Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hannah is great, eats chocolate cake

It feels like Hannah is turning into a teenager right before our eyes. I know our family is going to be astounded when they see her next month. She talks about puberty a lot, but she seems to think that puberty = emotional turmoil, and disregards the rest of it. This weekend, she told us a couple of times about her mood swings between sadness that two of her favorite movie series are over, and happiness that she gets to go to Holiday Park for her birthday (which is still 2+ months away); she looks absolutely manic when she mentions the happy side of the equation. Then this morning she woke up on the wrong side of the bed; while resting her head on her arm on the dining table, she stated that she hated puberty. Apparently puberty is to blame for every bad feeling these days. If so, do you think I can get away with blaming my bad moods on puberty? Can it continue up to 35? I know that acne can.

Despite the occasional slip-ups in common sense (e.g. wearing her rollerblades on stairs after taking a fall on stairs on rollerblades), she is getting to be quite mature and self-sufficient.* Every afternoon after homework, she sorts out her school books for the next day and packs up her backpack. Every evening before bed, she picks out her clothes for the next day and sets them out to put on the next morning. And she gets herself to and from school each day without muss or fuss. I just wish she would put her toys away on her own initiative, but she is getting better about picking up with less supervision.

* She proved herself more reliable than John on the day when she got herself home after going to a movie with me, but John didn’t start the dinner (I had class until 6). I had considered phoning to check on each of those things, but figured they could manage on their own. I was correct in only one case.

Another way in which she is pretty trustworthy is on the internet. We kind of eased her into it, finding acceptable sites for her or okaying sites she found herself (Barbie), and giving her straightforward rules about not giving out personal info and not signing up for sites without our permission. Since then, she has found some really cool games online, like Neopets and Panfu (panda RPG), or Jetztspielen (Play Now), a collection of super excellent games like whack-a-garden gnome (aka Hammer Heads) or fairy fishing. But the pinnacle of her game searching has to be Wiggi Walk, a game that teaches kids about internet safety. It’s in English, and I would recommend it to any other kids starting out on the internet.

Her most recent find, through Jetztspielen, has been Girlz MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). Basically, she can only do a limited number of things on there, like run around, drive a car, and dance, and the interaction with the other players is limited to a chat string, most of which consist of the players asking each other how old they are and which country they are from. And there’s always this one person: “Is anyone Duuuuutch?” I watched over Hannah’s shoulder one day (‘cause she doesn’t mind), and all that running around and scenery moving made me feel sick. Better her than me. She often tells us about other people she has met there, and last weekend she had 2 “dates”. One person never came (who knows what time zone that person is in, so maybe they missed each other by an hour), and the other person only stuck around for a short time; she realizes that “friendships” online (and I use that term loosely) are fleeting things.

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