Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sprout is Four and a Half!

Sprout is four and a half!

Fourth Birthday Celebrations

Closer to four and a half

Our baby... well on her way to being five years old! My goodness. 

What to say about her? For one who has only been alive for four and a half years, she is so very much herself. She is affectionate and loyal and independent and quirky.

Western Pennsylvania Girl

Most days Sprout wakes up grumbly. You dare not speak to her. She will lumber over to wherever I am sitting and climb up into my lap for a snuggle. She likes to turn sideways and curl up into a little ball, tucking her head under my chin. She just barely fits. After a few minutes she will allow someone to ask what she would like to eat and prepare her breakfast. Then she's good.

She has been warming up to Jen more and more. She'll occasionally hold her hand when we're out for a walk, or lean up against her during story time. Jen relishes it. I love seeing her being more affectionate with Jen. We both know she loves Jen, but having Sprout admit to it and show it more openly has been a long time coming.

Her brother is her best friend. They get under each other's skin from time to time, but overall they're so good together. Sprout is fiercely loyal towards him. I have a feeling that she's going to grow up always having a few very close friends, rather than a wide social circle. There are several kids in her class that she likes well enough, but only two or three that she really wants to spend any time with outside of school. We were happy to find out that one of her favourite classmates will be with her again next year, as well as a little neighbour that she really likes. I think it'll be a bit of a transition not having her brother there.

The school year finished out pretty well. Her separation anxiety improved somewhat... or I got better with dealing with it. Her report card was very positive. She was described as very helpful and caring. Proud moms over here.

Making playdough for her class

She still tends to prefer make believe play over anything else. Family, school, and doctor/vet are her most favourite games. She has a fantastic imagination and will get completely immersed in her play, even if no one is playing with her. She does like playing with others, and sometimes I feel badly because I don't exactly jump at the chance of pretending to be her baby and I often try to get her into something else --arts and crafts, cooking, or playing outdoors. She is not easily distracted.


She loves performing too. Nothing particularly rehearsed or choreographed, but she'll set up a stage and grab something to use as a microphone and put on a show. She often makes up her own little songs. I adore it. When she is happy she'll sing to herself.

She continues to be very nurturing. She loves animals. When we're out she will, without fail, stop people and ask to pet their dogs. She approaches them so gently. I swear she connects with them on another level. She also loves babies. Her Christmas wishes (we start planning early over here) are for 200 babies and a real live unicorn.

Her motor skills are coming along. She's definitely much more interested in writing now than ever before. She likes to make notes for her friends, write grocery lists, draw pictures. She knows how to print most of her letters, but will still ask for confirmation. ("How many bumps does a B have, Mama?") She's become much more coordinated in her gross motor skills and more confident too. She runs, skips, gallops and dances... climbs, swings and spins. She seems to enjoy her gymnastics classes and is a little fish in the swimming pool. She made huge progress with skating over the winter as well. Dance class was a bit of a bust, but not because she couldn't do it, she just wasn't into being there and often dug those heels in once it came time to participate.

She can be very stubborn. Another example came to a battle of the wills with her clothing choices. She went through a long phase this winter of not wanting to wear anything that matched. It drove me a bit bonkers. Fortunately she seems to be back on the matching bandwagon now.

She also went through a phase of unique hairdo requests

She is most definitely part squirrel. She hides things all over the place. She loves things that are tiny. She also loves things that are shiny and sparkly. So maybe she is part magpie too? She's definitely way more into princesses than I would have imagined a child of mine would be. But, thinking back, I also loved princesses and sparkly things when I was four.

We've seen a lot of progress with her articulation. There are still sounds that she is working on... "sh" and "r" aren't quite there. I'm still a bit concerned, but it is reassuring to know that her classmates and teachers didn't seem to have difficulty understanding what she was saying. She is pretty chatty and her vocabulary continues to grow. I find it especially cute when she answers questions with words like "actually..." or throws in an "in particular..." She picked up a lot of little phrases from her ECE this year. (Some more appropriate than others... "For the love of God" was among them!)

End of year primary music concert

She's been asking me to teacher her how to read quite often lately. She still loves to look at books, but will go more for books she's been read many times than ones she is less familiar with. If we leave out parts when we are reading to her, she will correct us. I think I'll work with her on it over the summer. I'm pretty sure she'll be able to pick up CVC words and some simple sight words. I really did not push it at all this year, and wouldn't, but she is asking so I will try.

She is a pretty good eater. She will almost always take a lick of something unfamiliar and more often than not will go on to eat it. She is, however, a painfully slow eater. It's not necessarily that she dawdles, she just really, really takes her time.

I almost dare not mention it, but her sleep is finally good. Lights out is between 7:30 and 8:00pm. She sometimes has a hard time settling, but once she is asleep she has pretty much sleeping in her own bed through the entire night. Hurray! If she's tossing and turning she will ask for me to come and cuddle her. Lying quietly with an arm around her usually helps. She rarely wakes in the night, but sometimes her brother wakes her up. She likes to "sleep in" in the morning, and usually is up between 7:00 and 8:00am.

This bug. She's quite a character. As I said, so very much herself and we're getting to see that develop more and more. It's a wonder and a privilege. I just love her.