I keep wanting to write about Camilla, but there are too many things to say and not enough words. And she's not a baby any more; I'm cognizant of wanting to write only things that she, ten years from now, won't be sorry I wrote.
But I don't think this means I can't write about her at all, and she is so delightful that I WANT to share about her here. I could write tens of thousands of words and not capture her essense, but anything is better than nothing, so this is a snapshot of Camilla, aged six:
She's a rule-follower; at least, when she needs to be. In her first-grade classroom they have "virtue steps" - a chart on the wall where every child has a labeled magnet. Good, kind or generous acts get you moved up the steps, rule-breaking ones get you moved down.
I asked Camilla what specific things her classmates have done to result in their moving down the steps.
"Oh, like, talking in class when it's not allowed."
I asked if she has ever done this. The look she gave me!
"Mom! You are not SUPPOSED to talk in class unless you have raised your hand and the teacher calls on you." (I'm pretty sure she didn't say "duh!" only because she has not yet learned it.) It was clearly outrageous to her that I would even entertain the possibility of her breaking the rules.
But predictably, she uses a lot of energy controlling herself at school and then acts out when she gets home. Backtalk and flagrant disobedience of orders are on the rise; she's forcing Bryan and me to step up our disciplinary game to compensate.
Camilla yells a lot more these days, presumably because she works hard to be quiet at school, and one of her favorite things to yell is "BAD BLAISEY!" For a while she was doing this every time her brother annoyed her, and although I found it hilarious, I had to forbid it for obvious reasons.
Also forbidden at our house are a few words we don't want our children saying. So far, "stupid" and "hate" and "butt" are on the list.
So my little girl, who is so well-behaved at school that she earned two "virtue certificates" (the reward for reaching the top of the virtue steps) in the first six weeks - the second kid in her class to do so - and who is described by her teacher as "sweet and kind," got so frustrated with her brother recently that an act of grave rebellion was in order.
I know she must have been really mad. I also know that I was glad I was in the next room so she couldn't see me crack up when I heard her shriek, "STUPID STUPID HATE BUTT BLAISEY!" as loudly as she could.
Ask me how much I love the fact that this is what constitutes an extreme act of disobedience for Camilla right now.
I'd like age six to stick around for a while. Two to three years at least.