Thursday, January 26, 2006

Profile of Princess

Princess is a wonderfully talented, hyperachieving little girl. She regularly comes home from school frustrated that her class is just learning multiplication and her teacher won't teach her any division. I poked through the upcoming lessons in her Saxon Math book that we'd gotten her, and division didn't play a prominent role in them, so I decided to teach her some division. Now she's doing single digit divisors into double digit dividends. When she gets bored of that (which I estimate will take about a week) we'll do multi-digit dividends and after that, double digit divisors.

Princess loves to follow "the rules" and when there aren't enough rules for her to follow, she'll gladly make some up. She is also very foresighted and thinks far ahead, which makes her really good at financial planning and budgets. For some reason, though, her slavish rule-following doesn't seem to stop her from being a bit, well, ethically challenged. We've had to deal with problems of her taking things that don't belong to her. The first time, it was a simple case of taking something that she wanted for herself. After she got in trouble for that, she's developed more sophisticated ways of stealing-- and better rationalizations too.

Sonshine placed an order through Princess' Scholastic book order. He paid for it with his own money. He asked about it every day. But Princess kept insisting that the book order had not arrived, even though it was past the date that the order should have arrived. Finally, today, she confessed to me that she was lying to Sonshine; the order had come in, but she was telling him it hadn't so that she could give him the thing he'd ordered as a birthday present.

Sonshine's birthday is in approximately two months.

We had to explain to her that the item was not hers to give; that Sonshine had paid for it with his own money and she had only delivered the order; and that Sonshine was going to be, not pleased with the gift, but mightily pissed when he found out she had stolen from him and lied to him for months to give him a birthday present. She has something on the order of $30 in her wallet, which she has carefully saved from her Christmas money and her earnings from selling sachets, but she just wanted to get a "free" gift for Sonshine because she could.

I am not looking forward to the day when she discovers Machiavelli's The Prince.