Friday, January 16, 2015

Love Letter, Month 60

Dear Kate,

You were 5 years old on Monday!
Boy am I relieved that we all made it in one piece. It was touch-and-go there for several weeks and I wasn't sure any of us would make it through un-scarred. How can I put this nicely? You have been quite unpleasant to be around since about Thanksgiving. Maybe even Halloween. Let's just say that you don't do anticipation well. Anticipation for you creates angst and worry which results in major meltdowns and temper tantrums. All of this waiting for candy at Halloween, company for Halloween and Thanksgiving, Lucy's birthday, Lina arriving from Sweden, Nana coming for Christmas, Charlie the elf popping up somewhere new everyday, talking to Santa, Christmas day and FINALLY your birthday....it was all just too much for your nervous system.

Many days you just completely short-circuited, the last one happening on the day of your party, right before our first guests arrived.
But before we get to your party, let's recap your month. We got all dressed up to see Santa and this was another opportunity for stress.
It's not that you are afraid of Santa; it's the build-up of waiting and wondering if you have been "good enough." You were so overwhelmed that you decided to just write out your wish and hand it silently to him. You never uttered a word the whole time you were there--just nodded and smiled.

I've had to figure out how to re-frame all of the Christmas songs and stories so that you aren't a ball of nerves worrying that every little thing you do will be a mark on your record with Santa.
If ever there were a perfectionist, she is you. I had to think fast on my feet this week when you came home and told me you had been in time-out at school for talking to Scarlett too much. You see, at school, you are the consummate rule follower. You never talk out-of-turn, you are beyond polite to the point that other kids mow you over at times and you have been fairly shy at making friends. Your teachers even named you a Peacemaker which means you get to do special work in the classroom at times. So when I heard that A. you were going out of your way to talk to Scarlett and B. you actually, FINALLY, got into a small bit of trouble at school, I just nodded and listened and bit my tongue and prayed Lucy didn't jump in and ask why I wasn't saying anything about it since I had talked to Lucy about her time-out(s) for pushing and screaming at classmates just a few weeks prior.

I did find you the perfect Christmas gift though: a make-it-yourself sticker-by-number jewelry box.

This project has kept you busy for many an afternoon with absolutely no help from me. It is just tedious enough to keep you engaged without overwhelming you. Needless to say, it drives your sister absolutely nuts. It is all she can do to keep from grabbing the stickers and plastering them willy-nilly on that box if for no other reason than you are doing something that doesn't involve her.

Fortunately, you and Lucy have had a lot of opportunities this month to play with old friends. Lina came from Sweden and spent a long weekend at our house.

A long-overdue playdate with Antara and M was a highlight of one weekend.
And of course, best of all, there was Nana.

When Christmas finally arrived you were over-the-moon happy to find out Santa delivered the goods (as did your family), in spite of all your dire predictions for a barren, present-less Christmas morning.

Opening and playing with all sorts of new things calmed the tide of anticipatory despair for a bit but as soon as Nana left and there were still 11 days left until your party, well, things turned bleak again. Fortunately, I could send you to school for most of those days! So yay me!

Alas, the big day arrived and after one more nervous system breakdown, your guests arrived and the festivities began. This year we had a candy-themed party and a mad scientist come to do experiments.

 We celebrated the next day, on your actual birthdate, at school.

As always, I'm including a few Kate-isms from this month:

Kate to me after cuddling for a while: A thank you would be nice for all the cuddling Mom.

Nana, how do you know more than my mom?

Nana: (sewing)
Kate: I want to watch.
Nana: Ok, but it's going to be pretty boring just sitting and watching me sew.
Kate: (after a bit) You didn't say it would be THIS boring.

And I thought I'd include a new tradition, an interview of you and your favorite things:

Favorite Color: pink (and purple)
Best Friend: Camilla
Favorite Animal: cat
What do you want to be when you grow up? Gymnast
Favorite Movie: Frozen
Favorite Book: Polar Express
What makes you happy? playing checkers
What makes you sad? When I want something and I don't get it
Favorite Food: ice cream
Favorite Song: Let it Go
Favorite Game: Checkers
Favorite TV show: Doc McStuffins

My birthday wish for you is that you will learn to view the world in a glass-1/2-full way instead of the bleak and and glass-1/2-empty way that has been your norm of late.  You are correct; things do not always work out or go your way, but isn't it lovely when it does?

1 comment:

Jodie said...

You are the best mama EVER!!!! :)


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