Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Month 61, 62 and almost 63

Hey Maddy!

It's me - your overly busy and underly writing mom. Maddy! You are almost 5 and a HALF. Which is a super duper big deal to you. And it's amazing to watch you grow...

I remember months... years? Years ago I questioned when your confidence would change. Your certainty and unwavering belief in yourself. And it's starting to...

You are now aware of the fact that other people, outside of you and us, see you and evaluate you. And you, like most of us, are super concerned about what they think.

Your friends think you scribble when you draw? Well, you sort of do, it's so much better but not perfect. And that is ok! You are not confident of your fine motor skills and say you can't do it (when you can, if you concentrate). But you remember this, obsess over this, get sad at your friends saying you scribble. You remember all the bad things that have happened. A mean word, a snub, someone not listening to you... You bring them up, you get upset all over again. You hold on to it all...

We try to tell you to let go of the bad. Easier said than done. We try to make you think of the positive things that happened. "None" you say.

But, really, most of the time you are a happy and confident kid. SO outgoing, so much personality, such a complete and utterly natural exuberant person. But the filters are starting, the need for approval is starting... Your worry is starting.

In happier news, you are still the funniest kid I know. You whistle constantly. If not whistling, then talking, always moving. Always questioning. You have started asking the definitions of all words you don't know. Trying to understand their context. Which has lead to fun conversations about religion ("Mama, which religion am I?"), life ("Mama, where does life come from?") and death ("Mama, what happens when you die?").

We have you officially registered in kindergarten (WOO!) and we have you registered in your new daycare - in the end we had to move you over. And that is ok too. You can stay with your friends there.

We have already started the preparation to have you leave Odg at home. No Odg to kindergarten. You are ok with it now, but the one day we forgot Odg at home and you went to daycare without him? Baba had to come by with him. Which, of course, meant that once you saw baba you just wanted to leave and you made baba PROMISE to come get you early that day. Which? She did.

Of course she did!

I have to say, Maddy, you have the best most amazing and supportive and loving grandparents. They are always there for you, and that means they are always there for us parents too. And you love spending time with them. And I love to see that. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents but there wasn't a lot of interaction. They did their thing, I played by myself. Watching you and baba and dido play and laugh and joke... it's wonderful.

This weekend we had special "daddy-daughter" date and "mommy-maddy" date (alliteration FTW). You and your dad watch Cinderella. You were not as taken with it as you were Frozen. And for us Maddy? We did... errands. Went to get a few things at Superstore, then to Toys R Us (for shopkins) and then for a hair cut. But you LOVED the individual time and were devastated that your parent-kiddo dates were DONE. "And they will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN". Um... no. Just not on a school day!

Every time we say no, it becomes an absolute.

Can I have milk? No. I will never get milk AGAIN!?
Can I get a toy? No. I WILL NEVER GET A TOY AGAIN!??

No. Maddy. Not what was said.

You're also at the place where you are testing yourself physically. You run away from us, you hide. And when you do that I try to keep my eye on you but still move from where you expect me to be. And I watch you run and stretch those ties to us. Then stop, and look where I was for reassurance. I want you to know that I can more too - that if you run too far I may not be in your line of sight. I watch your face become uncertain... I watch you look for me. But only for a second, then mama is back and with you and holding your hand and making sure you understand you need to stay close.

But Maddy, you are loved. You are adored and cared for and encouraged and provide boundaries with elastic borders and... you are just plain old loved.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Month 60

My dearest Maddy,

You are FIVE YEARS OLD. An amazing and wonderful and filled with righteous indignation ATTITUDE five.

It's been a looong time since I have updated anything. This may be long, it will be disjointed, it will be "quick takes". And this will also not be another commitment to write more. Because I hate lying.

About a year ago with worked with you, Maddy, on you "th" sound. So it's TH-ree not F-ree. You picked it up so quickly! Although, you took the change too far... while we have been able to, for the most part, correct your pronunciation you insists on TH-inger. Not finger.

"Mom! My thinger hurts! I have a cut on it".

And now it seems perfectly normal, this adorable mispronunciation. Another favourite is your version of duplicate. TWO-plicate.

"Mommy! This is a two-plicate toy, to one I have! They are TWINS".

And, yes, we have tried to correct you. And, yes, stubborn Maddy is stubborn. And that is completely perfect, just the way you are. Now feels the time the elaborate on the many ways you can be stubborn. Determined? Spirited? Confident? Any or all of those.

