I thought it’d be fun for Lorelei to have a pen pal – but, was a little hesitant to sign us up for someone across the U.S., who may or may not be who they say they are. She loves receiving mail (but rarely does) so I thought this would be a fun way to encourage early reading, writing, conversation skills, geography, patience, and a host of other things. Fortunately, my husband and I have met a lot of other parents – many of them with children.
So, Lorelei has a pen pal – 2, actually. Below, is her first letter. (My handwriting, but she told me what to write. Artwork is hers.)
As we were sitting down, eating supper, Lorelei began telling her father about her day.
Lorelei: “Mmhmm, and my husband Jango came over.”
Steven: “Jango? Your husband, Jango? Have you had boys over here?”
Lorelei: “Mmhmm.” (chewing her food)
Steven: (He looks at me, I shrug. I don’t have a clue what she’s talking about.) “Do I need to beat him up?”
Me: “Lorelei, what about Eli? I thought you were marrying him?”
Lorelei: (She thoughtfully nods her head, chewing another chicken nugget coated in ketchup.) “Or, Day-e (Daley).”
Me: “It’s okay, sweetie, you have lots of time to choose a husband and you only get to pick one. You have lots of time to think it over. And, so many boys.”
Lorelei: (begins to stand up from the table, clearly interested) “Where?”
Me: “In the world,” I say, motioning with my hands. “Not right outside, just…out there. Plenty of boys, plenty of time.”
Lorelei: “I know, mommy.”
Of course you do. Of course.
How’s this for volume?
We were going for curly, but got Richard Simms…
Oooh, a possibility for next Halloween’s costume…
Note to grandparents: No, this is not a permanent. It is, however, the by-product of twirling her hair and wrapping it around itself while wet to let her sleep on it. It should be back to normal until… our amusement with it ceases.
Note to future Lorelei: It was an accident, I swear. But, now that it’s done, we might as well have fun with it, right? I promise not to complain any more about how thin your hair seems. I also promise to never give you a permanent fro. I don’t promise, however, to not dress you up as Richard Simms for halloween.
“Mama, I ready to go? I ready!!”
“No, I no need pants either!”
String Art – Where you cut different sizes of string and dip it in paint and then on your paper. Or, face.
(With my face cupped in her hands, Lorelei says…)
Lorelei: “You pretty. This eyebrow pretty. This eyebrow pretty. This (eye) pretty. This pretty eye, too. Here (nose) pretty. Lips pretty. Hair pretty. You just sooo pretty, mommy.”
Me: “Thank you, sweetie. You are beautiful.”
Lorelei: “Thank you. I love you mommy! (Then, a big bear hug)”
Lorelei: (shouting to me from outside the shower/tub) “Mama! A BUG! Look!”
Me: (pulls the shower curtain aside. I see a little “thing” but couldn’t tell if it was a fuzzy or a bug) “Honey, just leave it alone. I can’t see what it is. I’ll look when I get out of the shower.”
Lorelei: “Get out now and you can see it, mommy. What (do) I do with it?”
(10 minutes pass and I get out of the shower. Lorelei is on her stepstool in front of the sink, brushing her teeth. A washcloth is on the floor)
Lorelei: “See the bug? I covered it up with a washcloth!”
Me: “Let’s see it. (she uncovers the bug proudly) Oh, it’s a ladybug!”
Lorelei: “I throw it away? Kill it? Put it in the trash? Throw it outside?”
Me: “No, just leave her alone. She won’t hurt you.”
Lorelei: “She bite me! Is she alive? Is she hurt?”
Me: “Lorelei, why do you ask me that? Did you do something mean to the ladybug?”
Lorelei: “Yes. Yes, I did.”
Me: “Well, that wasn’t very nice, was it?”
Lorelei: (looks at the ladybug) “I sorry, bug. Mama, I piss (kiss) her?”
Me: “No. Don’t kiss her. Just blow her some kisses. ”
Lorelei: (blows kisses to the ladybug) “I brush her with my toothbrush?”
Me: “No. don’t do that.”
Lorelei: “I lick her?”
Me: “Definitely not.”
Lorelei: “Why I not lick and brush her, mommy?”
Me: “Because it’s yucky. (blank stare from her) ….Because…um…she has germs. You might get sick. You know, like if I lick YOUR face, I might get sick because you might have germs on your face. So, we just don’t brush people or ANYTHING with our toothbrushes and we definitely don’t lick them. Especially boys, but that’s another story. Okay?”
Lorelei: “Okay. I won’t lick her. Hey mommy? Can I cut something with scissors….?”
Last night, as Lorelei was finishing up supper, I told her there was a surprise waiting for her outside….
L: Prize outside? For ME? *excitement growing* From mommy?!
A: Well, there’s a surprise outside, but it’s not really from me. It’s from God, I just want to show you.
L: Prize! Prize! *dancing around the room*
A: (as I open the door) Look, Lorelei!
L: Where’s God? I don’t see him!
A: No, sis…the SNOW!! God sent SNOW! Isn’t that fun?
L: Yeh, but where’s God, mama?
A: Sweetie…you can’t SEE God. He’s everywhere.
L: He left?
A: SNOW!!! (unsure of how to answer a 2 year old’s questions that probe deep enough to make things confusing but not deep enough to understand)
L: Mama, God left me?
A: No baby, God will never leave you. You just can’t see God. He’s here, He’s everywhere.
L: I don’t see him… where?
A: (Beginning to get frustrated that I can’t answer her so she can understand) God lives in heaven…
L: Where’s that? I want to see heaven.
A: Me too, kiddo. Me too.
L: Where it at?
S: In the sky!
A: Well, sort of. Look, Lala, God lives in our hearts and God lives all around us, He’s EVERYWHERE. Like, love. You love mommy and daddy and sissy but you can’t SEE love, right? Well, it’s like that. Love is in your heart and so is God, it’s there…you just can’t see it.
L: (immediately pulls up her shirt, inspecting her belly) He’s in my TUMMY?!
L: No, mommy…God in my heart and heaven.
Then, before bed:
L: Mommy, who’s the devil?
A: Well, he’s a bad bad guy, sweetie.
L: I love him too?
A: No, we don’t love the devil. He’s the one guy that God doesn’t love either. God is full of love and the devil is full of hate. That’s bad.
L: Oh…Is he in heaven too?
A: No, hell. The devil lives in hell.
L: Where’s hell?
A: Well, I’m not sure WHERE it is, but it’s full of fire and sadness and madness. It’s a bad place.
L: Ohhh. God in heaven and devil is in HELL! Daddy, can you read me my Bible?