Sunday, September 1, 2013

Heart Letter, Month 45

Dear Lucy,

You are 45 months old today. 

Most of this month has been vexing for the both of us. You are alternately defiant and needy. And by defiant I don't mean just exercising your budding independence. Unfortunately your actions are much more of an "I know better than you do" attitude which, frankly, has not been going over well with either Daddy or me. Case in point: you have discovered spit and spitting. I ask you to stop. You do it again. I ask you again, very firmly, to stop. You usually choose one of two courses of action: 1. you will say, "I'm sorry Mama" and then try to do it again, surreptitiously, eyes sliding to the side to see if I noticed or 2. you will forgo the niceties and just look me straight in the eye and spit again. I still haven't figured out why you act outraged when you end up in timeout for this behavior. I mean, duh!

I find myself having to look at this note several times a day...
You absolutely loathe to take instruction of any sort these days, even when it is something you clearly have never done before. You will yell, "I KNOW HOW TO DO IT MY OWN SELF!" and then proceed to not be able to do it. I have learned that I get better results when I let you fumble around for a while and let you come ask me for help than to insist on helping you to begin with. I find this whole scenario exceedingly trying though and I do hope that you will learn that it is okay to ask for and accept help. 
I have not completely figured out what motivates you when it comes to learning anything that doesn't involve gross motor skills. When I point to any letter of the alphabet and ask you what it is, you always say, "T". And then you will try to deflect attention onto something else, telling me you don't want to know your letters or numbers or whatever it is that you find difficult. The same goes when we are working on something that involves fine motor skills like picking up something with tongs. I will try to show you how to hold it so it will open and close to which you reply, "I want to do it a different way" while holding them from the wrong end so it won't work. Then you get frustrated. Seriously?
On the upside, all I really have to do to make you happy is take you outside. The weather has cooperated much of this month in that endeavor and we have taken full advantage of the pool, the beach and the parks.

We had your annual checkup this month and you've grown quite a bit. You currently weigh 35 pounds, are 40 1/2" long and your head circumference is 48 cm. 
We are gearing up for the start of preschool next week. 
You are super excited about it and have already told me that you intend to make 5 friends because, "I make friends very easily". And that is actually very true. No matter where we go, you are usually the first one to venture out and befriend another kid. Just today you made friends with a little girl at the splash pad while we waited for the pool to open. We also met your teacher, Ms. Xiang, and toured the classroom. You settled right in and seemed reluctant to leave when our time was up. 

I'm not sure if this is your nature or a characteristic you have because of your beginnings, but you are always hyper-aware of your surroundings. You are the first to notice when something has changed in a room and you always keep track of the people around you. I managed to catch you looking up from your very focused sand-play to make note of some new people arriving on the beach.
You notice what streets we are on, which way the parks are from our house, where Daddy picks up the train, and which way we go for speech therapy. 

You've had some pretty good advances in your speech this month saying the "F" sound as well as the "PL" sound fairly consistently. Even with that though, we do have some rough patches in communication.

You: Dat’s kick!
Me: That’s kick?
You: No, that’s not what I say. Dat’s kick!
Me: It sounds like "that’s kick".
You: No! It was very fast.
You: Oh…quick!
Lucy: Yes mommy.

You call Kate, KAYTAY! and still love to play dress-up together.

And even though you mostly get along, there are still some exchanges like this one:

You: Where’s my froggy umbrella?
Me: Kate took it to the back door.
Me: I’m sorry. She was being nice and helping out.
You: But I want to be nice to my ownself.

Sigh. I'm tired. Although I've been a little...okay, a lot, nervous about you two starting school, I know it will be a good thing for all of us. You will make new friends, learn new things and gain confidence in new ways. I will have 4 hours every weekday to recharge so I can be a less tired, more patient mommy.  

I will, however, miss our mornings on the swings, watching your face, alive with joy as you pump your legs trying to go higher, reminding me yet again why I wanted to be your mommy.


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