You were four-AND-A-HALF until the day you turned 5. I foolishly made a big deal of you being four-and-a-half during the summer, in an attempt to get you to take more responsibility around the house. And you sort of fell for that. Although up until the end, you were not FOUR. You were FOUR-AND-A-HALF. But you are helping a little more around the house! You can make your bed, you are starting to dress yourself (although I have to be there to remind you to stay on task and not drift away to do something that caught your attention), you sometimes help tidy the house. We need to add more though... Can I get you to start washing dishes? Both your dad and I are pretty sick of doing it ourselves. We seem to use changes in age as markers to change behaviour. Turning 5? You will no longer get a popsicle for... potty. This has been hanging around since you were just over 3, and we potty trained you. And had to bribe you... and it's DONE. Although we have popsicles left, which are now desserts... and not really reducing your sugar intake. Oh the humanity!

But the real you is coming out more and more. You like leggings, not jeans. You wanted your hair short, like mine. You decided you were finished with dance on Saturdays and instead want to play games with mommy and daddy, and watch movies and have fun. Ok then... done! You don't want to be an astronaut anymore (my influence) but a "vet, pediatrician, baker and a singer". never one thing - always the world. You knew exactly what you wanted for your birthday party (Frozen theme). And that you would decorate your cupcakes for the party yourself (which you did).

You also decided that you will have a baby brother. When you are 7, he'll be here. Sadly (for you) mommy and daddy are pretty committed to ONE AND DONE. When I probed, and asked his name you said "BLUE... no. Max. MAX!". And still, even after getting a name? Nope. No more. Although apparently you want three kids! Thlora (the girl), Atasha (a boy) and Patricia (another boy). Three kids. All with very unique names!

And you are loving crafts and drawing! And you are getting quite good. We went from random scribbles to actual people. I think it's partly peer pressure. You made a comment about the one little girl in the preschool program that scribbles still and kids comment... And then you stopped. As a kid I loved art and drawing, so it's wonderful to see you love it too! You also tell stories about how you are being teased for sucking your thumb and are trying to stop (but if you are really upset or really tired you can't help yourself). Peer pressure. Already.

But luckily your best friend is an AWESOME little girl, Kiki. You are both about the same height, similar interests. And same assertive bossiness. I am not sure how THAT works - but it does. I think it's because if you want to do something, and she doesn't, you go your separate ways and play independently. And then play together later! Two only kids... I just wish you and Kiki lived closer together - she's quite far away. Kiki won't be at your school next year, so we'll see who your best friend will be then.

Next year. THIS year. September 2015. KINDERGARTEN! Luckily we can keep you at your existing daycare for before and after school care. Yay! I love the staff there, and they love you too. And I am super glad we waited to put you in. We could have, this year, but you will be older and more mature in September. I think you would have been able to do it, academically, but socially? Why rush it. Maybe in grade 1 we'll transition you to the before and after school care there, so you can be with your friends. But this year will work with the same place.

And now the challenges. There are a few! Attitude. OH SO MUCH ATTITUDE. Any request? Met with "UGH! FI-I-I-I-INE". And a huff. Or scrunched up face. Like anything at all is a complete imposition. Or even more fun? You ignore our repeated requests until we speak firmly to you. THEN you attitude. Or burst in to tears because we "hurt your feelings". Oh the feelings. So many feelings! And not sarcastically. You have such a soft and tender side. Feelings easily hurt, anxieties and worries starting. So sad if you think someone laughed at you. Bad dreams still happen almost nightly. We have significant routines to protect you from Noms (still around!) and nightmares. Although most mornings I am greeted with an announcement of "Mom! I heard a bad dream last night..." and then what it was. Being chased? Being laughed at? Noms? Things happening that is not expected. Every morning I listen and hug you and kiss you. And every night we try to prevent them with the moon night light, Nom traps (pieces of paper around the vent, where Noms come) and a special no-Nom vent cover and night lights you sleep with, that snuggle under the cover with you (you must fall asleep under the covers, often pushing yourself out after you fall asleep, a small sweaty being emerging from your blanket cocoon). Also, you are in a significant mommy phase. Mommy puts you to bed, mommy to help you, mommy hugs. Mommy. And sometimes it's draining, when I need a moment to myself. But mostly I am going to take every single second of time with you while I can.

Because you are my favourite. Ever was, ever will be.

I love you Nunu