana make pudding desserts. You love chocolate pudding and tapioca, and asked to make chocolate tapioca -- your first recipe innovation!

And in the verbal gymnastics category, you can recite
The Banana Song all by yourself! You asked me to banana-fana-fo-fana everyone in your class during drives to preschool, till the other day we started driving and you announced:

Puppy Puppy bo buppy
Banana fana fo fuppy
Me my mo muppy


Thirty-nine Months: Hee Heady-hetz Heady Yahtz

The above constitutes my only note for April. But it's worth a post, because it's your very favorite song right now. Hee Heady-hetz Heady Yahtz is actually Aaj Mera Jee Kardaa (Today My Heart Desires) a bhangra-inspired tune from the Monsoon Wedding score. It appears on one of our song lists, and you've taken a liking to it, so it's now on yours, too. We know exactly where to find it on the iTunes lineup, and it's the first thing we listen to when we get in the car.

Other current favorites in your eclectic Top 100 include:
o Mambo Italiano by Rosemary Clooney
o Wonton Tomato, a variation on your Dad's One Ton Tomato, is actually Guantan Amera (the Celia Cruz version)
o This Little Light of Mine, the fabulous version by Sam Cooke
o She'll Be Comin' 'round the Mountain by local favorites Orange Sherbet
o Mahna Mahna as done by Cake
o Hello Dolly by Bobby Darin
o Alphabet of Nations by They Might be Giants
o Chitty Chitty Bang Bang -- especially with video on You Tube
o I Wanna Be Like You by Louie Prima (from the Jungle Book soundtrack)
o Anything from The Wizard of Oz
o Ease on Down the Road from The Wiz (which you excitedly tell us is "the Aunt Jen")
o Your are My Sunshine as sung by Elizabeth Mitchell. This one took a lot of conversation, about who is her sunshine, and who would take her sunshine away, and would her sunshine come back, and why she doesn't want to lose her sunshine. But you seem to have worked out the anxiety around this one and now even occasionally ask me (Me! who can't carry a tune in a bag!) to sing it to you

You've seriously bonded to Jewish music, with a Chanukah-heavy mix on your Top 20 list
o Dreidel Dreidel, a surf rock version by Meshugga Beach Party that knows no season
o Ocho Kandelikas by Flory Jagoda grabbed your attention in December and hasn't let go
o David Melech Yisrael as sung by your first music teacher, Teacher Elana
o Heveinu Shalom Aleichem -- you seem to recognize and like every version of this song, but your clear favorite is the ska klezmer stylings of King Django

And some old favorites that still command attention:
o Little Peter Rabbit, the Susie Tallman version
o Cripple Creek, the Enzo Garcia version, to which you still love to two-step with your Dad.

Thirty-eight Months: I have a conversation!

In March, you would pop up with "I have a conversation!" whenever you felt left out...

We love this, you don't act up or run away, you actually join in with your own topic. Many of these conversations are about Puppy and what he was doing, or what you were doing together. You seem to work through a lot of stuff with Puppy, what to do when Puppy hits you, or when he doesn't want to play with you, or when he goes away.

Monsters are also a frequent topic of conversation. There's a small, friendly monster that lives between the refrigerator and the wall. There's a monster that lives behind doors and who you sometimes visit. There are monsters in the back seat of the car, in the living room, everywhere, and they all seem to be your friends. 
When we're driving in the car, talking about something (usually work) in the front seat, the conversation goes something like this:
A or R: blah blah blah

MZ: I want to talk about fishes.
Us: Okay, what fishes?
MZ: The purple fishes

Us: Where do they live?
MZ: In San Mateo, near Bubbe's house
Us: Oh! Are they big or small?
MZ: The purple fishes are big
Us: Are there other fishes?
MZ: The yellow fishes are small. They live in Florida near Grandma Little.

You also helped me blow out the candles on my 40th birthday cake. R. threw an ironic little party for me with a Princess theme, which of course you dug. You were quite a hostess, welcoming people at the door and dividing your time among big people and small.


Ready... Set... Go

Blogging has evolved into something like an organizng project for me, so much stuff in the past needing attention, but in the end I've just got to start from where we are right now... and I can't think of any better way. Here, a completely current photo of MZ with her best friend Pugawug (taken on the stairs of our newly painted houe, btw).