(Consider the title your fair warning of what follows.)
My girl has been on quite a roll lately. She brought home a stellar report card, making the honor roll again. She made orchestra recitals- a performance that she had to audition for. She won first place in the paper airplane distance competition in her Saturday morning enrichment class. She made the cut-off for drama club this semester. And she's been making some incredible treats in the kitchen on the weekends.
Drama club is due more to timing than it is anything else. She has looked forward to being in drama club since Betty's son Ben (now in 8th grade) was in 5th grade and we attended his first play, his first semester at Walker. Edie decided then and there she was going to join drama club when she got to Walker. She would tell people when asked if she was looking forward to going to school there, that yes she was because she was going to be in drama club. When the club sign up list came out last semester, she waited a day to turn it in, pondering her choices for the other days of the week. As a result, she didn't get drama club. She was quite bummed, but eventually she ended up pretty content with her second choice of yoga club. And when the club sign up sheets came out this time around, she made sure she was at school turning it in bright and early the next morning. Lesson learned.
As for the paper airplane, she's not really entirely sure how she managed to construct a winning airplane. Pat signed her up for the Saturday morning class through the Curry School over at UVa. He thought that "Intro to Applied Sciences" sounded the most interesting of all the choices presented. When I dropped her off for her first class, I was handed a letter and a course description by the instructor and realized it was a kids engineering course. I also realized that she was one of four girls in the class and definitely the only blonde haired blue eyed child. When we went to pick her up that first day, she stood in the doorway, glaring. You have to sign your child in and out, and of course we were behind in the queue. She stood there, glaring, while other kids had to wiggle past her to leave as their parents signed them out. I actually heard other parents commenting on the glaring girl who was scowling in the doorway. Ah yes, that would be mine. She's quite good at math and wants to be a fashion designer - so our attempt at showing her there are any number of careers in design out there in the world utilizing all her skills was not fully appreciated. However, the second week of class, Edie came home quite proud of herself for constructing the paper airplane that flew the longest AND was the prettiest in the entire class.
Of course it was.
Edie's orchestra instrument of choice is the stand up bass. She plays this in addition to piano - which was her choice. She started piano last year, enjoyed it and wanted to continue with it while picking up another instrument. We talked to her about what playing two instruments meant - mostly having to practice two instruments. All summer long we talked about it, trying to give her an out. She stuck to her guns. School started and the reality of the commitment of playing two instruments hit her. I was ready and willing to let her give up piano, so when she came to me wanting to quit, I at least thought I'd make it seem like she needed to argue the point. Only her argument for why learning to play two instruments was hard was that "it makes me have to think". Oh kiddo. You so do not get to quit things because it makes you have to think. Wrong answer. You just bought yourself a year's worth of piano lessons.
And now that she sees other kids she knows playing multiple instruments in jazz band, an ensemble she has stated she is interested in joining, I'm guessing piano lessons aren't going away anytime soon.
This cooking thing has got to be hands down, my most favorite trick of hers since becoming potty trained. I think not having cable has helped nurture this - you see, Saturday mornings when she wants to watch television, there is pretty much nothing on that appeals to her. She started watching the PBS Create channel and absolutely fell in love with Julia Child. That lead to her watching Jacques & Julia and discovering Jacques Pepin. Which in turn, inspired her to walk into the kitchen one morning, pull out a cookbook and make us breakfast before we woke up. This is fast becoming her new Sunday morning habit, one I can very quickly become accustomed to.
The only downside to this is the mess that she makes. Oh, and sometimes breakfast isn't ready until noon. But that's okay. She's learning mise en place, the importance of reading the recipe and assembling her ingredients before beginning. So what if that requires the use of every last bowl in the house. She's also learning how to clean up after herself, which I love almost as much as I love her making Sunday morning breakfast. Definitely my favorite trick on the path of independence since potty training. Now if I could only get her to put her laundry away.....