Thursday, March 03, 2011

All About Leah

Meet my beautiful daughter, Leah.

One of the most distinctive things about Leah is that she is insanely imaginative. She can make-believe out of anything. Balloons that have lost their float, a paperclip, a square of (clean) toilet paper, a clothes hanger, a 2 inch flooring sample. She will find a way to create an imaginary world around it. Her fingers are her friends, with constantly changing identities. As of today, they are elephant fairy butterflies; they play and sometimes even argue and hit.

She also interacts with a TV show or movie, singing and dancing along with the characters, playing the storyline again by herself later. Today I whipped together a 30-minute fairy skirt out of some leftover fabric, truly homemade, but she thinks it is the greatest thing that has ever happened to her. And she is now playing "Fairies." Again. That girl doesn't need a whole lot to have a good time.

Leah is really worried that she hasn't decided yet what she will be when she grows up. Some days she want to design buildings and build bridges. Other days she wants to be a dogcatcher. But every day she wants to go to the moon.

One of her latest announcements is that when she grows up, she is going to have a teaching studio where she teaches people how to be superheroes and fairies (and even superhero-fairies). It will have a rainbow roof and a blue door. I am trying to convince her to charge more than $1 for her classes, because I think they sound great.

She is constantly asking me when she can go on her first rescue mission to save people from bad things like fires, floods, falling out of trees, being captured, etc.

Leah is curious. She asks profound questions and wants to understand the world. Recent words she has asked us to define are nocturnal, extinct, comfortable, decay, drowning, hoodwinked, cave, tornado, and more good ones I can't remember. She even knows a handful of Spanish words thanks to Dora and my elementary spanish vocabulario. She also wants to understand how the body works. We got a children's human body encyclopedia at Christmastime, but that wasn't enough, so this week Chris brought out his college anatomy textbook and we showed her where babies grow and how they get out. (At least she doesn't want to know how they get in.)
Today she was shocked (like, jaw-dropped) to learn that sticks are made of wood and that wood and paper come from trees. And yesterday, the little girl who wants to protect the butterflies from the birds was equally shocked to learn that we eat cows and pigs and chickens every day.

She'll ask us deep questions about what happens in a flood or an earthquake and we will start explaining how things work. Then she'll surprise us with a question like, "Where do the fairies go when their building collapses?" or "How will they fly away from the flood if their wings get wet?" I think she's smart enough that at some point in time she will filter out the imaginary from the real, so I'm going to keep giving her real answers.

Leah is determined and loves learning. She is looking forward to swimming lessons this summer where she has decided she wants to swim without floaties. And now that she knows kindergarteners learn how to read, she asks me weekly how long it will be until she can go. (And she asked me what kind of garden they have, too).

Leah is creative. She prefers artistic projects such as doodling, glueing, cutting, constructing fairy houses out of cardboard boxes, etc. When Samuel gets his hands on my iPod, he goes right for the games, but Leah goes for the doodling app and the letters flashcards.

Leah is conscientious and helpful. When she wants to, she will help me clean or put away laundry, frantically scrubbing walls with a brush, sorting through the laundry as fast as her little arms will go, remarking "Look at how fast this is going!" She always wants to help bake or sew. She is a cheerful helper.
She recently heard a dentist tell her story-time group that you should brush twice a day. Now every afternoon she concernedly observes "We forgot to brush our teeth this morning!" I simply tell her that we always forget in the mornings and run out of time. So this morning I made it a point to brush teeth as part of our getting dressed routine. As soon as she had rinsed and spit, she declared "Now we need to floss." Smart girl.
Leah is also very silly--a characteristic she got from her silly parents. Leah is a good friend, always making new friends wherever we go, and never thinks about being shy unless someone reminds her to. And she is a great big sister. (Most of the time.) She is nurturing and wants to take care of the people around her. She is emotional and sensitive like girls always are, and is recognizing that it is hard work learning to control your emotions and deal with disappointments.
Oh, there is so much to say about my little girl!


Jamie J Stansfield said...

she's adorable and amazing for sure! I know Liberty just LOVES playing with her!

Ellen Sorenson said...

What a great profile of Leah! It really helps me to know her better. Thanks. Mom

Rebecca said...

ah, how fun to get to know Leah. I think it's great she wants to go to the moon. If only life was so magical our whole lives!