24 October 2014

X files - 4.5 years old - These rules were made for testing, and that's just what she'll do...

on the whole, this summer and early fall with X was great, especially watching her become a big sister. she took to it WAAAY easier than i ever dared dream, and it made the new addition all the sweeter. she talks to him, shows him stuff, dances for him and he is totally enamoured. she has gotten more fun and creative and impressive and, true to form, more able to find ways to push our buttons.

obsessions: baby brother, being the 'velvet swimming cat', wanting to fly, tv show 'hoarders', swinging, playing with her friend sini

good picture books: the mermaid and the shoe, the berenstain bears and the bad dream, a camping spree with mr magee, down to the sea with mr magee, summer [low], milo and the mysterious island, christophers harvest time

good longer books: the alfie and annie rose storybook, the stories julian tells, wide wonderful world collection, the little mermaid and other fishy tales

magic tree house series: dinosaurs before dark (#1), mummies in the morning (#3), afternoon on the amazon (#6), dolphins at daybreak (#9)

good special interest books: d'aulaires book of trolls, outside-in, nightmares: poems to trouble your sleep

(outdoor action)
(outdoor zen)
(anywhere princess)
(her 'love baby')
(still getting a bit of alone time on our laps)

x-citing developments:
1. rules. even before Y came along X was testing and testing the rules. i suppose it could partly have been due to her uneasiness with upcoming/present change, trying to see what else in her world was changing, but man is it frustrating! her ears would be open, she was listening to us asking her not to do something and she would do it just to check our response. for everything. multiple times.

2. bonding time. since its now harder for me to guarantee a shower when i want/need it, it was an easy 'kill two birds with one stone' idea to let X start taking showers with me (the idea initially was at her request). it was messy to try and shower her alone anyway so this has been a nice alternative. i get to be clean regularly and she is learning how to wash herself properly (we work on her doing her own shampooing, conditioning, soaping). she also gets to talk to me, play games, and just be alone with me without interruption. a bit unusual perhaps, but its been good.

3. regress. not sure exactly if its regression per se, but X has been putting crap in her mouth again lately. markers, toys, fingers, etc. ugh.

4. personality.
-she is very affectionate (physically and verbally) with us and Y.

-with visitors and even while playing with friends, she has a hard time being patient (interrupting, etc) and has an even harder time when she cant direct the play. im sure this is typical, and it also likely foreshadows some struggles in playing with Y as he gets bigger too.

-behavior with friends...she has a little friend who doesnt really listen to anything her parents say. the friend also has lots of creative ways to get out of doing things she doesnt want to do. X of course has picked some of these ideas up and brought them home to try on. thankfully it seems like they arent permanent fixtures but it does make for some conversations about how to conduct yourself and be a good person. on to a new phase of parenting i guess.

-the kids at her daycare are really friendly and always call her over to play when she arrives. they say goodbye/hello to her and they always announce to her when i have arrived. lol.

-singing. now that she has a collection of song melodies memorized from various sources, she will make up her own lyrics to address the topic she wants to sing about. on the playground she sings about flying or adventuring, and at dinner one night, she sang 'let it go' with new lyrics to speak to hoarders, encouraging them: 'dont keep your sadness inside or you will get sick and have a dirty house. let it go! let it go! just let your feelings go...'

5. learning.
-she is really good with her finnish now. she can translate some things on TV or in print that we attempt to read her. she even plays in finnish sometimes, and, limitedly, we all speak together in finnish.

-reading. she can really read lots of smaller words now, in real life, not just books. she can also sound unknown words out, one day dave asked her the name of some bugs in her guide book, she read 'cat fle-ah' (cat flea), trying to sound out the word flea that she hadnt seen before, and she read 'ant ant' (an ant). and there are lots of other words i find that she can read that i didnt expect. one day, she had a friend over and they were looking at a library book together. X read some words out of it and her friend (who is 5.5 years old) said '[X], you can read!?'

momma mentionables:
1. with Ys initial newborn calm sleepiness, it was great to ease X into the first phase of sibling life. i know there will be other times that are more difficult, but things have been smooth between the two so far and thats more than i had hoped for. X likes to sit next to whoever is holding Y at the dinner table, and she loves to greet him first thing in the morning and hug him good night. and i have been able to give hugs and kisses to both without there being a problem.

2. when we had X we became parents, but it felt like an odd 'family'. as ive said, we would have been happy to go along and continue to make that family size (3) our own, make it feel less 'odd'. but, i found, as X got older (and more independent) there was more free time available for the adults, so, often, one of us would take a break while the other played with or helped her. it was disjointed. now with two, our time is filled full up with family and i feel more togetherness (and chaos to be sure). its busy, yes, but everyone is in the same boat. with one child we had all the responsibility and restrictions that come with life with a kid, without the feeling of fullness. again, we would have gotten better at finding things that added quality 'fullness' to a three person family, im sure of it, but with the two kids, its built in. however, im sure as they get older and more independent we will need to fill up again (not with more kids, but with fun adults-only things/hobbies this time!) to reach that full feeling again. and thats okay.

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