Oh, babygirl, Kieryn… Tell me about yourself.
What do you mean about myself?
(Okay, maybe that question is still a bit too open-ended for a five year old.)
Well, tell me how you like doing school now that you are a kindergartner.
Well, I like doing school, because I get to read books, and make books, and color. I get to do science. I get to count. (She proceeds to count to 20.) And that’s why I like school! And I like doing Starfall.
(I must say, she is my best student so far. Where Madeline had a bit of trouble accepting direction, Kieryn has none. Where Anson struggled with motivation or discouragement, Kieryn has not. She is eager to learn, and doesn’t crumble when I tell her that her 5 is backwards. It’s been a very exciting time as a teacher, especially considering that I was a bit concerned about what life would look like to incorporate a third child into our school day. She’s made it easy and fun!)
Tell me what your favorite book is.
Mox the Fox, because there are cakes in it.
(Yep, she’s still our Sugar Queen. The others reach a point of being unable to finish a big treat, but not Kieryn. She offers to finish what the others cannot.)
What is your favorite book to read for bedtime? Like one that Mommy or Madeline reads to you.
I like the one, “How Can it Be Worse?”
Tell me what that story is about.
So, there’s a mom and a dad. They had a lot of kids. They were making noise, and noise, and noise. They didn’t want that. So, they went to a person who told them, “Bring in the donkey. Bring in the cow. Bring in the goats.” And then they brought them in. And then, I think, Miriam said, “It’s even worser!” So, they let all the animals out, and then it was quiet.
So their kids didn’t make noise anymore?
I think. (Madeline corrects. “No, the parents just thought it wasn’t as loud. The animals made extra noise, so when the animals went away it sounded quieter, and they realized it could be worse.)
What kinds of things do you like to do when it’s not school time?
Go outside and ride bikes with Simeon. (This is one of her primary activities when I am doing school with the two oldest.) Play with Anson’s cars with him. Or play babydolls with Madeline.
What else do you like to do with Madeline?
Feed her fish with her. And go outside with her. And, um… Play babydolls.
What about drawing?
Yeah! Draw with her. Color with her.
(Madeline gives her drawing lessons, and will sometimes draw pictures for Kieryn to color. They have a very sweet, close relationship. I’m not sure she knows it, but Madeline is her best friend. Madeline washes her hair when they shower together and will help pick out her clothes and get her hair brushed and done up. Sometimes they come out of the room after a long getting-ready-session and they both have fancy dresses and abundant accessories. They make sisterhood look beautiful.)
What are you favorite dolls or stuffed animals?
Lamby is my favorite stuffed animal. I think Emma is the best doll. I think so.
What is your favorite color?
Probably red. I really like red.
So, it’s not pink or purple anymore?
I don’t think so.
(Well, they say you learn something new everyday. This is my something for today.)
What are your favorite things to eat?
Caesar salad with croutons, potato soup, juice, broccoli with Ranch, waffles.
What is your favorite thing God made?
Oh dear. Is this an animal thingy?
It could be.
Flowers, animals, humans, and trees and plants.
What is your favorite day of the week?
The Shabbat day and the days that we go on dates!
What is your favorite thing about Daddy?
That he lets us go to the park, and he lets us eat ice cream, and he lets us go to services. And he lets us see Johnny and Katie and lots of things.
(An interesting assortment of highlights!)
What is your favorite thing about Mommy?
Oh! You help us do school, and you help Daddy make money for us. You cook breakfast and dinner and lunch for us. You have babies and that stuff.
(“You have babies and that stuff”… Yes, I guess I do.)
What is your favorite thing about Madeline?
That she draws with me.
What is your favorite thing about Anson?
Playing cars with him. And then what’s my favorite thing about Simeon?
Yep, that was my next question.
That we go and ride bikes together.
And what about Eden?
Oh, I like to hold her. She’s cute.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
(She echos) What do I want to be when I grow up? …Um… Riding a horse and having a dog. (“That’s not something you can be,” Madeline says. So, Kieryn adjusts.) A farmer. Or making a shop and then people buy stuff and I get money. Now what, Mommy? Is that all?
What else would you like to say?
I like colorful leaves and flowers.
And with that, she’s done. She has grown so much over this last year. We don’t see the abrupt mood swings that were so prevalent last year. On the occasion when she gets sullen and draws inward, feeling inadequate or unimportant, she hears and responds to the truth we tell her. More and more, we find her settling into her role as a big, important part of this family. We are eager to watch our Elohim continue to grow her into a girl who will one day bring joy into darkness.