Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Competitive One

To describe La Nina as competitive is a bit of an understatement. Her teacher describes her as fiercely competitive, I think of her as uber-competitive. Most kids don't like to lose, but La NIna not only wants to win, she is driven to be the best. As in, the top in her class. As in, the best dancer. As in, the best gymnast. If someone is better than her or if someone passes her, she works like crazy until she wins again.

Before Christmas, the teacher sent home this new thing where we track books we read to our kids or they read to us. Every time ten books are read, we send our log into the teacher. For every hundred books read, the kids get a prize. If we read about 15 books a week, I figured we'd log 100 books by mid-February. So, after I saw the note before Christmas, I put the whole thing away. For crying out loud, it was Christmas. After Christmas, if I read her a book, I logged it. Eventually I told the Dad the new system. When she went to school Monday, she had ten books completed. I figured that was good.

Today a little classmate turned logged his 100th book and got a prize. The teacher also told the class the person who took the longest to get to 100 books would not get a prize. The good news is another mom casually mentioned this classmate's achievement BEFORE La Nina walked out of the classroom. The bad news is me, this was like a giant waving a red scarf in front of a bull. The minute La Nina walked out of her class I heard about her classmate, and I heard about it all the way to dance, then all the way home from dance.

Once we were home, La NIna sat down with about five of her Spanish practice books in front of her and while I made dinner she read all five books to me in Spanish. Then, after dinner she insisted I read her two more books, a magazine, which counts as a book and then she read two practice sheets. All told, she entered nine books onto her log in about two hours.

As I was tucking her in, she asked about the log.

"Mom, did you write down my books?"

"I will on my way out," I said. "I kept the pile near the sheet. You can turn in another sheet in the morning."

"Okay, I have to get 100 tomorrow."

"La Nina," I said. "How many book have the other kids read?"

"About ten," she said.

"Why don't we take our time?"

"Mom, I have to read the most," she said.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because if I'm last, I won't get a prize," she said.

"You won't be last," I told her.

"Mom, you never know. So, we'll read in the morning time."

So, I guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow before she leaves for school and after we get home, and all day Friday too. Somehow, I'm guessing this is going to fill my weekend and my time next week. And, you know, I don't doubt she'll get to 100 long before my projection of mid-February.


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