Monday, April 18, 2011

Our girl - What five and a half looks like

I feel I've been neglecting you – or at least neglecting writing about you. With Finn turning into a toddler at the speed of light, your changes are more subtle.

Sometimes when we are with other five year olds, I see how mature you are – or how young. I find myself saying to both myself and your dad, "She's only five." Other times we say, "You're five now. You need to be able to do this."

Speaking of things you need to be able to do, you've just completed your first Lily of the Valley sticker chart. (You named it that.) A month's worth of daily tasks that each receive one check mark for each accomplished item and a sticker when you get all your daily check marks. It took four months to get all the stickers. There were five things to do each day: brush teeth/hair, put away dishes, eat a vegetable, hang up coat/bookbag, and clean up your messes. For your reward, you chose to go to Plum Garden for the Chinese buffet. For the next sticker chart, we've upped the ante. Not only are there now ten things to accomplish each day, the reward will be Go Go My Walking Pup. (A useless toy by my standard, but the pinnacle of rewards for you.) The hardest point this time around? Eating five fruits and vegetables every day. Thank goodness we give you chances to earn stickers you've missed...

School. You love it so much. You were layed out sick on the couch all weekend, but when I said I'd probably have to keep you home from school on Monday, you immediately showed that you indeed could walk (instead of being carried) and wouldn't need to miss school "because there's gym on Monday."

A couple weeks ago, you got your second report card which was followed by the student-led conference at school. You were unusually nervous about bringing Mom and Dad to school and showing us what you do every day. It was a little rocky at first, but twenty minutes and a couple of stations in, you were feeling more comfortable. You showed us your portfolio, sang us songs from your song book, did the calendar and the weather, took us on a tour of the art you had hanging throughout the classroom, showed us your math skills and finally we settled at your favourite station for playtime - the art centre. You and Dad drew pictures for each other before our hour was up. We know how bright you are, how easily many things come for you. The fact that it was all "en français" made it that much more impressive.

Your French is very impressive indeed. You speak it every day. You point things out in French; at the library the other day you said "look (at the book covers) – les arbres, les fleurs." You even scold your brother in French."C'est ne pas!" And you always ask, "Do you know how to say ______ in French?" Then you immediately tell us. For right now, your Dad and I know the answer. Soon we probably won't...

The fact you can read as much as you can is so impressive. We were on our way to the Bulk Barn one evening to get our dose of oats, flour, raisins, etc. and you smelled something out the window. You said, "It must be from that pizza place. I can tell it says that because of all the zeds at the end." Then there's the grocery list. The other morning you asked, "Why did you do this (put it in a starburst) to the dill?" When asked how the heck you knew what it said, you told me that that's just the sound the letters made. Nice. (Oh, and I put the dill in a starburst as it's been on every grocery list for the last three times and Chris has missed it everytime. And every graphic designer knows that when someone wants something to really get noticed, they ask for a starburst. And it breaks our designer hearts...) You love spelling and constantly spell words for us or ask how to spell things so you can write us notes.

Those notes. They are all over the house. You produce upwards of twenty a day and for the most part, they are all the same right now. To Mom (or Dad or Finn). I *heart* U. From Lily. Something you get fancy and put them in envelopes, always with our name in big letters on the front and usually with an ink stamp in the top right corner. Your Dad insists on saving each and every one of them because they are so cute.

In other happenings, your tastes in clothing are changing. Fortunately we need to buy you new clothes anyway as you've grown two inches since November – three and a half inches since last May. Yikes. Anyway, you've recently picked up some swank gray cowboy boots for $6, plus a gray sundress and a black and white striped sundress. All the while, I am actually wearing less black... (for the first time since I've been buying my own clothes). You shun any pants that aren't leggings, preferably capri leggings despite there still being snow on the ground. You'll also wear the same clothes to school for three days in a row, especially since you got a few new and awesome t-shirts. I hear that's not taboo in France, wearing the same clothes, and your Dad and I do that all the time if we're not covered in snot or bananas... We really need to go to France. Really.

The biggest, most impressive thing about you these days? The fact that you are sleeping in your own room in your own bed until exactly 6 a.m. every day. We've tried moving you from our bed off and on for the past couple years, but you always found your way back. Guess you weren't entirely ready, but like everything else, you make it clear when you are.

Five and a half isn't lasting long. You've been making plans for your 6th birthday party for many months now. A planner! A girl after my own heart...

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