Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Heart Letter, Month 49

Dear Lucy,

You are 49 months old today. Happy New Year!
We started off this month celebrating your birthday both at home and at school. I brought cupcakes to share with your class and got to stay for circle time and lunch. You were so excited and happy to be the center of attention!
The over-riding theme this month is fairness. You are obsessed with fairness. OBSESSED. "THAT'S NOT FAIR!!!"  is the most oft-shouted phrase in your repertoire and my only reply at this point is a frustrated, "You're correct. It's not fair but IT IS what's happening." Life with two children who are the same physical age but not the same in any other way is beyond frustrating, and not just for me. You are constantly sizing up the inequalities you see between you and Kate and religiously pointing them out in painstaking detail (and with great volume).
You are frustrated that Kate knows the alphabet and her numbers whereas you cannot yet recognize nor name any of them other than the letters that spell your name. This leads to an enormous amount of irritation on your part as we begin to play any of the numerous games we've acquired. Most all of them require you to either count or recognize letters and numbers. You are at the recognize-the-picture stage of most games and have become quite adept at the Spot It game that only asks that you be the fastest to spot like animals. You rock on that one!

Where you also excel continues to be in physical endeavors. Santa granted your request of a hula hoop and skates for Christmas.
Although you are still working on the hula hoop, you were up and headed down the hallway on your skates within minutes of strapping them to your feet. Unafraid to move fast, you quickly picked up the skating shuffle which I'm sure will turn into full-on skating once we get clear of all the snow and ice and can go outside.
Speaking of Christmas, you had a happy day opening gifts, playing with your new things and wearing some new clothes. Prior to that, we got to have breakfast with Santa (the Swedish version known as Tomten)
but you were beside yourself waiting for your turn to tell him your wish list once breakfast was done. You stood off to the side, shedding quiet tears to the point that the lady in charge of the lineup told us we could line up next even though it wasn't our turn. You were thrilled and wasted no time telling him what you wanted, even adding in a pony and a horse which, up to that point, you had never mentioned.

Christmas eve finally arrived and I was frankly surprised how easily you went to sleep (and stayed asleep until morning) considering all of the excitement surrounding the holiday, including making a large batch of Christmas cookies. Baking is one of your favorite activities.

Having Nana here for the festivities only added to your joy.

I think what helped get you to sleep on such an exciting night is that we kept to our regular routine (and one of your favorite things): after-bath lotion and massage! It was my turn to do the baths so daddy was handling the lotion/jammies portion of the evening. Although you and Kate have far out-grown the changing table, we still set you up there for lotion and winding down with a massage before bed.
You both got new nightgowns (with matching gowns for your dollies) from Charlie the Elf as his parting gift until next year.
After reading a few books, you both tucked in and fell right to sleep.

My biggest piece of advice for you, even as you grow up and become an adult, is to keep to a consistent night-time routine. Every night for as long as I can remember, I have taken a bath, put on some lotion and read for a bit in bed. With few exceptions, this practice has allowed me to unwind and prepare my body and brain for rest.

When you have children of your own, you will need this advice, both to keep up with them and to help them learn to wind down. Trust me. You prove it to me every night.

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