Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Dooce does this great thing where she chronicles the development of her daughter on a monthly basis. It's done in the form of a letter to her daughter to be read at a future time. I like it. I write about my daughter all the time, but I never write to her. No time like the present. Let's make this an irregularly-scheduled, but annual-ish, tradition, starting NOW...

Dear Daisy,

First off, you're probably wondering who the hell Daisy is. It's you. Because the Internet is filled with child-stealing criminals who can magically find a child based on a name and a blogspot URL, I have constructed your first nom de web in the interest of safety. I tried to pick a name as cheerful as you are.

Now then, you're six years old and you just started the first grade last week. Somehow, despite my ignorant parenting, you're turning into a pretty damn good kid. Let's see how you're shaping up.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

Well, I haven't really measured you in a while. Crap. Hang on.

....

Ok, I just checked. You come up about 2 inches above my belly-button.

Oh, wait again. Your mother just walked in and she says that you're 42.5 inches tall and you weigh about 42 pounds. At least you've got one good parent. Keep in mind, however, that this business about having a greater height (in inches) than weight (in pounds) ain't gonna last forever. Enjoy it, babe.

Your hair is pretty long, cascading a couple inches below your shoulders. In fact, as someone who helps comb your hair, it's too damn long. Either cut it or keep the ice cream, paint, and chewing gum out of it.

EMOTIONAL MATURITY

You've really matured a lot in the last year. You used to get so frustrated by all the things on the planet that you weren't good at. You'd curl up into a sobbing little ball if you didn't like the look of your lowercase Qs, or if the yoyo didn't snap back into your hand. I think now you're beginning to understand that some things take a while to learn. Although I can still hear the tearful stress in your voice when your piano practice doesn't go well, you're just as likely to laugh it off.

Also, I think you're gaining an appreciation for the other people's feelings. I know that as an only child the world often centers around you, so it's somewhat unnatural to share your toys, or let someone else pick the playtime activity. Your mother and I have seen good improvement here recently. I don't know if its the nagging that we've done, or if your concern for others is truly growing, but I'll take what I can get. Keep it up!

HUMOR

You're at a great disadvantage here. You were born to a sarcastic and geeky father and a mother who humors him. Tough knocks, babe.

You struggle to construct jokes, but the essence of finely crafted humor eludes you. Your typical joke goes like this:

You: Dad, want to hear my latest joke.
Me: Sure
You: Why is there a cow on an airplane?
Me: Geez, I don't know. A poorly thought-out airline promotion?
You: No! There are no cows on airplanes!!! Hahahahahaha! Get it? Get it?!?! See, cows don't go on airplanes.
Me: Time for bed.

Honest to god, that's your idea of a joke. I can't even diagram where exactly the humor is supposed to be.

That being said, your ability to laugh at fine humor is pretty well-developed. You've always had a refined taste for slapstick and I've successfully bullied you into enjoying fart jokes. Once we break you of your appreciation for puns, there's no stopping you.

SKILLS

Your abilities have really exploded this year. You're at the age where you have decent motor control and you can master most tasks with enough practice. Your swimming really started to develop this summer and your reading is starting to take off too.

Reading is still frustrating for you. Your mom reads you interesting stories with complex language at nighttime, but then when you read on your own, your abiliities limit you to Dr. Seuss type books. It's hard for you to stay interested in practicing your reading when the books are so far below your ability to comprehend. You're getting it though.

Recently you've started to crochet and you're also getting good at the pogo stick. This is all exciting for me to watch. Most impressive is seeing you play the piano. I love watching your focus and intensity when you practice a new song.

Of course what you do best is talk. You talk all the time, but you do it with style and charm. To this day, when we encounter some new adult, and you spiral off on one of your monologues, the adult will invariably turn to me, slightly confused, and ask, "How old is she??". Your small size combined with your large vocabulary and immense poise is surprising to strangers. It's a fun game.

PERSONALITY

Although we all have our moods, in general, you're a delightful child. I've occasionally heard harsh words come out of your mouth, and you storm into your room on a semi-regular basis, but I always understand why.

Mostly, you're a happy and spirited child. In fact, you got some sort of "Most School Spirit" award last year. Your teacher this year was thrilled to get you in her class because she had seen your enthusiasm from afar the previous year. You are cheerful and loving and it is wondrous to me that my dark demeanor has not yet polluted you.

YOUR FAVORITES

Playtime activity: Dress-up or some other imagination-based game

TV Show: House of Mouse

Food: Pasta

Dessert: Gum

Color: Pink

Parent: Mother


It's been a good year, kid. I'm digging you more and more. Quit growing soon though, otherwise I'll have to stunt your growth with cigarettes. Not that filtered crap, either.

12 comments:

tinyhands said...

You just HAD to point out to the rest of us who DON'T have great kids how miserable our existence is, didn't you?

Mike said...

Yes. Yes, I did.

Leesa said...

My nephew is the same way..he just can't tell a joke, but thinks it's hilarious anyway. He's 6 too.

Mike said...

She should leave the funny stuff to her dad.

Victoria Winters said...

Oh, I hope that you at least pretended to laugh at her little attempt at a joke. How cute! :)

Mike said...

Victoria, what am I, some sort of parenting savant? No one told me I had to laugh.

Tyson said...

I'm curious how long you were planning to continue writing these progress report letters? Personally, I hope you never stop. I can just imagine reading updates about Daisy in her 40's.

I should start writing to my kids, too. It will be a few years before I have any, but why not get a head start?

Mike said...

Tyson, that's a great idea. If I had had a blog pre-Daisy, I might have done that. I often spoke for her from the womb, but a blog would have enabled me to speak to her.

Oh well. Next life.

Anonymous said...

Or next child?

Jack Abrasive said...

I wanna know why tinyhands said "great kids." What's up with the qualifier?

Mike said...

Jack, don't you feel sorry for the people with lousy and monstrous kids? There's plenty of them out there.

Mike said...

Anon, next child = next life.