Thursday, May 1, 2014

Heart Letter, Month 53

Dear Lucy,

You are 53 months old today.
April has been a busy month for us between Easter, dental appointments, warmer weather (i.e. trips to the park) and your very first live theatre performance!

But let's start out with the parent/teacher conference daddy and I had with your teachers. The bottom line is that you are doing quite well in school and seem to enjoy it very much. Here is just a little about what your report said:

Mathematics: Lucy is working with materials to help understand the concept of numbers 1-10. While Lucy is able to count numbers in order, she still struggles at times with individual number recognition.

Chinese language and literature: Lucy has learned new vocabularies like big and small, short and long, loud and soft, primary and secondary colors, basic and advanced shapes, fruits, family/social relationships, clothing, continents, basic and advanced food, prepositions, days of the week, months of the year, seasons and holiday/festival names.

You are mixing English and Chinese when speaking to your teachers, for example saying, "I would like some shuǐ."

Practical life: Lucy is continuing to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Activities include putting on an apron, opening and closing bottle tops, rolling and unrolling rugs, threading beads, pegging, pouring beans/water jug to jug, and cutting along a line.

Sensorial: Lucy loves to work with the pink tower and brown stairs which are dimension/gradation work.

Cultural subjects: Lucy is working on living/non-living sorting, animal/plant sorting. In geography, she has learned the seven continents and planets in the solar system. She loves drawing, doing paper crafts and basic water painting. She also loves sponge painting.

Lucy rarely refuses work that is assigned to her. She demonstrates an eagerness to learn. She does not like to work independently. She enjoys working with others, however, this often-times becomes very distracting for her and she loses focus on her work.

This last observation is very true of you. You love your school and your favorite thing about school is the social aspect (EXACTLY like me I must add...).

As for working independently, I can't think of a single thing that you like to do alone. You prefer the company of others above all else, including when using the bathroom and sleeping. We are working on short bursts of independent play but I have to say, it is excruciating for all concerned as you voice your displeasure at top volume for the ENTIRE time you are alone (and by alone, I mean in the same room but working on a different activity, so no, not really alone as in banished to another room which is what your caterwauling would lead me to believe).

I fear you are approaching the horrible threes developmentally as you swing from socially acceptable behavior into "I'm-not-taking-you-anywhere-in-public" behavior. You have become much more defiant this month, looking me straight in the eye as you do exactly as you please or just overlooking me completely as you run in the opposite direction. This has led to a few heart-stopping moments as you let go of my hand to run in a parking lot or down the crowded city sidewalk near a busy street. My reward for keeping your hand in a death-grip is the stink eye and aggrieved muttering about how "it's not fair that Kate gets to walk without holding you hand." Ah, my love, what's equal is not always fair and what's fair is not always equal. You have already come to hate this statement...

We went on a school field trip this week to your very first live theatre production. It was based on the book, Lyle Finds his Mother by Bernard Waber. We read the book several times in the weeks before the show and talked about how books are adapted for the stage/screen and how that makes them slightly different than the actual book.

You, Alina and Kate making faces before showtime!

You were a little scared when it got a bit shouty or when characters appeared a little too suddenly from various places. You spent a good deal of time buried with your head under your blanket and tucked into my side but overall, you said you liked it.

We also talked about the theme of the book; how Lyle is on a search to find his "real" mother. We talked about the definition of real and how his adoptive mom was absolutely real. Fortunately, the producers of the show spoke of his "crocodile" mom which led us to talking about your China mom. I can tell that you still don't really understand all this talk of two mommys, real or otherwise, but at least we're working on our vocabulary for later.

Other "firsts" this month included:

your first popsicle of the year, even though it was hovering around 50 degrees,
first set of dental x-rays,

first time climbing up a rope/elastic web to a slide that was 20 feet straight up
it took you about 15-20 minutes, a few tears and lots of sweat but you made it!
First time letting go of one hand on the monkey bars and swinging it to the next bar.

and first trip this year to the Botanic Garden.
Easter was the big holiday this month and you were super-excited for it to finally arrive.


When you aren't fighting with your sister for my attention or pointing out the vast injustice in the ways in which you two are treated, you actually dote on Kate.

In a rare moment of clarity and expressing your emotions with words (instead of whining or screaming), you said, "I wish I could have mommy all to myself. I wish I didn't have to share you with Kate. I want you all to myself. I want to have a date just with you, with nobody that we know, like at gymnastics. Gymnastics doesn't count, even when Kate isn't there. I want to go the the Botanic Garden and look at flowers and just be with you."

I have often wondered how our relationship would look had I just had one child. We certainly missed out on the first 22 months of undivided attention that you deserved to have. The truth is that I can do nothing to change your infancy and babyhood, much as I would love to. But we are changing your childhood and together we will build-in both together and alone times with mommy, daddy and Kate.

Perhaps another yoga class for just the two of us? We sure had a great time! You were a natural at doing the poses and putting your mat away when it was time to go.

I am so proud of you for using your words and telling me what you need. We will survive the terrible 3s and come out swinging on the other side!


1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

You have had a VERY busy month! Just reading about all the activities makes me tired! What a great school the girls are in. To know that much Chinese already is amazing. I love Lucy's expressions in many of the photos. She appears to have and from your blog we all know she has lots of personality! Her language is increasing at a great rate. Her comments about wanting time with you on her own are sweet. Oh my goodness, her next birthday is 5!


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