FIve.9 and Eight.9

Tonight at dinner, the girls went deep into serious discussion:

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Clementine (dressed in sequins and a crown) spoke about why she wants to be a vegetarian – she loves animals so much, and doesn’t know why anyone would want to eat them. Annabelle (in a t-shirt, shorts, and some “tribal” bracelets) replied as the yin to Clem’s yang:

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“I only eat herbivores, because if I didn’t eat them, there would be too many, and they’d leave our earth barren.”

And that sums up these two in a nutshell – both trying to rationalize their taste preferences but through (Clem) empathy and (AbCD) logic. Both are thinkers and feelers, but Annabelle leads with her brain whereas Clementine leads with her heart. Of course, it didn’t take us till 5/8 and three quarters to see this! Speaking of which…

Clementine, five-and-three-quarters:

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She has a sassy new haircut to go with her kindergarten sass. One week into school, her teacher asked “Does she go by Clementine? Because she doesn’t seem to hear me when I call for her. I’d say she isn’t paying attention, but she is ALWAYS the first one to point our when I make a mistake…” – greeeaaat. It may be a very long 12 years of school for this one! In good news, she really does enjoy it. It doesn’t hurt that she has a new school bestie – Kosmo:

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Clementine is doing really well with her reading and math (she’s at a 2nd grade level these days!), and keeps trying to convince us to “skip her up” like Annabelle. We keep explaining that some of the most important things to learn in kindergarten are less academic subjects such as how to sit in your chair, pay attention, and do to what grownups tell you to do. She swears she is working on it, but it definitely does not come naturally! We’re very curious about what Ms. Dunbar will have to say at her first teacher conference in a couple weeks.

Annabelle, eight-and-three-quarters:

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This kid has always had a style that’s all her own. These days, it includes a tool belt that she sewed herself (she has finally become a good little machine sewer, 9 months after we got her that machine for her birthday!), a sporty t-shirt, often a backwards baseball cap and commonly, a strategically placed bandanna (alternative placement below):

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Annabelle is more obsessed than ever with mythology and the Percy Jackson series. She’s now read all of the books over again and is being main character Annabeth Chase (demigod of Athena) for Halloween. She has built a full (cardboard and aluminum foil) armory in her room, and her closest friends (these days Roisin is the bestie) are as obsessed as she is. She seems to also be doing great in (and loving) 4th grade, where the teachers are stressing self-led work, homework only if you feel the need to practice something, and plenty of teamwork “since that’s what the real world is like.” She even won a “Super Citizen award” last week – although we are hearing about math grades in the 85 range vs. the 100 percents she has gotten in the past, so we are curious to hear more at the parent-teacher conference. Annabelle’s only challenge remains with sleep – she is STILL waking up at night, needing us to tuck her back in. This has gotten to the point where we will likely start taking her to a psychologist to help get to the root of (and hopefully fix) the problem. Poor kiddo is doing so incredible in every other way – but she needs her sleep!

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One new development in both the kids’ lives is Sunday School at Temple Beth Israel! Call it guilt or an obligation to my parents, or the fact that Clementine in kindergarten is a rational time to start, but I’m doing it. So far I can’t say we’re feeling like part of the community, but the girls actually seem to enjoy what they are learning! Clementine is downright enthralled with the Torah (she got to see one up close and personal last week) – between the “animal skin paper” and the crown, breastplate, and fancy velvet robes, it’s the fanciest “book” she has ever seen – and “fancy” and “books” are two of her very favorite things! She plans to ask Santa for her very own Torah for Christmas… might be a first for Old St. Nick!  We’ll see where this experiment takes us, but I’m glad I’m at least exploring it this year…

Speaking of which, we about to enter the year 5777 (we ate our weight in apples and honey tonight), so I’ll leave with a hearty L’Shana Tova! And joyful wishes for a sweet new year!