Delphine might be the only three and a half-year-old
in North America who has never seen an entire movie.
This week her Auntie Morgan tried to get her to watch
Finding Nemo but it was too scary for her.
I don't know if they made it all the way to the end,
but they definitely skipped some bits in the middle.
Delphine is still on the delicate side of the
sensitivity scale; she is reserved with new people,
and she doesn't like scary or violent characters
in movies or TV shows. Books don't bother her so
much; we read her Little Red Riding Hood and Chicken
Little, and she doesn't flinch at the devouring of
grandmothers or the biting off of heads.
Once she gets past her initial reservations
she rises to the occasion. At Hanukkah dinner she
made conversation with Baba's friends, and just last
night she very bravely petted a large, friendly dog.
She can even put her face in the pool for three
As long as she gets lots of cuddles and patience she
faces her fears admirably.
She is very solicitous of others and loves to be
the mummy. When I am scared of something, (or pretend
to be) she comes up and pats me and says "It's okay
Mummy, I will protect you." She has lots of baby
dollies, and she takes great care of them, feeding
them and putting them down for naps. We all
have to be quiet when they are taking a nap.
She gets into these weird proto-Goth funks sometimes,
where she goes all nihilistic: "I don't want any
toys, I don't want you, I don't want anyfing! Go
away Mummy! I want to be sad!" And then she has
a big cry. It's almost like she's picking at a
scab, emotionally, like she wants to experience
the pain of sorrow in an environment she has
created and controls. I'm never sure what to do
but mostly I let her go through it and just
stay around to administer cuddles when she's ready
Delphine loves puzzles and
accordingly got a whole pile of them for Christmas.
She's fairly good at them; she needs a little help
the first time through, but she can usually
do them on her own thereafter. I am looking forward
to when she's older and we can all do jigsaw
puzzles together properly. For now they all have to be
done high up on the dining table, out of the reach
of Cordelia the Marauder.
Delphine likes sticking stickers, which is like
drawing only not creative. And she spent literally
hours playing with a pair of paper dress-up dolls
my cousin sent her — you know, the ones with
the clothes with little tabs on them? The old toys
are still the best.
Delphine's getting better at reasoning, which means we
have to have airtight reasons when we tell her to
do (or not do) things. This morning she asked for
a lollipop; I said she shouldn't have candy in the
morning, but somehow she knew I had already had a
cookie. She reasoned that a cookie
is a treat, and a lollipop is a treat, so she should
be allowed to have a lollipop. I couldn't really
argue with that without getting into subtle, and
frankly dubious, arguments like the presence of flour
and egg in cookies rendering them slightly closer
to actual food. So she got her lollipop.
The lollipops, incidentally, were also a gift from my
cousin. They are little jellies in the shapes of
Santa and snowmen and stuff, on a lollipop stick.
Delphine is not a chewer of candies, so she sucks
these little jellies and makes them last literally
for hours, which of course drives Cordelia mad
because she's not allowed to have jelly lollipops
Three and a half is great. It's a little psychotic
sometimes, but (just like all the other ages) often
because she's tired or hungry. And mostly it's great;
she can talk, she can think, she can go up and down
stairs by herself, she has friends and ideas and
opinions. She's a real person, and I quite like her.