Delphine Is Nearly Seven

Delphine loves to read. We've recently been reading time travel books: we read The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn, and now we're reading A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson. She also loves mysteries (like her mother, her aunt, her great-aunt, her grandmother, her other grandmother...) and is working on a Trixie Belden novel by herself.

Delphine also loves to watch TV. She loves WordGirl but she loves Kim Possible more, which I'm kind of bummed about. Blake introduced her to Kim Possible because she liked WordGirl and y'know, female superhero. But Kim Possible is a teenage character, and well into that "kids are cool and parents are lame" stage, and I wish Delphine wasn't being exposed to that already. Unfortunately the horse is out of the barn now; failing another hard disk crash (hmmmm) we're going to be watching Kim Possible until Delphine goes onto another thing or I ban TV altogether.

Delphine is no great fan of hard work. At school she goes to great pains to make sure she's not at the beginning of the line, so she doesn't have to hold the door. She loves the idea of having lots of responsibilities, but she hates the reality of dropping whatever fun activity she's doing in order to do the job.

She has a few jobs lately: she cleans the cat litter every other time (I alternate with her); she helps clear the table; she's in charge of her own morning routine and I'm trying to get her to help Cordelia, too; she is in charge of her own bedroom, including putting away laundry (which in effect means her room is a mess and her laundry stays on her desk). The doing of all these jobs is prefaced by a great deal of moaning and whining. I feel somehow responsible for that because I hated housework and it took me years to understand that if I wanted my house to be nice I had to do the work of making it so. I also have trouble understanding that things that are worth doing take effort and time, and aren't always fun. I would like Delphine to learn that before she's, like, twenty-five. Maybe then she won't be a big old quitter like I was.

Delphine is in gymnastics, trampoline and swimming this term. I didn't mean for her to be an overscheduled child, but I happened to check the city swimming classes and there were classes available at the right time and the right level, which never happens, so I had to pounce. She likes the classes in this order: swimming first, then trampoline, then gymnastics. This is interesting because swimming is, like, $90, trampoline is $35 and gymnastics is $225.

Swimming is going very well: she does front crawl and jumps in and puts her head under water, all of which she couldn't do at the beginning of the session. With gymnastics she's hit a bit of a roadblock because she doesn't like to be upside down. More than that, she absolutely refuses to be upside down. This rules out such cornerstones of gymnastics as somersaults, cartwheels, and anything interesting on the bars. So either she has to bust through that or I don't think she'll be having any more $200 gymnastics classes.

I think school is going well. It's hard to tell, on account of she's always in a bad mood on the way home, so she regales me with complaints about how boring it is and how she hates everyone. Later in the day, when she's rested and fed, I hear about the interesting things she did and the fun she had. I suppose both angles could be true.

She seems much older lately; she's moody and critical and opinionated and complicated. And she's clever and insightful and interesting and passionate. She's, I think, like me: she's going to have to grow into her personality. It definitely isn't a little girl's personality. She's a tiny grown-up.

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