Monday, March 22, 2010

Harry, Harry, Harry

Harry is a funny little creature. Some days I feel so blessed to know such an amazing, funny, insightful and sensitive soul. Other days I've got the Catholic Church on speed dial to call around the exorcist. And there doesn't seem to be much rhyme nor reason to it either - it used to be that her mood was inextricably all caught up in how much sleep she had had. And given her resistance to somnambulist activity, I admit there were many days that were harder than they needed to be. However in the last few weeks she has turned some sort of corner and can be in the most incredibly infectious happy mood. When this child smiles the whole world smiles with her.

As you all know, Harriet is not going to be an art major. Her artwork has always lagged behind in the detail and artistic vision sense for quite a while. I think mainly it's due to her inherent and burning need to tell a very complicated story behind each drawing. The result is that she draws the very bare bones of what is needed to convey the story, and gets more involved with discussing what is happening rather than putting it to paper. Yep, she sure is a verbal child. But then in the last few days she seems to have had a big illustrating jump. On Thursday we've started attending a local homeschooling group and last week Harriet had a piece of paper from one of the women there and started drawing.

And this is what she drew! It's a vet wearing a red jacket (hence the red buttons - the blue 'button' is her navel, which Harry draws on every person because, you see, you can't be alive without a belly button). The vet has an owl on her arm which has come to her because it needs an eye transplant. The glasses for the owl are on the shelf and the people who have brought in the owl are standing there watching the vet work (it is a mother and a big sister of course). Then on the weekend she started doing spontaneous artwork! *shock* And she drew the
cutest little chick for me and I could hardly believe that she had drawn something that wasn't a person. I seriously can't remember her ever drawing a picture that didn't have a person in it. I'm hoping that perhaps this year I might be able to produce the awesome Christmas present I planned for Mike & Jan last year for this year. The problem was that I was reliant on Harriet doing some artwork for me and she was under no circumstances going to produce any art on demand. EVER!

At school Harriet has entered a funny little phase. She just does not talk to children. If a child tries to engage her in play or talk to her she just shuts down and it's like talking to a blank page. She just completely ignores people. But with adults she is fine. When she's at school she doesn't play with the other children, is completely happy not to be doing so and just plays her own little games. But when we meet up with her friends out of school she runs around with them with no real problems. She isn't gregarious or shy or introverted or extroverted. She is just Harriet. And she is odd (in absolutely the best way of course).

If there's something that Harry loves it is Ted. And Ted loves Harry. We've finally worked out an arrangement where Harriet understands that she can't come in to the bedroom when Ted is sleeping in the bedroom and I'm in there as well. For a while there she asked me to write a sign and put it on the door. I drew a big stop sign and wrote on it: STOP! Harriet - do not come in. I will be out when Ted is awake. Love Mama. When the sign came down for a while she asked for it to go back up because she kept forgetting. Well at least she knows how to control her impulses. But when he is awake she is very gentle and caring with him...until he tries to play with a coveted part of her game. Then it's a very stern "NO TEDDY!" and she pushes away his hand quite roughly. We're in the discussion stage of that particular issue, it's just that she gets (understandably) very upset in the heat of the moment.

The other week Harriet's bookcase broke. It literally broke under the sheer weight of her book collection. Beware the IKEA bookcase fellow book addicts! So now we have a room that is literally covered in books. There are huge (and I mean huge) piles all over the place and I can't reach her wardrobe across the great expanse of books. As if we needed another expense in our lives, it's time to upgrade her to a serious strength bookcase. *sigh* But in the meantime we have a child who is in heaven, able to access all of her books in a new and wonderful way, as well as rediscovering old favourites.

The other day I was telling Harriet something and I received my first "Sure...whatever" response. Umm... HELLO?! Aren't you, like, four? I'm not in any way prepared for a teenager just yet. And her preferred method of conversing does include the charming and not-at-all-frustrating habit of putting her fingers in her ears and saying she can't hear anything. *sigh* Of course not many teenage girls have the penchant for nudity that Harriet has. In the evenings when the sprinkler comes on, Harry loves to get naked and run out into the backyard and...stand at the periphery not getting wet at all. You may notice in this sprinkler photo that she has a completely drop-free torso. Yep, not a drop of water on her. When I ran, yelling, through the sprinkler getting my clothing completely soaked - that was hilarious. Is there any sound more heart warming and delicious than your child laughing? Harriet has started to really laugh. That sounds like an odd thing to say but she has never been a big laugher. Not a giggler or a belly laugher is this one. But just lately I have been hearing her laugh more and more and it makes me so joyful.

At nights she drives us crazy by coming out seemingly every three minutes to ask for a drink or food or to go to the toilet. And she has hypoglycaemic meltdowns at the end of school when I go to pick her up each time. And if I have to listen to the Wizard of Oz cd ONE MORE TIME in the car I'm going to
scream. And if she asks me for more food any more I'll go insane. But boy she is great. She's focused at the moment on making her own Wizard of Oz movie in the December holidays of this year - she has actors in mind for each role and I am in charge of costumes (*gulp*). She is memorising lyrics for the songs and thinking of where we can film each scene. Her focus and tenacity for some things is amazing. And for all of her frustrating habits at the moment, we are having a wonderful time watching her grow into a totally unique person.


Anonymous said...

oooh so much to read, that was great lunch break fodder !! She is one hoot of a child.
I am still rehersing my good witch role, I hope I'm still in with a chance ;-) xx Lis

JennieMo said...

Sorry...has to create a new account!

Love the update...I would be in book heaven with Harry...broken shelves=excuse to just browse and leave lying around. :P

I am not going to complain about Norman and his caprine terrible twos. LOL!! He has gored me once this week...torn down two small trees...attacked the cats and attacked Matt's car oh...and stole the leeks out of the shopping bags while up packing groceries. Then when you think you are going to have to get tough on him...he comes for a gentle nuzzle.

Oh...on the constant food run...something my Mom did when she had six of us asking for food. She made a drawer in the fridge that was filled with fruit, veggie sticks, cheese, nuts, cups of milk or even juice (before the days of cartons). We could enter the drawer and retrieve said contents without asking permission any time. And we were not allowed to cut, pour or touch anything else without asking. Worked well...and mom used to tell us if we did not want to eat what was in the drawer...then maybe we were not hungry. My mom used to say we ate more fruit and veg in the middle of the night than at meal times. ;)

Miss you all! Hugs!
P.S. I am baby sitting the neighbors 6 month old twins tomorrow night...pray for me!