Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 02:28 pm
@sozobe,
I did think I noticed a certain resemblance between the two of you.

I like her anti-Hanna-Montana-girly-girl attitude! I missed that post the first time around, and I'm sorry I did.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 03:15 pm
Part of an email I sent a friend yesterday (typed on my Blackberry):

Quote:
I'm typing this at the park that serves as [sozlet]'s school playground. The sun is warm on my back, the breeze is cool -- fall definitely approaches.

We are here because, at home, [sozlet] thought it would be cool if a blue poodle and a pink poodle had purple puppies. This led to a long discussion on genetics, which led to her wanting to come swing on her "thinking swing" and figure it all out. (Her focus, for now, is just how to make a poodle genetically blue -- as opposed to dyeing it. )

She still looks puzzled.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 03:47 pm
@sozobe,
That's going to be some deep thinking. Did you talk to her about Mendel, chromosomes, dominant and recessive genes, and the like?
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 03:56 pm
@sozobe,
Is she a fan of Pooh? He has a thinking place....
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 04:27 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas:

Eyep. It was one of those onion conversations -- kept going deeper.


DrewDad:

Eyep. She loved Pooh in his Disney incarnation when she was tiny (2 or so), then disdained him when she got older, then just this summer read the original, un-Disnefied Milne and loved that.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 04:46 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

Thomas:

Eyep. It was one of those onion conversations -- kept going deeper.


DrewDad:

Eyep. She loved Pooh in his Disney incarnation when she was tiny (2 or so), then disdained him when she got older, then just this summer read the original, un-Disnefied Milne and loved that.



Love it!!!

Especially happy she has discovered the REAL Pooh.....HATE the Disneyfied ****.


The thinking place thing is so real, isn't it.

I used to have a solving practical problems place...and it was the back verandah, for some reason.

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 04:58 pm
@sozobe,
Then she knows, of course, that a blue poodle and a pink poodle will, on average, have a blue puppy and a pink puppy for every purple puppy they beget.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 05:05 pm
@Thomas,
We talked about that in passing but really got stuck on the fundamental question of how to make one of the parent poodles genetically blue in the first place.

I suspect that this part of her brain is engaged because her class gerbils -- one tan, one black -- just had babies (two tan, two black, and one half-black and half-tan).

She hasn't come up with the blue-poodle answer yet, despite much pondering. She really thought she would -- I kept saying "that wouldn't work" in response to her suggestions, she'd ask why, I'd tell her, she'd nod and ponder, she'd come up with another suggestion...

Dlowan, yes, I re-read the Milne books after she did, they're fabulous.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 05:10 pm
@sozobe,
Heh...

I was just talking to her about this and asked her if she'd figured it out yet. No. Then one minute later:

"I figured out how to make a blue poodle!"

How?

"Make it sad!"

<rimshot>
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 05:11 pm
@Thomas,
I don't think they are likely to have a purple puppy at all.

I think you keep having to mate the ones that are most purply looking together, and gradually head towards purple.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 09:58 am
Talking about sozlet's love of dinos on another thread reminded me of this:

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d130/sozobe/rocks.jpg

She made it last night. I asked her what she was doing, "writing a report." For school? "No, I just want to write a report." It was all off the top of her head and it may all be bullshit, I'm not sure.

The writing is a bit hard to make out and some was cropped (not sure why, can't seem to fix it), so a transcription with spelling mistakes intact:

(PET) ROCK STATUS (ROCKS, COOL)

Rocks, Intiroduction

Rocks are hard clumps of minerel. They have been used as tools (for crushing) for centurys. Rocks are some of the most ancient things on The Earth. Rocks are very Impervious.

A History Of Rocks

In prehistoric times the dinosaurs swallowed pebbles (which to us are HUGE) to help digest food.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 11:44 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
I asked her what she was doing, "writing a report." For school? "No, I just want to write a report."

Smile This girl sure has nerd cred.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 09:10 am
I keep thinking "oh I should put that on Sozlet Stories" and then failing to do so and then forgetting what I wanted to post in the first place.

I'll do just a snapshotty thing again. It's not that interesting, more for myself (I still seem to do better at writing here than writing elsewhere, and I like having a record.)


She's nine, and in third grade. This has been kind of a tough year for her -- academics are fine and she likes her teacher but the social thing hasn't come as naturally or gone as smoothly as it has in the past. There has pretty much always been something -- she's had a lifetime of intense friendships that carry a lot of emotional weight, so when things are up they're up but when they're down it's always been hard for her -- but since preschool she's always been a leader, well-liked, pretty confident in her role in the social order, etc.

Last year she entered the (second-grade) class with her best friend since kindergarten, Kay, and also M, who had been a good friend since kindergarten but who was not in the same class in first grade (Kay was). Both M and Kay considered themselves sozlet's best friend. Sozlet considered both of them to be good friends, but Kay more so than M. M, understandably, had a hard time with that. There were a lot of triangular stresses, with M becoming increasingly unpleasant.

