Sunday, February 10, 2013

Suzie Shortcake

My baby turned six last month and I can't believe it! Suzie has such a unique personality. All my girls are strong in different ways so it is fun to watch them grow up and see their strengths develop. One of Suzie's strengths is that she just doesn't care what others think of her. She is her own person and you can love her or hate her but she isn't going to change for you. She is also very tender hearted and isn't bothered by people who are different from her. There is a little girl in her class who is in a wheelchair. Suzie and she are friends and they have played together a few times at each other's house. Suzie invited her to her birthday party. On the day of the party a few friends had arrived before this little girl. I overheard one of the other girls from her class ask Suzie who else was coming to the party. When Suzie mentioned this girl the other little girl said, "But I don't like her." Suzie replied very unapologetically, "Well she is my friend and I wanted her to come to my party." I don't know if this other little girl's feelings were because of the girl being in a wheelchair or because of some other experience, but I was glad Suzie stood up for her friend and that she isn't intimidated by her being in a wheelchair. I know some of this may be her age- 5 and 6 are pretty innocent ages where the world hasn't tainted you too bad- but I do think some of Suzie's "Devil may care" attitude is inherent. (sidenote- I thought the saying was "devil make hair" for the longest time and couldn't for the life of me figure out why in the world it meant someone who is carefree.)
I wanted to include a few more Suzie stories in honor of my happy-go-lucky Suzie-Q! ANYONE who knows Suzie even remotely knows how much she loves food and not just any food mind you, she has very discriminating taste. Last fall Eric was bottling spaghetti sauce for our food storage and he asked Suzie if she wanted a taste. He held out a spoonful for her and after she tasted it, he asked, "So how is it?" pretty much expecting her to sing its praises. So I think he was a little taken back when she replied, "A little bland." The funny thing about this is that Eric proceeded to defend his sauce to her saying, "Well when we eat it- it is mixed with meat and we also put sugar and balsamic vinegar in it so it won't be so bland." I reminded Eric that she was only 5 and probably didn't even fully understand what "bland" meant.
Another time she was at our neighbor's, the Hills- where she goes afterschool while I finish up work, having lunch. She asked Maren, my friend for some peaches. Maren pulled some canned ones out of the cupboard and after Suzie tasted them she told Maren that she actually wanted "chilled peaches". Maren was a good sport and laughed at her while putting them in fridge but I would have quoted the kindergarten mantra of "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."
All this eating has caused Suzie to have a bit more girth than those around her. She isn't fat, she is just a healthy size 6/7. She and Katie are about the same size and soon Suzie will pass Katie up. I was talking to someone about this and Suzie over heard me. She said with a sly smile, "That's cause I'm an eater girl."
Then another time she was talking to my friend Maren- again my friend who watches her for me and also has a daughter, Hannah- Suzie's age. Suzie was comparing herself to Hannah by saying, "I'm taller than Hannah and fatter too." Maren said she said it in the most casual way- not like it upset her or anything- more like "My hair is blonde and Hannah's is brown." She has a very healthy self- image! This may also be encouraged by the boy in her kindergarten class who she tells us thinks she is "hot"- Bode! She has many tales about how Bode puts his fingers in the shape of a heart around his lips and makes kissy noises. He has also asked her to be his valentine and he even went so far as to give her a kiss on the cheek! When she told me this I asked, "What did your teacher do?"- mostly because I want to know how to handle this kind of situation if it ever happens in my own classroom. She said, "The teacher didn't see." I said, "What do you think she would have done if she had?" Suzie replied, "I think she would have said 'I didn't see that coming.'" Just like I didn't see that reply coming either!
One more funny Suzie story- During Christmas season we were watching one of the many "Charlie Brown Christmas" shows together. This one wasn't actually about Christmas- it was about Linus and his blanket. Lucy kept trying to get Linus to get rid of his blanket before their grandma came to visit because Lucy insisted that she would get rid of it for him. Having loved many a blankies- or "be-be"s as Suzie refers to them- into threadbare oblivion, I think Suzie felt an enormous amount of empathy for Linus. Anyway when Linus's grandma finally came into the show, Suzie turned to me and said, "Linus's grandma is an elephant." This may not make sense at first, but think about it-all the adults on "Peanuts" shows the adults do sound like elephants with their "wah-wah-wah-wah"s. Excellent observation!
We love you Suz!