Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Princess, The Drama Queen, and the Doormouse

I have three girls I look after who are all five, born only a few months apart from each other. I have looked after these girls since they were babies, and have watched not only their bodies but their personalities grow and develop. I thought I'd post about them today, since I have no other good story ideas. So let me tell you about them...

The Princess
She is the younger sister to X. You know, the horrible difficult child I told you about last month. She is blond haired, blue-eyed, and cute as a button. And she knows it. She could spend hours in front of the mirror admiring herself. I know this because in my front entryway I have a hall closet that sports mirrored doors. And she has been caught ogling herself many a time. She is generally well behaved (at least at my house, I can't speak for her behaviour at her house but let's just say I've seen how she acts when mom or dad are ain't pretty). She usually does as she's told, unless she's having a particularly bad day or feels like it's time to test me again just to make sure I'm still the cold-hearted bitch firm and serious about my expectations.
Can I just say here though that if I was five, I would NEVER have been friends with her! And I'm pretty sure that as she gets older and becomes a teen, I wouldn't be hanging out with her then, either. She'll probably be one of those bitches that laughs at you because you're wearing last year's styles, or because your hair won't cooperate or something.
Somedays I just have to shake my head at the way she treats her friends here. She directs the play, she expects them to play that way, and if they don't want to, they're shunned. If they try to get her to play one of their games, or try to get her attention and she doesn't feel like answering she completely ignores them! They'll call her name over and over and over again until I'm freaking annoyed and have to scream at her for God's sake answer them! tell her that it's rude to not answer someone. And it doesn't phase her. She could care less that she's being a total bitch to her friends, because they always come crawling back for more. In their eyes, having her approval on anything is like having the queen's (or in this case, the princess') blessing.

The Drama Queen
This one is a little strange. She's hard to describe, but I'll do my best. She's an only child to two older parents, meaning, I think that they were in their late 30's when they had her, because I'm fairly sure they're well into their 40's now.
I do believe that she is the centre of her daddy's universe. When she first started attending daycare here, it would take practically hours to get her dad to leave. The goodbyes were dragged out and extended well beyond an acceptable amount of time. Her mom is/was bad too, but her dad was worse. It's like he couldn't fathom the thought that his little girl would be upset that she wasn't with him. And if you have kids or work with kids and have ever left your kids with someone else, you have to know that dragging out these goodbyes makes it so much worse on everyone. If your kid's going to cry, they're going to cry, and you poking your head back in the door fifty thousand times isn't going to stop that.
Physically she's pretty cute too. Brown spiral-curly hair, and these awesome hazel eyes. She's still got a little baby fat lurking around, and I'm thinking that her mother is going to have to be very careful with her diet over the next few years, as, well, let's just say she's genetically pre-disposed to being obese.
Personality-wise, she has a few little quirks. To start with, it took her an abysmally long time to adjust to daycare, not helped at all by her parents. Longer than normal for mostly every single kid I've watched. When she was two, she used to eat chalk. At first, I thought it was that babies-put-everything-in-their-mouths thing hanging around a little too long. But after many times of me telling her that it wasn't appropriate to eat the chalk, she was still doing it. We moved on to time-outs, which didn't work and only lead to her hiding away in the corner to secretly fulfill her obsession. Finally much to the disappointment of the other children who enjoyed the chalk in a non-nutritional way, I had to put it away. I also started googling "chalk eating".
When she was three, she had a strange idiosyncrasy that involved anything belonging to her. She refused to bring any personal belongings to daycare (which is weird because I couldn't stop most of the kids from bringing all their favourite toys here) and this even included her bag with her spare clothes in it! This stretched in a weird way to her art work. In the same way that she didn't want her belongings here, she also didn't want to create anything here, effectively making it hers. She had a freak-out one day when I asked if she wanted to paint, which of course I never force anyone to do if they don't want to. It was strange because only a few weeks ago she was loving arts and crafts. For the next few months, me getting out supplies for art time was seriously stressful for her, even though I never made her do it. I always stressed that it was her choice completely if she wanted to participate.
After the chalk-eating seemed to go away, it became playdough eating. At least this stuff is actually edible, but still, yuck. So incredibly salty that most kids puke after eating only a little. This is still one we're struggling with some days. She tries to be sly and nonchalant, but I know she's licking her fingers.
These days her inner drama queen has erupted full force. She "pretends" to be scared of the most ridiculous things, including teary eyes and all. This causes her friends to be concerned and effectively garners their attention. She doesn't really try it out on me, because she knows that I know she's putting on a show. There's no way a five year old is suddenly afraid of box sitting on the floor of my office that's been there for years and houses nothing but office supplies. (A box? Really? And it's not like a big box either, just a plain old banker's box.) She's going to be that girl in high school who pretends to get migraines, or "faints" during gym class, or uses crutches for a "broken toe" just to get a little sympathy and attention.
I will say, however, that she is a very sweet kid. Since she got over her strange aversion to bringing stuff here, she has always been more than generous when sharing her toys, to the point of being a poster child for sharing. She's also great at cleaning up when told, and she generally thinks of the other's feelings before her own, which is pretty good for five. She's quite sensitive, so maybe that's why. She loves it when you give her a task to complete, as she thrives on the attention she gets at being singled out.
I do feel sorry for her mother though, when she becomes a teen. Her mood swings are mercurial now!