Esse entered the picture as a fourth -- four being a much better number than three when it comes to groups of girls. (Their very aware and excellent teacher probably had a hand in bringing them together.) The four of them became a pretty equal gang, all friends, though sozlet and Kay were kind of at the middle of it -- M was more sozlet's friend, Esse was more Kay's friend, and sozlet and Kay were very good friends. There were definite tensions from M and Esse especially. Sozlet felt confident in Kay's friendship and steadiness though, and had her to fall back on most of the time if M and/ or Esse were being too difficult. At one point sozlet and Kay both confronted M and told her that they liked her but she was acting mean too much, and if she didn't change that, they wouldn't want to keep hanging out with her. M was upset, but did in fact calm down a lot after that. Etc.

Esse is *smart*. Sozlet's coasted along as the smartest kid in any given group until she met Esse, Esse is a really great challenge and foil. They do reports together for the heck of it and try to stump each other with weird words and good stuff like that.

OK.

So this year, Esse, Kay and sozlet are in the same class. M is in a different class. The dynamic is back to three, and it's just not going well for sozlet. Where she was the center before, Kay is now the center. Kay is a sweetheart but rather passive. She'll go with the strongest personality. Sozlet and Esse are both strong personalities (!). Esse is more likely to get mad at Kay if Kay sides with sozlet over Esse. If Esse forces the issue (and she has been forcing the issue every chance she gets), Kay usually goes with her. Sozlet usually shrugs and then finds something else to do -- she has a lot of friends and finding something else to do is not usually a problem for her. But at home, at night, she's really upset about it.

Forcing the issue example: Sozlet + co are playing basketball at recess. Sozlet and Esse go up for a rebound. Esse comes down with the rebound and takes off dribbling. After maybe five steps, she trip, falls, yells "sozlet pushed me!!!" and bursts into tears. (Sozlet didn't push her.) If Kay says "I was right here and sozlet didn't push you," Esse is furious at her. If Kay stays completely neutral, Esse is mad at her ("hello, I'm hurt!"). So what happens? Kay doesn't say anything, and goes and comforts Esse. Sozlet is then stuck in the position of deciding whether to try to convince various onlookers that she didn't push Esse, or looking cold by refusing to help her, or being comforting, etc., etc.

OK. (This is getting even longer than planned and is more about this situation than about sozlet per se, but if I've gone this far I'll keep going, and will be interesting to read when they're all 16, probably.)

Now, in the same class is another triangle of girls with similar issues. I had hoped that one of them, Em (different from M) would abscond and move over to sozlet's group -- sozlet and Em got together a few times after school and that seemed promising. The center of that group is O, and sozlet and Kay both don't like her. She's very very blondie girlie Hannah Montana and sozlet and Kay are both "tomgirls" -- they're rough and tough and athletic and hang out with boys and think Hannah Montanta is stupid.

What's happening instead is that Esse is moving over to O's group -- and as some sort of bonding exercise, they're turning on sozlet. The other day, when the group was doing something together, O said to sozlet, "You're a STUPID girl." Sozlet was like, "eh, what?" and O repeated, "you're STUPID." Esse and Em tittered. Kay sat by silently. Sozlet shook her head and said "ooohhh kay" and left it at that. Then she got up and went and did something else.

The next day they were fine again. She probably handled it well, but she was really mad that night, and they keep doing this and that, it'll probably come up again. (Before that, O put the spoon from sozlet's thermos in the trash, for example.)

Other element -- sozlet has always been that kid who wants to help everyone. There is a kid in her class who is just kind of universally reviled -- he's gross (he farts a lot and doesn't brush his teeth that often), and kinda goofy, but he's basically a good kid. If he's looking sad, she'll go talk to him, that kind of thing. Of course these girls have latched on to that and go around writing "sozlet likes ___" and generally teasing her about it. She's shrugged that off too.

She talks to me about this stuff, and I listen, and I advise when I can -- but really this is out of the realm where I can be helpful beyond the listening. So that kind of sucks.

We've talked to her teacher who was very friendly and helpful about it. The bad stuff tends to happen at lunch or recess though (indoor recesses are evil evil evil, once the weather clears up a bit and they start having outdoor recess that should help a lot), the teacher doesn't see that much. (She's seen enough to know what sozlet means though.) She just did a new seating arrangement which is interesting, might help. Odd person out from the O group (not Em or O) and sozlet are kind of off by themselves and have been having fun together. She's coming over after school tomorrow.

Sozlet also has a bunch of friends outside either of these groups and I've been encouraging situations where she sees them more often. Will be seeing the dudes today, that should help a lot. (My best friend has two boys who she's good friends with, and hopefully another mutual dude friend will stop by.) But third grade seems to be this tightening of GROUPS that didn't happen as much in previous grades.

Sozlet has kind of resigned herself to the fact that if Esse is going to be horrible, and if Kay is going to just go along with it, she's not going to be friends with them.

