So this post is a little late but I’ve been busy.
What is my daughter like at 12?
The thing that I find most delightful at the moment is how kind she is. I was out in the garden, pulling up weeds the other day and she unloaded the dishwasher without being asked. Her father was away and she went downstairs early and made sandwiches for school for everyone. She likes to make her parents happy. In my case, that often involves tea in a china cup. She is also a great baker. So sometimes there is cake as well. She makes the best cakes.
She loves animals including our cat..
but she would really, really like a dog.
She is very like I am now. Not very much, I think like I was when I was 12. We like the same things. I worry a little bit that I am dragging her to very dull museums but she seems to like them or else she is very indulgent.
She knows lots and she reads lots, so it is a virtuous circle but it can make her a bit smart. Sample, the other night as she was curled up on a chair trying to read in peace, I came up distracting her which she didn’t entirely welcome.
Me: “No man is an island/Entire of itself”
Her: John Donne, metaphysical poet, your point?
She is busy preparing herself for secondary school which starts in the autumn. She has decided to study German and is busy teaching herself with Duolingo. She has made a surprising amount of progress in a week. She has more time to dedicate to it than I do but it is nonetheless unwelcome that she is a couple of lessons ahead of me considering that I actually studied German for five years in school and was once reasonably good at it.
She and I cycled all around town last weekend (Marsh’s library, The Little Museum of Dublin and the Science Gallery) and while I was a little nervous from time to time, her cycling and her traffic sense have really improved so I think she will be cycling to her new school come September.
I will really miss her on the walk to primary school in the morning. At the moment the boys tend to walk together and talk about their interests (Skyrim, Minecraft) and she and I talk about whatever we fancy. Between 23 (maximum velocity) and 28 (left home early) lovely minutes.
She may be acquiring the rudiments of tidiness. I don’t want her to be as obsessive as me but I would like her to pick up things and to see when things are on the floor. Yesterday she brought me upstairs to show me that she had now understood why it was unwise to leave her chest of drawers open.
She has put a lot of time and energy recently into planning for the zombie apocalypse. She tells me that she has looked it up on the internet and a lot of children go through this phase so we are not to worry. When we drove out to visit her grandparents on Sunday, she mapped the route carefully so that she would be able to go there with her band of survivors (her grandparents live near the sea, boats are great in the zombie apocalypse). There is lots, lots more, but I will spare you.
She still has an amazing memory which she is putting to good use learning poetry (aside, did you know that Felicia Hemans who wrote “The boy stood on the burning deck/when all but he had fled” was buried in Dawson Street in Dublin?) which Daniel quite enjoys also and even Michael doesn’t mind occasionally.
She loves the company of adults and gets on particularly well with my brother. They spend all their time arguing; both of them like to have the last word.
However, when she has her friends over, she does not love the company of adults, particularly her parents. She has been very lucky in primary school and had a group of lovely friends not all of whom, alas, are going to her secondary school.
She and her brothers enjoy reasonably good relations much of the time but occasionally they tire of the yoke of tyranny; she is always in charge. On the plus side, like all good tyrants, she provides entertainment. In her case this takes the form of invented games and stories which they love.
She is very responsible. I often leave her home alone with one or other of the boys while I go out on small errands and when I send her to the shop to buy things, I don’t even worry about her any more because I know she will be sensible and cross roads properly and know what to do, if it all costs too much or if the shop is closed. Next year, she will be home alone from 1 on the day she gets her half day so this is the beginning of her latch key lifestyle.
I think the next year may bring lots of changes.