Sunday, January 18, 2015

Letter to Lucia: 62 Months / 63 Months

Little Lulu,

Combining letters this time since I wrote a lot about Christmas, and that was really the focus for most of November and all of December. I have to say this was the most fun Christmas with you yet: so much giddy anticipation; a real awareness and understanding of Santa; an exciting wish list; and little of the worry of prior years of mid-day meltdowns. Five is a good age. A fun age. We're still exploring a lot of the new things from Christmas as we get back into our regular routine.

You're still loving pre-K, the best thing we've ever given you. For future decisions, I need to remember how much sleep I lost this summer, doubting my decision to switch your preschool and enroll you in this class, with its longer hours and unfamiliar teachers and classmates. And yet--what a fortunate thing it is that I didn't let those doubts rule my actions. I feel lucky every day that you're there. Now I worry about the year ending; you say frequently that you want to go to kindergarten, but I think you'll feel the end of your pre-K year as a real loss. You'll miss it. I know you will.

You can count to 100 now, with minimal prompting. Your writing is improving. You're trying to spell, but not yet reading. Your drawings are becoming better; your people still lack necks, but your flowers now have petals, and your trees have branches and fluffy heads of leaves. Rainbows continue to be your favorite thing to draw.

You're straining for more independence, and I'm trying to keep up. On your own, you've started setting the table for each meal (you initially called it "separating the table") with cups of water, napkins, plates, and silverware. You sometimes wipe off the table after we eat. You sometimes clean up your own room in anticipation of the end of quiet time. You've been influenced by one of my favorite childhood books, My Special Day, which I unearthed during my massive attic cleanup in Connellsville over Christmas. In the book, the little girl does everything she wants for a day, which includes making her own breakfast and lunch. Once our new kitchen is done, I can imagine what was once unimaginable: having cereal and a small milk pitcher at your level so you can prepare your own breakfast. (You sleep till 7:30 or later most mornings, though, so the once-delectable idea of avoiding 5am wakeups has dimmed.)

When there are conflicts with you these days, it's at bedtime--the second we head upstairs, it's like a demon-child overtakes you, and even if we've had the nicest day, someone always ends up yelling (me/Daddy) or crying (Greta) or trying to slam a door in someone's face (you). It's bananas. We don't know how to fix it. It's the weak link in our daily routine, the part of the day I dread the most. It shouldn't be that way.

Favorite toys/activities: Magna Tiles, My Little Ponies, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Frozen, necklaces, drawing, stickers, glitter glue, tiny foods, Lego Friends, eating popcorn on "movie nights," marshmallows

Favorite books: Cat's Colours, My Special Day, Goodbye Tonsils, Donald Duck and the Magic Mailbox, Balloonia

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