I know that sozlet has some characteristics that are irritating for other kids. She's very mature and well-spoken, grown-ups tend to love her, especially in a school situation (she's a teacher's pet, though she's not a suck-up -- she's not trying to curry favor, she just tends to be a good, helpful student and the teachers like her). She does not like being mean for fun -- she doesn't want to tease when it'll hurt someone's feelings. She can be goofy for sure and is a great audience -- she'll readily laugh at funny, non-hurtful stuff -- but she's not good at semi-insulting banter. I told her to imagine that Esse was her dad -- she and E.G. do the banter thing -- and that helped a bit. But what they do is still different from the poky stuff Esse does (all of these girls have 1-3 older siblings, and are used to being tortured by them).

At any rate, what seems to be happening now is a bit of an s-wave -- she decides Esse and Kay are being too mean (Esse actively and Kay passively), she moves on to other people, Esse and Kay come after her and are nicer, she gets closer to them, the mean stuff starts again, she moves away, etc. Just have to let her figure it out, listen, and offer encouragement when she does stuff right. (She said she wanted to punch O in the eye with the "you're a stupid girl" thing, I said that might not be a good idea but if you look someone in the eye when you're thinking that it can give 'em a good scare... heh.) (And of course part of me is thinking hmmm, maybe that would've been a good idea -- sozlet has a serious punch. Might help her goody-goody image a bit.)

Anyway, I know in the scheme of things this is all very minor, (and that when I read this when she's 16 I'm probably going to be longing for these sweet innocent days).
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 10:18 am
@sozobe,
They've done some really interesting research about in-group/out-group behavior.

One thing I remember is that they took a group of folks, let them get to know each other for a few days and start forming friendships. Then they randomly assigned each person to wear either a blue shirt or a red shirt. Nothing else, just wear a color of shirt.

People immediately started grouping themselves into like-shirted groups. People who broke with their group and socialized with the other group had pressure put on them not to do so.

Very interesting stuff.
0 Replies
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 11:02 am
@sozobe,
I'm certain you will look back and see that this is the way third grade girls act. It's the way third grade girls have acted for millenia.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 11:42 am
@Swimpy,
I know. I had a similar situation in third grade. It seems to be when (girls especially?) start experimenting with rebellion and being "bad." Practicing power games.

Writing this all out did help! I tend to get stressed about it because sozlet's stressed about it -- when your kid's crying and upset, you want to fix it. But somehow this helped with perspective.

That stuff is fascinating, DrewDad, I agree.
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 02:05 pm
@sozobe,
I'm impressed with how sozlet is handling it. The other girls obviously want to be her friend. They haven't figured out how to be her friend yet make new ones. It's all or nothing at that age.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 10:40 pm
@sozobe,
Quote:
(She said she wanted to punch O in the eye with the "you're a stupid girl" thing, I said that might not be a good idea but if you look someone in the eye when you're thinking that it can give 'em a good scare... heh.) (And of course part of me is thinking hmmm, maybe that would've been a good idea -- sozlet has a serious punch. Might help her goody-goody image a bit.)


This happened to Jane. Last year she was BFF with a girl (Anna) I didn't really approve of but I let Jane find out for herself that Anna was two-faced and this school year Jane wised up and dropped her. Anna teamed up with another girl and started provoking Jane at lunch. For a long time, Jane brushed it off and made fun of Anna with her other friends (not the nicest thing either). One day it escalated, they got into a shouting match and Anna started pulling Jane's hair. Anna's other friend chimed in and they both started hitting Jane, who in turn hit back with much more force than the other two. Anna started crying and running off and the other girl backed off when
a teacher came running. All three girls were summoned to the principal , parents were called in and each girl got suspended for a day .

Of course, I did speak with Jane at great length and told her that violence
is never the answer and she has to find a way to resolve her conflicts differently, but deep down I was glad that she defended herself so well.
Anna and her friend have not even looked at Jane since, never mind provoking her. All is well now!



sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 07:42 am
@CalamityJane,
Good!

Yeah, as parents we can't advise physical altercations... can we? But sometimes I think that it's actually the best thing.

A person who knows a lot about this stuff (he regularly deals with a large group of third-grade girls) said that the thing with girls is that they never seem to resolve anything. They poke at each other to just under the boiling point, then back off. Then they do it again. And again. And again.

Whereas boys will take it all the way to the boiling point, fight, and then it's over.

I never really got in any fights but somehow I have a certain glare/ body stance that convinces people that they do NOT want to try fighting me, and I've used that to my advantage many times. (As in, resolved something by scaring someone off even though I didn't actually throw a punch.) That's just a really tricky line though, I was lucky.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 08:41 am
@sozobe,
I think Sozlet will have the Glare of Death down in no time, and then she won't need to beat up anyone.

The reason I think that is that your latest posts on her made me re-read the last 10 pages of this thread. And the impression I take away from them is that she's basically your identical twin, except she was born 30 years after you. That, in turn, made me wonder: what EG traits is she featuring, if any? Anything she inherited from her grandparents?
 

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