Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Rebecca - May 2003

Rebecca, May 2003 - Rebecca’s front bottom 4 teeth are loose! No one was more surprised than I was. She kept telling me that her mouth hurt when she ate and I couldn’t figure out if she had a sore or what, but upon checking, sure enough her teeth are awigglin’. I don’t see them falling out any time soon, but they do have a smidgen of movement.

Can you believe that she’s decided the letter R is worth saying properly? We might lose our southern belle yet. At the moment, she’s overly focused on making the sounds, so we hear motherrrrr. And Rrrrrainbow. And of course, Rrrrrebecca. And not only is she speaking better, she’s actually still making efforts to read and loves to write (though it’s made of letters, most is complete gibberish). She loves to play school at home, so there are many days where we sit and do math and adding/subtracting flashcards, writing letters and words along with spelling, playing Boggle Jr.. We have art time, snack time, lunch, music, and while I keep trying to push naptime, she never buys it. Drat. But today she sat down and said she wanted to make a book. I’m going to try to scan it in for you, because with a little help from mom, it turned out really great. For those who know her, you’ll notice what a huge improvement she’s had over the past few months.
One thing that never loses it’s draw for Rebecca is the imaginary world of princesses. On May 2nd, we stopped by Glorietta Mall only to discover an abbreviated, full stage production of The Little Mermaid in the center court. She was enthralled even though I don’t think they could have made it any louder, our poor ears. The costumes were lovely, and it wasn’t the Disney version. Instead, the prince fell in love with a human kind of princess and the mermaid (turned human) had to make a choice to either kill the prince and regain her fishiness, or turn to foam. Well, of course she died, turned to foam and then we had the hyper-Christian ending where she ascends to heaven and realizes that there is a greater love than any she could have found elsewhere and she earns her wings as an angel of God. That’s the Philippines for you. The show was an hour long and they were having several presentations, but while Rebecca asked to go back and see it again (and this time bring Katherine), we didn’t make it. She was OK with that though. We went swimming instead.
After that we had a bite at McDo (still haven’t tried that rice burger. If I just knew what was inside the 2 rice patties!) and a literal gaggle of no-longer-teen girls descended on our table. Now, we’ve become a bit accustomed to this, but not to 8 girls surrounding our table. And saying nothing. Just staring at the kids. Periodically one would make a little joke to her friends and they’d all giggle that annoying giggle, or one would try to give Nicholas her phone to play with, or most common, one would just pick up Jonathon. I had to ask more than one to either not pick him up (as she was leaning over) or to put him down (because she swooped in too quick). Jonathon doesn’t eat protein on a regular basis, so having him eat a hamburger every once in a while is a big deal to me. He’s chronically anemic it seems so it’s even more imperative that he be left to eat his meal. One of them actually seemed confused at my request, but did comply. Most of the time though, these girls were silent. Some pulled up chairs to the table, most stood, and just stayed there. It’s odd enough to have the kids ignore strangers because they’ve been asked their names and how old they are so often, but this was plain uncomfortable.
Thankfully, they left.
So, at the playground, Rebecca has become comfortable enough to hang from the first monkey bar. Well, it’s a start. She’s still on training wheels too and won’t go near the big pool. Can we say chicken? No, she’s just not as adventurous or athletic as Katherine is, and that’s fine. She has worked her way up to sitting on the roofs of the play equipment. I guess that’s an accomplishment! If only it didn’t encourage Nicholas to do the same thing. He hasn’t quite made it that high, but he’s getting there.
OK, so what’s Rebecca really like these days. She’s an overprotective big sister, she’s fiercely protective of her belongings, she has a terrible temper, she doesn’t connect actions to consequences, she pushes limits and doesn’t stop when asked, she repeatedly asks for things she has been denied just 5 minutes before (even with explanation), she’s a junk food and TV junkie, she takes forever to absorb new information, she overdramatizes, she cries, she stomps, she screams, she will ignore a direct command if she thinks she has a smidgen of a chance getting away with it. Sounds charming, huh? And through all that, she has a wonderful imagination, she often overdoes it playing with her siblings or by being loving to them, she can play by herself readily, and she can remember just about anything. Now, I know that doesn’t seem to gel at all with the fact that she doesn’t absorb new information. She has an excellent memory for places and activities, for things she’s done or things that require her to actively participate. Her mind completely grasps chess, but takes forever to read the word “his”. She can add and subtract with imagery, tie her shoes and recall her chore list, but cannot remember how to write a letter Y or what sounds it makes. She’s really cute, and uses that to her advantage to try to get out of trouble, which she’s in a lot for being sneaky and pushy and downright mean. And yet she’s the first person to get a bandage or see what’s wrong when someone gets hurt. A truly mixed bag, this one.

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