The inspiration for this post is threefold:
1) One of my favorite bloggers, The Feminist Breeder, wrote a post last week called 15 Fun Facts About My Kids and encouraged others to do the same. I love reading what other kids close to E’s age are up to, so I knew I wanted to do one, too.
2) Right before E. turned 3, I wrote a post called A Tribute to the Not-So-Terrible Twos and I still love to go back and read that and see how much she’s changed in a year. Since she’s been 4 for two weeks already, I figured I better get busy with the follow-up.
3) I feel like I’ve been whining about her a lot lately (specifically about HER whining and her refusal to sleep). But she also happens to be a pretty incredible kid, if I do say so myself, and there are so many great things about this age right now that I don’t want to forget anything.
So, if you’ll indulge me for one gushing post, I present: 15 Awesome Things About My Kid
1. She still loves us unconditionally and she’s not afraid to show it. Several times a day, apropros of nothing, she’ll just look at me and say, “I love you, Mommy.” Whether we’re in the grocery store, hanging out at home or if she’s on the potty, she tells me all the time how much she loves me. It’s always at an unexpected time and it’s always so sweet. And it never fails to reduce me to a puddle of mush (well, except for when she does it at night on attempt no. 23 to delay bedtime).
2. She’s so enthusiastic about so many things. She’s giddy with excitement on Wednesdays because it’s ballet day. Although she sometimes grumbles when I first wake her up in the morning, by the time she’s had breakfast, she’s psyched to get to school and see her teacher and friends. She looks forward all week to piano lessons, which brings me to …
3. She’s apparently a child prodigy. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration but her piano teacher was particularly effusive this past weekend. As you might recall, the teacher was hesitant to take E. on as a student because she normally doesn’t start lessons until 5. But we begged her to just give E. a chance and if she thought after a month that she wasn’t ready yet, we’d stop and wait a year. Well, the teacher said she considers herself corrected. She said she couldn’t believe that E. just turned 4 and she’s so impressed by how much she’s learning and how much she’s practicing at home between lessons. In short, she’s excited to keep the lessons going. She didn’t say she’s the best student she’s ever seen, but I think that’s the implication, right?
4. Her boldness. Although she sometimes acts a little goofy and shy around adults when she first meets them or sees them for the first time in awhile, there’s not a kid alive who isn’t her instant BFF. By the time we leave Disney, she’s usually collected at least 4 “friends” and talks about them for days afterwards (i.e. “Remember when my friend and I went on Peter Pan? That was fun!”)
5. Her constant planning. This is a trait she inherited from her father, not me. This child has her next three Halloween costumes planned out (Jasmine, Alice, Snow White) and her next 10 birthdays. I can’t remember the order or all of them, but I know they include parties in the following themes: Syracuse (woo hoo!), Hello Kitty, pirates (yes, pirates again, but this time pink, not purple), candy (random but awesome), Diego and beauty salon. Basically, she just goes through the Oriental Trading catalog that comes to the house and birthday party shops. I expect the order to change often, although, once she makes up her mind, she usually sticks with it.
6. Speaking of planning, she’s already decided on her future. She’s going to go to college at Duke but work at Syracuse (poor brainwashed child). As for her jobs, when she’s 16, she wants to be a doctor. When she’s 17, she wants to be a face painter. When she’s 18, she wants to be a firefighter. And then “for forever” she’ll be a firefighter and a doctor and a Mommy. Big plans.
7. Despite the fact that her feet almost reach the ground, she refuses to give up her Ikea highchair. She only uses it for breakfast and the occasional dinner or snack if we’re not all home for a family dinner. We tried putting it out into the garage after she was away at my grandparents for a day and she flipped out. We had to bring it back in. I know we should just pull the trigger and get rid of it, but frankly, I still enjoy the convenience of it, particularly in the mornings when I’m trying to pack lunches and get everyone’s stuff ready for work/school. But she does look ridiculous in it:
8. She’s constantly making up her own little songs. She’ll take the tune of a song she knows, such as Brother John, and make up her own lyrics about the moon, sun, stars, princesses named E., etc. It’s hilarious and she’s constantly asking me if certain words rhyme and if she can’t find one, she’ll just make up a word. Yesterday’s new word was “mog,” and there was no convincing her that it wasn’t a word.
9. It’s so fun watching her figure the world out. She’s like a little sponge, and she’s always either parroting something she heard one of us say or she’s trying to connect the dots herself. Two recent examples come to mind. First, DadJovi and I both use the word “disaster” entirely too much. We describe everything, big or small, as a disaster. And it’s rubbing off. The other day, we were at the grocery store and I was desperately trying to find an ingredient I needed for a recipe. After I went back down the ethnic aisle for the fourth time, E. looked at me and asked, “Mommy, is this is a disaster?” A woman next to me started cracking up. Another example was when E. and DadJovi were driving downtown and they passed several No Parking signs (the kinds with big P’s with a red slash through them). After passing a couple, E. asked him, “Daddy, why don’t they want any P’s on this street?”
10. I don’t know if it’s the fact that she has a good memory or if sounding out words with her is really starting to sink in, but E. is reading more and more words. She’s even picking up on familiar words when we’re out in public.
11. She loves movies like “Star Wars” “The Sound of Music,” ‘The Wizard of Oz,” “Annie” and “Mary Poppins” far better than any animated film. Take THAT, princesses.
12. She adds a “y” to the end of any word to indicate she either thinks it’s cute or wants it to be her pet — all snakes are snakey; worms in the garden are wormy; an elephant at the zoo is elaphy (that one was a bit of a stretch but she was determined to make it work).
13. She plans on marrying her Daddy when she grows up. She still hasn’t worked out what that means for me but she knows one think — Daddy will be the groom.
14. If she does marry him, they’ll both weigh 300 pounds. Thanks to Father-Daughter nights, she can spot the signs for Bojangles, Steak ‘n Shake, Chik-fil-A and Dunkin’ Donuts at 200 yards.
15. After every bath, she loves to have me wrap her up in a towel and pretend that she’s a baby. She has me rock her back and forth and sing “Rock a Bye Baby” to her. I love it, even if it’s getting harder and harder to rock my big girl. And every time, she’ll say to me, “I’ll always be your baby, right? Even when I’m as old as you?” Yes, even then. And beyond.
So there you have it. Entirely more about E. than you ever wanted to know, but I know a year from now, I’ll be so glad to have this post.
Your turn! Name some awesome things about your kid(s) or tell me one thing that makes YOU awesome! Here’s mine — I spend hours thinking of these things so that my daughter will someday know just how awesome she was at 4. I think that makes me pretty awesome at times, too. That’s a lot of awesome.