Monday, October 12, 2015

Love Letter, Month 69

Dear Kate,

You are 69 months old today.
We've been enjoying being outside a lot this month. The weather alternates between chilly and warm but it's never so cold or damp or hot that we can't find happiness at the park. You've made great strides on the monkey bars this month. You've been practicing and practicing, so much so that you have callouses and blisters on your palms but you have finally made it across two types of monkey bars. The first is the straight line bar where you have to inch your way across sideways. The second is the zipline but you've learned how to walk your hands on either side of the bar, let go to grab one of the ziplines and then let the other hand go to grab the other and then swing your body to get to the other side. The joy on your face was radiant! Your next goal is to hang upside down so you've been practicing trying to get your legs up and over on the low bar.
Your climbing skills have also improved and you made it halfway up the rock climbing wall at Daniel's birthday party this month.
You have settled happily into the school routine and your Chinese has come back in with a vengeance. You are talking more and more in Mandarin, not just with a few words or a sentence here and there, but full conversations. Julie said that when the three of you were putting together a puzzle, you spoke to Lucy in Chinese, seemingly without realizing you were switching back and forth between your two languages.

You asked me the other day if you were Chinese and when I replied no, you looked a bit disappointed. You really enjoy the culture and were very excited to have dim sum with Ms. Angel for the Moon Festival in Chinatown.
Once you learned how to eat a soup dumpling, you were in heaven. I have to agree; they are so, so yummy!
You are reading longer and more challenging books now and we spent one lazy afternoon reading on the back porch while Lucy napped.
You asked if you could be in the chess club after school so you started that last week and won the first award of the club for your politeness and ability to listen. I think chess will be a great learning tool for you as you are not often a gracious loser. You said you were paired with Daniel, who has already been playing chess, and you lost every single game to him and didn't get upset, "not even once Mama!"  Miracles can happen!

Art and Math are two more subjects that you love. Here is a sampling of the work you've brought home this month:

You titled this one: Water Park and Garden.

The apple tree above was a timely piece of art. We went to a local orchard this weekend where you and Lucy picked copious amounts of apples.

You were an amazing helper in the kitchen today, chopping apples to make apple butter and apple pie.
You learned how to use the food mill to make the apple butter.

And now, the Kateisms of the month:

Lucy, as we were leaving a birthday party at 7pm: Look! It's dark outside! It's nighttime!
You: No, it's not nighttime yet. It's just dusk.

Me: I'm tired. I really don't feel like fixing supper tonight. Sometimes it's hard being the mama.
You: Not really. You get to boss everyone around!

Lucy: I think we have a spider in the house. (peering behind the bench near the window).
Me: I hope not.
You: Why?
Me: Do you really want a spider in our house?
You: They are a really important part of life you know.
Me: How do you like your new assistant teacher?
You: I like her but she's very tough.
Me: In what way?
You: She won't let me answer her in English. I must speak only in fluent Mandarin.

You, handing me a jar: Can you please open this....(and when I didn't hop right to it, you continued)....in a timely fashion?

Julie had taken you and Lucy to the park nearby. You were both on the teeter-totter and Julie was reminiscing about how little you both used to be on this equipment. You said, "Don't you miss the days?"
I must say, I do miss the days when you were little but this age is pretty darn terrific too.


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