Thursday, May 08, 2014

Letter to Lucia (55 Months) & Greta (30 Months)

Dear Girlies,

I'm delinquent this month in writing your updates, so I'm writing a joint one to get back on track. The main theme right now is the way you've been interacting anyway, so it makes sense. You've always played together--usually very well; sometimes squabbling more than playing--but in the past couple of months your play has changed, deepened, and grown. Greta, you're old enough now to understand what's going on and to actively participate in whatever activity the two of you are doing; and Lucia, you seem thrilled to finally have an "equal" in your games, one who can go along--more or less--with what you direct. My role, too, has changed: rarely am I a primary participant in your activities; I moderate, I suggest, I mediate, I propose, but you two are incredibly self-directed, and your imaginations know no bounds.

A favorite thing to do right now is reenact scenes from Frozen. You both know large blocks of dialogue, and you switch off being the different characters. Greta, you know the words as well as Lucia does, but you can't yet manage to say them all; you usually just let out an animated, expressive string of gibberish. You both enjoy playing mommy/child, with the child going off to school or waiting for dinner, the mommy saying goodbye or announcing that dinner is ready. You switch off roles there, too. When the mood is right--and I don't want to jinx this--I can sometimes even sit down (nearby) and read a few paragraphs of the newspaper, or put away laundry, or organize some clutter. You both still need me to be close to you, but I see that this will not always be the case.

Lucia, your love of reading is changing right now, your focus expanding to chapter books instead of picture books. You are a doll lover: you play constantly with your Magiclip princesses, your Barbie-size princesses, your many variations of Elsa and Anna, your fairy dolls. You regularly engage your stuffed animals in your Quiet Time activities, and you like to play "family"--setting out all your cats, for instance, and having them interact as parents and children.

Greta, you too love dolls, and you love reading, and your attention span is just as amazing as ever. You love to sing and dance and run. You are doing speech therapy once a week and improving all the time. Your ending sounds are still a work in progress, as are your multi-syllable words, but you are trying very hard, and getting better by the day. You are so smart and silly--and I'm still so worried that your speech delay will prevent other people from seeing that. But the improvements you've made even in just the past couple of weeks have made me feel better about your starting preschool in the fall.

You both are beyond thrilled that we can now go outside most days. Your favorite outdoor activity is climbing the rhododendron bushes beside the house, and coloring the branches with chalk. You also love playing in the playhouse and exploring the trees along the stone wall dividing our property from the neighbor's.

You both love watching a crazy show called Bubble Guppies. I don't get it, but I'm not a preschooler.

All in all, we have fun--most days, most of the time. Of course there are moments--like tonight--when you both went from happy playing to hysterical sobbing in the split second my back was turned to prepare your dinner; and last week, recovering from our spring break trip to Florida, you nearly drove me out of my mind with bickering and fighting. But we seem to have returned to our normal happy state.

Favorite toys/activities: Magiclip princesses, anything Frozen, singing and acting out Frozen songs and scenes, coloring, playing mother/child, chalk, climbing trees, playhouse, picking flowers, Bubble Guppies, Sit N Spin, sorting pie

Favorite books: Mercy Watson books, Rainbow Fairy books, Pied Piper, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Cozy in the Woods, Fox Makes Friends

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