The Doormouse
As much as the Princess is blond, this one is a dark-haired beauty. She has long, glossy, dark hair and deep brown eyes. She also has an olive complexion, to complete the Mediterranean look. This little one is a bit of an enigma. She too is an only child. Her parents are also in their early 40's and have no intentions of producing any more offspring. You'd think that like the Drama Queen's parents they'd treat her as if she shit gold bricks, but they don't. Her mother is the one I see 99% of the time, and who I get the feeling is the main parent here. She is fairly good with being firm and consistent with her and often looks to me for advice that she actually takes. (This in itself is unusual as most parents when asking for advice just want me to tell them what they want to hear, and then if I don't they usually don't bother to take my advice.)
In the past, I've always found most single children to be rather forward and self-confident. They usually talk up a storm, and make their opinions known loud and clear. This isn't to say that children with siblings aren't like this, it's just more the norm with singlets. However, as her nickname suggests, the Doormouse isn't like this at all. She's been coming to my house on a daily basis now for four years, and still won't speak to me when she comes in the door! She has barely said a handful of words EVER to DH, who she also sees daily due to the fact that she arrives at 7 a.m. It took her a very long time to even begin speaking to me when she finally did start talking at all (later than many kids). She is shy, reserved, and speaks to adults (note: adults) barely above a whisper. She is very cooperative and quick to do as she's told 99% of the time (every kid has their days, right?) and almost always defers to either Queen or Princess. She really is very mouse-like, and at times, almost a door-MAT. She isn't very assertive or aggressive. She'd sooner put her own needs aside out of fear of, well, many things. Standing up for herself, or asking for something, or telling someone to knock it off. Not at all what you would expect from a singlet of two very emotional, exuberant, out-going and often LOUD Italian parents!
As a teen, I imagine she'll suddenly come out of her shell and be rebellious. I'm thinking she'll spend most of her childhood being the good girl that she is, reach high school, and become goth, or today's equivalent of the rocker/smokers that used to hang out at the back doors of the school. Or maybe she'll continue to be the sweet Catholic girl she is now, saving her virginity for marriage and never uttering a single blasphemy. I know her mother hopes so!

So those are my three girls. I don't think I could have asked for three more individual girls! They not only look completely different from one-another, they also have three very distinct personalities. Maybe one day I'll profile my boys, if this didn't bore you to death!


  1. It sounds ilke your Drama Queen and Doormouse might have some issues at home. Especially the doormouse, if she can barely talk to an adult.

    That said, there's a little girl we sort of know through cottage neighbours, and she's the middle of three kids. She doesn't speak. She CAN speak, but she chooses not to. Except to her siblings and her mom. She used to talk to her father, but that stopped a few years ago. I've met the family, and they seem pretty normal.

    Some kids get weird quirks, I suppose.

    BTW, my R used to lick his fingers too, after and *during* playdough time. Enough that I stopped making it and gave the brand name stuff for a while.

  2. I found it really interesting. Weird about the drama queen's eating patterns.