I’m really not so good at blogging. I’m pretty sure one of the top pieces of advice for would-be bloggers is, “Post often.” Oops.
I thought it might be time for an update on both kids. What I mean by that is, I’ve had an attack of guilt over my failure to record my kids’ milestones and development. Lina’s baby book is pretty much blank, and I am terrible at remembering when things happened for either kid. So, here’s my attempt at a snapshot of the Sharp kids at 6 and 3 1/2. As this is mostly for my own neglected record, feel free to skim or ignore completely.
- Reads pretty proficiently but still prefers to be read to. We recently finished The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, which he loved.
- Just lost his fourth tooth last night. It was, by his account, kicked out by his sister. He appeared in the kitchen holding his tooth, with a muddled tale of Lina kicking at something but instead hitting his arm as he wiggled his tooth. On a related note…
- Knows I am the Tooth Fairy. I do not confirm or deny, but he is unshaken in his conviction.
- Has an incredibly vivid imagination. He is almost always deep in some fantasy. We are all assigned roles in his games on a daily basis. Yesterday, we were giant robots. We’re regularly super heroes, any variety of animals, pirates, Star Wars characters, and the list goes on. He spins wild tales of grand fights and adventures, and there are always good guys and bad guys. Sometimes the good guys win, sometimes not.
- Loves macaroni and cheese best of all foods in the world.
- Also loves scrambled eggs, spaghetti with olive oil and parmesan, pizza (no mushrooms!), crunchy bean tacos, yogurt, veggie “sausage” links, applesauce, bananas, pears, Wheaties with milk, hummus and cheese sandwiches with pickle and lettuce, and for treats: brownies, cookies, M&Ms and ice cream.
- Eats most vegetables and fruits pretty well.
- Is very affectionate and gives lots of hugs and kisses and “I love you”s.
- Wears size 6 clothing, though the pants are sometimes too long.
- Wears size 11-12 shoes.
- Loves “specials” – library, P.E., art and music – at school, but also really seems to enjoy the classroom time. The days are long and he is very tired by the time he gets off the bus, but he loves his teacher and friends and has had a positive kindergarten experience.
- Cannot carry a tune to save his life. This one has taken our musical family by surprise.
- Is easily frustrated when things don’t go according to his (often very specific) plans. He likes to be in charge and often loses his temper when he doesn’t get what he wants when he wants it. We have spent a lot of time working on this, and I have a feeling we’ll be working on it for quite some time to come. My firstborn is strong willed and likes to have control. (I have no idea where he gets that.)
- Has a pretty strong grasp of basic math, such as simple addition and subtraction and the very beginnings of multiplication and division.
- Is very cautious by nature. This kid is not a risk-taker or diver-in. He is learning to overcome nervousness and fear to try new things, and he generally finds his footing with a little time.
- Learned to ride a two-wheeled pedal bike over the winter/spring. He’s still a little hesitant with it, but he’s getting there!
- Loves his sister and sometimes plays well with her but often gets terribly frustrated by her propensity for messing up his carefully ordered world.
- Plays heavily with his matchbox cars and toy planes and also enjoys his train set, musical instruments (small guitar and keyboard), Legos, puzzles and dress-up costumes. He also loves to play board games.
- Still sleeps with the lion “lovey” he’s had since birth. We recently gave away “new lovey,” an identical lion bought ages ago in an unsuccessful attempt to introduce an alternate. Alas, the original was already irreplaceable.
- Loves the Cars and Planes movies.
- Does his own laundry with some help.
- Goes to bed at 7:30 p.m., gets up around 7 a.m.
- Has experienced a huge leap in her speech development over the past couple months. She has a vocabulary of hundreds of spoken words that grows daily, which means she relies less on signs (though she does still use them). She has just begun putting two or three words together. Her preschool teacher recently returned from maternity leave, and after her first day back, Lina was able to spontaneously tell me that she saw a picture of Ms. Meri’s baby on her phone. (I checked with the teacher to verify!) You can imagine my elation. Clarity is still a challenge, but we’ve seen progress there, too. She does not currently say “k” or hard “g” sounds.
- Can climb and descend the stairs independently on her feet, holding the railing. Can jump with both feet off the ground and kick, throw and sometimes catch a playground ball.
- Loves her friends at school and adores her teachers, especially her speech therapist, Ms. Jody. She is very affectionate and gives fantastic hugs.
- Has a very hard time with sharing and can get aggressive when someone is in her way or not doing what she wants them to. We are working on this one. She will still occasionally pull hair, but that issue is much improved.
- Has a well-developed sense of humor. She loves silliness and laughter. Grandma was dressing her the other day and teasingly asked, “Are these the dog’s pants?” Lina thought it was hysterical.
- Can be downright sassy. If she doesn’t want to do something, she responds with “No!” accompanied by a foot stomp.
- Likes for things to be her idea. If she feels pressured to do something, she will balk. This girl is independent and very strong willed. She likes to test boundaries.
- Believes the world begins and ends with books. She carries books with her everywhere and asks to be read to many, many times a day. She understands that letters make words and will point to each word to ask you to read it. She loves Bible stories. Her favorite is David and Goliath, which requires an accompanying song with all the motions.
- Hates having her hair combed.
- Knows all her capital letters by name and can name a few numbers, as well.
- Adores music. Singing is the one thing that will unfailingly calm her in any situation, which has been true since she was tiny. She amused (at least I’m choosing to interpret it that way) everyone in the pews around us at church last week when she responded to a children’s choir song by shouting “Yay!” and clapping enthusiastically.
- Wears 3T clothes and size 6-7 shoes.
- Still takes a 1 1/2- to 2-hour nap every afternoon.
- Goes to bed between 7 and 7:30 and gets up way too early. She is usually awake before 6 a.m. but thankfully plays happily (if rather noisily) in her room until someone comes to get her.
- Loves bread (toast, waffles, rolls, cornbread), butter/peanut butter/almond butter and honey or jelly, veggie meats (both kids are very vegetarian!), spaghetti or noodles, string cheese, pizza, yogurt, goldfish crackers, applesauce, veggie straws, tortilla chips, avocado and most sweets. She sometimes tolerates broccoli, peas, banana, apple and pear. She usually won’t touch foods she doesn’t like or recognize, but her palette does seem to be broadening gradually.
- Prefers mommy for some things but definitely prefers daddy for bath and bedtime.
- Sucks the first two fingers of her left hand when she is sleepy or needs comfort, as she has since she was a few months old. She has a much-loved stuffed bunny (and an almost identical alternate – we learned our lesson!) whose neck ribbon she rubs. She also likes to sleep with a big stuffed bunny she got for Easter and sometimes her favorite baby doll.
- Can draw lines up and down, across or in circles as requested and can operate scissors with some support.
- Loves her Little People toys, nesting cardboard blocks, her babies, her little toy piano, dress-up clothes, shoes and hats (hers or “borrowed”), her little play kitchen and shopping cart/food, and did I mention BOOKS?!!
- Receives one hour of speech, one hour of OT and 20 minutes of PT every week during school, in addition to support toward her goals from all her teachers and aides. We are so pleased with her preschool program and the progress she has made over the school year.
These kids light up my life. I always wanted to be a mom. I fought hard to become one. But not even all the years of longing prepared me for the hugeness of motherhood. The joy, the frustration, the exhaustion, the pride, the love…THE LOVE. It’s all so much bigger than I could have fathomed. Even when they drive me crazy, I thank God these kids are mine.