Newsletter, Olivia

Month 64

Dear Olivia,

Rarely do I get an opportunity to exploit your weaknesses for my own personal gain but you can bet on the fact that when the opportunity arises, I take it.  I’m sure you’re asking yourself, weaknesses?!  Me?!  Yes, all children have weaknesses.  In fact, children are largely little weak souls wandering around, causing disturbances and messes where ever they drift.  You and your brother, and the rest of the child population for that matter, have a huge problem with sitting still.  You physically cannot sit still for more than two minutes without either getting up or adjusting yourself.  It has certainly gotten better over the years but it’s astonishing to watch a child try with all their might to remain still.  It can’t be done.  Weakness.

You and Miles also have the ability to ignore every word that comes out of my mouth.  I will have full on direct conversations with you because you are looking at me and appear to be somewhat conscious.  After I confirm you did in fact hear what I just told you, you in turn get up and go in the exact opposite direction I asked you to go and continue to do something else completely random from what was asked of you.  Children are the exact opposite of dogs where as dogs hear everything.  Children hear nothing.  It’s as if the pitch of my voice is inaudible.  You are tone deaf when it comes to my voice.  I would call this a weakness but I’m really just jealous.  I wish I could be so bold as to blatantly ignore adults in conversation.  How wonderful it would be to just give someone a blank stare in conversation and completely ignore all requests and demands.  Well, certainly that’s why email was invented.

I am still actively taking piano lessons and I love it except when my teacher holds recitals for the adult students at her house.  I am still very much a beginner student having not even played for a whole two years yet.  Most of the other adults have been playing off and on for years and are far more advanced than I am.  I dread the recitals because they are very awkward as every one is stressed out beforehand about performing in front of strangers, then comes the awkwardness after the performances where we all uncomfortably stand around and eat obscure Russian food while reciting the same small talk over and over.  Your dad and I usually try to come up with some excuse to prevent us from having to stay late–usually an excuse pertaining to having to return home because the babysitter can’t stay long. Unfortunately, everyone else has the same idea because we all rush after the performances to give our excuses as to why we can’t stay.  There is an etiquette if at least two people give their excuses, you’re obligated to stay.  I’m still working on my reaction time because I always miss my chance to get out early.

This time around, I had the grand plan to use your inability to sit still and your very honest and vocal nature to my benefit.  You would accompany me to my recital and no doubt the awkwardness and lack of life at the recital would no doubt cripple you with boredom and you in turn would demand to return home immediately.  This plan would work.  Unfortunately, you are still only five years old and are still entirely unpredictable.  This plan would work but not without a price.  Upon entering the party, you quickly became nervous and began speaking gibberish which you often do when you’re anxious.  As the guests gathered around to meet you, you decided to anxiously poke my belly while questioning if I had a baby in there because to you, it looked like I was with child.  I then had to confirm with the guests that I was indeed not pregnant but maybe just a tad bloated.  Thanks Liv.

We then proceeded to the next room where we prepared for our performances.  Galina, my teacher, began speaking and talking about the significance of the current Olympics and her homesickness for her country, Russia.  You decided that this was the perfect time to release a very loud Homer-esque burp.  My teacher, a very strict Russian woman, was not amused and continued on with her speech.  I was certainly not amused as well and reminded you to say excuse me after such a bodily function, where you then rolled your eyes at me in annoyance.  After you were bored of publicly humiliating me, you sat back and listened to all the performances.  I must say, it was wonderful to have you there cheering for me.  You were so excited when it was my turn and you applauded the loudest after I was done.  Having you there actually made me less nervous because you didn’t care if I messed up–you were just excited to listen to me play.  Unfortunately, my plan to have you announce your boredom did not go as plan as you were completely enamored with all the sweets on the tables.  You finally called it quits when I said no more dessert.  Apparently, that was all that needed to be said to wrap up the party.  In the end, it all worked out perfectly–I didn’t die from public humiliation and you prevented us from having to stay all night.  Perhaps you will accompany me again.

To say that you are obsessed with the movie Frozen would be a complete understatement.  You fill your days drawing Elsa, acting like Elsa as you march around the house in the sparkly blue dress demanding we only address you as Elsa, and singing the songs from the movie over and over again.  I have heard the songs so much that I actually get nauseated now upon hearing you belt out, Let It Go.  I suspect your newfound interest in ice skating is directly related to the movie as Elsa does have ice powers and you seem to be rather interested in anything pertaining to ice.  Apparently your teacher has also had her fill of singing as I have overheard her reminding your class that singing Frozen songs was not allowed at the lunch table.  If she is experiencing even a fraction of what I hear, here at home, she is probably drinking heavily by nightfall.

Your friendship with Noe at school also continues to grow and this is also in large part to Noe’s obsession with Frozen.  Noe loves pink, princesses, fairies and everything else that makes you go, “EEEEEEE!”  Noe has been begging you to come over to her house and she lured you in with the offer that she has real pixie dust.  With the most serious face you could present, you asked if you could go over to Noe’s house because you were going to fly.  I’m not one for play dates if I don’t have an immediate connection with the mother because obviously, I’m the one who has to maintain small talk as you and your friend disappear in to some room.  I was surprised when Noe’s mom suggested I take Miles home for a nap, who clearly at the moment needed one, and I could return later on in the afternoon to pick you up.  The offer actually left me quite perplexed.  I didn’t know this woman very well, at least not well enough to care for you for hours without my presence but again, you two wanted to play by yourselves without your pesky brother following you around.  I decided you were old enough to have your first solo play date and you were so incredibly excited and grateful.  You can imagine the tears when it came time to pick you up but apparently, it was a visit worth every princess loving minute.  Noe’s mom immediately suggested we do this every week.  I, on the other hand, am still not completely on board–I do support you having a friend and wanting to spend time with that person but I have also seen you become one thousand percent obsessed with someone and you fail to see all the other friendship opportunities around you.  In other words, don’t put your eggs all in one basket.  Your dad tells me to not worry about it but I know how this is going to play out and it’s not going to be pretty.

We’re in the midst of a drought and perhaps one day you will read about this time in class.  You have quickly learned the drought mantra, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown, flush it down.”  In addition to no rain, we’ve also have been experiencing unusually warm weather.  During one warm weekend recently, we decided to head down to the beach in Santa Cruz where it felt like any random summer day.  You are not afraid of water nor do you understand the concept of cold because you quickly shimmied in to your bathing suit and began playing in the water instantly.  Despite our differences or the daily headaches I experience from being a parent, these are the moments that I really try to hold on to.  I sat back on the picnic blanket and just tried to soak in every little detail of that afternoon–your brother, too scared to approach the ocean, sitting on the blanket digging his toes in to the sand, you frolicking in the water as your dad built a serious sand castle fort around us.  In this moment, everything was perfect.  That is until you decided to belt out Let It Go and the nausea came rushing right back.  Hey, I will take any perfect moment however it may come.

Love,

Momma

And some pieces from your Elsa collection:

 

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