Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dear Cadence: Month 38

Dear Cadence,

This has been a rich month, as so many have been, and it has been a joy to spend this last bit of time with you before you -sniff- go off to school! I know, I know, it's only preschool, but you'd never know that by how you talk about it, and how freakin' intelligent you are. You continue to astound me, and much of the time I have trouble articulating how...The little note I made because I knew I wanted to talk about this in this month's letter just said:

"being really smart. like really smart. explaining things. describing. understanding complicated ideas. allergy vs intolerance...kids can't drink alcohol so she can have root beer, but not every day because it's not good for you"

Yeah, you know all sorts of relatively complicated nuances like the difference between alcohol being dangerous for kids and sugar just being unhealthy, but ok sometimes, (and how alchohol is only a sometimes thing even for grown ups, and that too much sugar can be dangerous for anyone) and that rootbeer is a kind of soda even though it has 'beer' in the name...and you know the difference between an allergy and an intolerance. Most grownups don't even know there is a difference. And So. Much. More.

[Speaking of that, you're also much more aware of my medical status than I had given you credit for. Danial and Poonam have been living with us for several weeks while they search for a home of their own. Unfortunately, Poonam is allergic to cats, and so, in an attempt to make it as safe and comfortable as possible for our guest, we moved our air purifier into their bedroom. I was honestly surprised when, at bedtime that first evening, you asked Baba with a concerned tone: "where's the thing that helps mama breathe?" (and only slightly related: Of course you know about my allergies, but it still melts my heart a little when I hear you reciting to someone not to feed me some food or another because I'm allergic.)]

But yeah, you've got critical thinking down surprisingly well for a kid your age, and it is certainly not uncommon to hear you begin to reason with us with a hearty "how 'bout this:", which you will follow up offering real compromises and deals that are often quite fair and well thought out.

You've also learned what it means to describe something, and you've been practicing this skill quite a lot lately. You LOVE learning, and cannot wait to get to school where you'll be able to learn SO MUCH!! It's terrifically exciting to watch.

Oh, and did I mention your speech yet? 'cause, it's kind of amazing. You recalled and perfectly pronounced the word 'stethoscope' the other day, entirely independently, and recently corrected my grammar when I incorrectly used the word 'trip' instead of 'slip'. You were not amused, but you were a graceful and understanding teacher. "no, no, Slip. Not trip."

All this is not to say that you don't still have plenty of age-appropriate quirks, even if they are sometimes expressed with rather adult vocabulary. "It's taking too long, I just can't wait!" has become a recurring mantra, often used when we're cooking or if we've told you we'll play a certain game once we've completed the task at hand. Usually, if we talk you through what needs to be done, you'll concede with a dejected, sighing "OK" and slink off to the other room, only to reappear within moments declaring once more that "it's taking too long, I just can't wait!" and the cycle begins over again.

One heartbreaking thing you've started doing lately is crying because you miss Nana, Papa and Kelly, and saying that you just want to live with them again. I do think we're doing the right thing by being here in New York, but I can truly sympathize with you, little lady...I miss them all, so much, too, and part of me does just want to go back and be near them. and I feel terrible that we are depriving you of those relationships, which are obviously very important to you...and we do try to keep you from feeling too distant, we do video chats whenever we can, and talk on the phone...There was one day in particular when you woke up sad, and you spent much of the morning in a weepy stupor, not wanting to play or do anything that involved getting off the couch, until I called Papa and let you talk to him on the phone...you talked for maybe 15 minutes, probably less, and after you said goodbye, you perked right up and went about your day as if nothing had ever been wrong.

As always, your vocabulary continues to astound. Though you do have some interesting pronunciations here and there -for instance, one of your favorite words lately is 'section', but you pronounce it with a 'p' at the beginning. You'll sometimes divide (something? the air? It's fairly unclear) into the "boy psection" and "girl psection" in your play...so silly.

But you really do take on new words and phrases at an almost alarming rate. Recently, you've made a rather hollywood-style dramatic shift regarding the phrase "take my word for it." You used to get really upset if we used any variant of that particular phrase, often shouting something along the lines of "Nooo! Don't taaake it!" I think you were genuinely afraid that this meant that we would actually be taking some something from you, but you didn't know what, exactly...anyway, the other day, after a few weeks where this phrase had not been heard in our household, you and I (and Hazel) were waiting to cross the street outside. The sun was angled in such a way that I couldn't really see the walk signal, but evidently you could, because you pointed out that we could cross. I remarked that I couldn't tell, to which you responded "we can go, mama. Take my word for it."

And dontcha know, you were right!

You readily use terms like "metamorphosis" and "hypothesis," and one incredibly fun quirk you've got is how you bastardize big words in completely unrelated play. The other day, while we were on the bus, you invented what I think was basically a pringle-style potato chip that was called a "Mangomorphosis!" (and evidently, it was mango flavored. Perhaps you have a future in marketing.) Emphatic delivery included.

Oh, Cadie B, you rock my world. You're getting way into photography and I have to say, you're getting pretty darn into it. Your artistic endeavors continue to excite and impress me, even when they make me laugh: For instance, you still love to make up songs, and I'll conclude this letter with the chorus to one of my recent favorites. I don't know what inspired it originally, but here it is, presented without judgement, but a lot of love:

"I can't find my dad because he's lost and impatient!"

Keep on keepin' on, my beautiful darling. I'm so, SO excited for you as you begin what promises to be a pretty magical journey into the world of education. I love you, little bug. You're still my amazin' b, and I am so, incredibly proud of you.

Love Always,