Sunday, October 12, 2014

Love Letter, Month 57

Dear Kate,

You are 57 months old today.
Guess what you started doing this month? Reading! Yep, you have been annoyed for almost a year that you couldn't read so we've been working diligently on letter sounds and now you are sounding out words. Everything has now clicked in your head and you are thrilled beyond belief. Every night you read to us from the little books Qiongwei lao shi sends home from school.
You also came dancing out of school one day waving your first workbook at me. This was another thing you really worked hard to be able to do. You had to correctly complete a series of other steps before you would be eligible to start the workbook series. With that singular goal in mind, you got to work and came home every Friday bearing the fruits of your labors...little booklets that you had made.
And then your ultimate goal...The Workbook. You finished your first book in one week!
Apparently there are only a handful of you in the class that are working on these already and most of them are in kindergarten so you are feeling pretty proud of yourself.
I do hope you always keep this voracious appetite for learning and knowledge. You wear it well...much like you wear dress-up clothes. Mama's good friend in DC, Ms. Michelle, sent you and Lucy a giant box of dress-up clothes that her girls had outgrown. You were delighted and spent the rest of the day trying on and taking off clothes.
If only I could get you into everyday clothes so easily. Sadly, we are still dealing with the too itchy, too tight, too loose, too long, too short, etc. You really wanted to wear my old sweatshirt from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (I wore this shirt when I was your age and lived in Cuba with Nana and Papa) but alas, too itchy and the sleeves are mid-length and thus, JUST.NOT.RIGHT. Your arms stayed in the hijacked position the entire time you wore this shirt which was just long enough to snap a picture.
When Dr. Boyd told me it was time for you to wear face jewelry I nearly cried because I knew it was going to be a battle to get you to wear it, much less to sleep with it on. Fortunately for me, I know your weakness...shiny, glittery decorations!
Although it was still a hard first week, the labor you put into making your face jewelry fancy swayed you enough that now you put it on without too much kvetching.

We've not had too many adventures this month as we adjust to the new school schedule. You are thrilled to be there full time and both you and Lucy are using more Chinese language in your imaginative play together and in your alone time. I will walk by your room to hear you talking in a sing-song voice in Chinglish, designing another of your vignettes.
The weather has just been lovely, affording us many afternoons outside after school.

You've become a lot braver with your climbing skills, thanks in part to your continuing love of gymnastics. Although getting you into the leotard is still challenging, the threat of cancelling your classes has kept your tantrums at bay (and your leotard on your body instead of flung across the room).

You seem to be turning into a little 40 year old instead of an almost-5 year old. You are quite set in your ways, bordering on curmudgeonly, (hunkered over a salad in your hoodie with cucumber water to drink...)
have a strangely advanced palate (you surprised me by hoovering through 2 plates of mussels one night and then asking for the leftovers at lunch the next day),

 and are quite content to spend a morning having brunch with your mama.
And then you keep me guessing by showing up as a Princess Ninja, with an elaborate back-story filled with ice queens and dragons, cowboys and sparkle tiaras.
If your motto is "Always keep them guessing" then I say you have met your goal. And because a letter of yours is never complete without a little Kate-ism, here was a conversation we had just today:

Kate (pulling your hair away from your face): I think I'd like to be bald.
Me: Why?
Kate: It's just too much to deal with, all this hair. And I think I'd look pretty good with no hair.


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