Happy Happy Birthday, Munchkin! You have gone around the sun four times! In the past four years you have learned to crawl, walk, dance, climb, dig, talk, sing, shout, be a sister and a friend, tell a joke, tell a story, make art, pour a cup of tea, help Mommy cook and bake, share your toys and food, and so much more. In school in just the past year you have learned all of the sounds of the letters, numbers past ten, the continents, the months of the year and days of the week, and more. You are now learning to read, learning about animals, people and cultures around the world, more advanced numbers, how to observe both artwork and nature, how to listen to music, how to write, and you continue learning lessons on helping and sharing. The world is so vast and exciting and I enjoy exploring it with you.
You are funny – you love to tell jokes and stories. You love your little brother so much; you comfort and guide him and he is the person you go to for hugs when you are sad or upset. You love animals and are passionate about protecting them. I love the heart you have for animals and hope to encourage you especially in this area. Currently, you are especially fond of lions, ponies, and unicorns (which are fantastical, but I think still qualify as animals, right?) You often come up to me and say, “Mommy, I am a mommy [animal of the moment] and T is my baby [animal]!”
I have seen a leap in your development in regards to art in the past 6 months. You now often draw and sculpt representationally instead of just scribbles. When you scribble, it is often your way of “writing.”
You are still stubborn and opinionated, but we seem to have turned a corner where not everything is a battle (maybe only a few things most days). I am especially excited that you are dressing yourself in the morning, often without even being asked!
School time has also been going well; we are both enjoying it. (Of course, as I sit here and write this, we had a very difficult school time this morning, but it has been mostly good over the past few weeks!) You are learning to read (so exciting!) and you seem to be in a sensitive period for numbers because you are asking for and really enjoying the math materials.
Your sleep has also been better recently (maybe connected to your better behavior overall…) as you have been sleeping through the night most nights. You still get up earlier than you should and I am thinking about ways to try to get you to get even more sleep, but it is definitely an improvement from a few months ago.
We had some fun with family this summer. In addition to Aunt Alex and Uncle Daniel’s wedding, we went to the aquarium with a bunch of Aunts, went to your first major league baseball game with Grandpa, and spent a weekend at the beach with your Nonna and Pepere.
We have been going on monthly naturalist-led family nature walks. We all enjoy them.
You have remembered and have looked forward to our seasonal activities this year, including apple picking, pumpkin picking, seeing the holiday train exhibit, and the winter lights.
You helped me make gingerbread cookies this year, and I think it is something we will have to continue as a holiday tradition.
On your birthday, the four of us celebrated with an ice cream cake, presents and a wall of K pictures. A couple weeks later we had a pink, sparkly dinosaur party for family and a few friends to celebrate you. I think you had a wonderful time playing with your friends, grandparents and aunts and uncles, and eating cake and cookies!