to katie: you can do anything, not everything

Dear Katie: When you were a toddler, you loved Madeline. You listened to every story read a hundred times, you watched every show, and your third birthday party had a Madeline theme (just for fun, ask your Mom about the cake at that party and see if she punches anything – the frosting was deep deep blue, and there was looooooots of it). It’s easy to see why you loved her: your family has a deep personal connection with France, and Madeline rocks.

Also, when you were a toddler, you were good at almost everything you tried to do. You could learn songs quickly, pronounce words pretty well, and identify letters and numbers and shapes very easily. Plus, you loved to do new things, so you asked to do things a lot, which means you got to do a lot of stuff most little kids don’t get to do (my favorite being: take your first picture from the top of the Eiffel tower so you would remember where Madeline lived – it wasn’t why you went to Paris, but once you were there, it was a cool thing to ask).

Not everything came easily, though. Learning new things often takes practice, and you had very little patience with yourself for anything but perfection. I remember one spectacular meltdown because you couldn’t get the sheets on the bed to be perfectly straight by yourself (the secret was for you to get off the bed first, but you clearly thought we were all nuts for suggesting it).

Your mom and dad were starting to worry about you a little bit, because you expected so much of yourself, and you got so unhappy when you couldn’t do things by yourself on the first try. Madeline to the rescue! You saw a Madeline video where she said, “You can do anything, but some things take practice.”

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