May 7, 2008
Schuyler loves fairies now. Dragons are sort of old hat, but dinosaurs still have a place in her world, albeit not as central as before. Mermaids have also lost some of their appeal, although she still loves them and will claim to be one from time to time. And King Kong remains beloved.
Schuyler wants me to buy a Mini Cooper.
Schuyler's hair is slowly going back to its natural color (slowly because apparently "temporary" means something different to the fine folks at L'Oreal), and she hasn't requested a recharge in a while. We usually don't color it during the summer anyway, since she spends so much time in the pool, with its chlorinated water. We'll see what she wants in a few months.
When we drive past this one field full of horses and llamas in Plano, Schuyler loses her mind. Her favorite horse is the white one. And she still knows that llamas say "Om? Om? Om?"
Schuyler seems to be losing her love for Hannah Montana. I'd celebrate, except there's no telling what horribleness will follow. For girls her age, Hannah Montana is about as innocuous as it gets without involving Jesus.
Schuyler is the self-proclaimed Queen of Monkeys.
Having had the opportunity to watch Schuyler with kids her age, including her cousins last weekend, I am learning a few things. The most encouraging is that she seems to be unusually well-adjusted emotionally for her age. She never melts down, she's not terribly materialistic and she shares easily.
The most troubling thing I've realized all over again is also the hardest to say, but here it is: in a lot of ways, both developmentally and even, perhaps, cognitively, Schuyler is still seriously delayed. She doesn't use her device as much as I'd like for her to, largely because her verbal abilities are coming along to the point that we can usually understand her, as can many others who spend time with her regularly. But the fact remains that a lot of what she says goes unfathomed, and she needs to use her device much, much more in her daily life. Consider this a resolution to kick her in the ass, motivationally speaking.
Schuyler's love for pudding defies rational thought.
Schuyler likes to play monster games. Her most recent is the Grass Monster, who apparently lives in the grass (well, yeah) and will grab you like the Kraken if you fail to heed stepping stones. She first came up with it while we were waiting outside a restaurant a few weeks ago, and the fiction of the Grass Monster has grown to near epic proportions. We sort of ganged up on her cousin last weekend and convinced him that there's such a thing as the Grass Monster. I would feel guilty about that, except as father/daughter activities go, it was pretty sweet.
Schuyler had a tiny little wart on her hand. She was bothered by it at first, but then decided that it gave her witch powers and became quite upset when it went away. It recently reappeared, and she couldn't be happier.
Schuyler keeps her coins in a bank that looks like a chocolate rabbit. We call it the Money Bunny. She looks for coins all the time now, and covets the Money Bunny like Silas Marner.
Schuyler watches (and sings the theme song to) Kenny the Shark every morning before school. Well, we all do, really. And then she gets on the bus and goes to school, leaving me with my daily dose of separation anxiety mixed with horrible bus crash paranoid fantasies.
Schuyler always points out "the fuzz" when we're driving around.
Schuyler's condition keeps her from doing some sports, like baseball, but interestingly, I think she might be able to really play soccer. As I wrote before, we tried hooking her up with a local "Don't call it Angel League" angel league, but every time we went, they scrapped the soccer and just played baseball. Schuyler said she didn't want to go anymore, and that was that. In the fall, we'll try again with a different, "You can call us Angel League" angel league. I wouldn't be surprised if she could actually play mainstream soccer, and soon. I've seen some of those girls play, after all.
Schuyler likes to wear hoodies now. Her punkitude is unwavering. She still loves her Chuck Taylors but has chilled on the temporary tattoos.
Schuyler finally got to see the Cloverfield monster, thanks to the wildly inappropriate but "interesting in a cautionary tale sort of way" parenting of her father. I gave her sort of the greatest monster moments version, because I didn't think she'd care about a bunch of hipster wannabes at a party and I thought the little monsters would be too scary for her.
(I was right about the party but wrong about the little monsters, incidentally. I forgot about one scene until it was too late, and she loved it. "Wow!" she whispered, before signing "more" until I complied.)
I asked her what she thought of the actual big monster, and she said on the Big Box of Words, and I quote, "I love him. He my friend. He is biggest. He lives in New York City." (She's not one for spoiler alerts, apparently.)
Speaking of Schuyler's lack of fear, there is one exception. She is still afraid of the water. This is hard because she loves going to the pool, but she won't step away from the edge unless she positively has to. Working on this is going to be a summer project for us.
And speaking of the summer, it looks like we're going to skip all the summer day care trauma altogether this year and just rearrange our schedules so that she can stay with us. This is going to mean that she'll come to work with me from time to time. We'll see how that goes. If nothing else, it'll give me more opportunities to harass her about using her device.
Schuyler and Julie are coming with me to Chicago next November.
When we sign books, Schuyler gets bored with doing it the same way every time. At our last signing, she drew a flower for someone.
Schuyler is learning to lie, which is making for interesting times. She's also experimenting with the idea of "accidentally" leaving her homework at school. Trust me, friend. That doesn't work for long.
She and I talked about her monster recently, in a quiet moment together. She said that she doesn't mind the way things are, because her AAC device makes her different, and she likes that. "I love my voice," she said, indicating her Big Box of Words. She seemed genuinely puzzled that I would even ask.
Sometimes, she says, Schuyler is an eagle.
Sometimes she is Ice Girl.
Sometimes she breaks my heart.
Mostly, she's my "why".