Thursday, November 05, 2009

Happy 5th birthday to you

Dear Z,
I can't believe I'm the mother of a five year old. Five!

It's clear you are not a baby anymore. You're not a toddler. You're barely a preschooler, flourishing as you are in the kindergarten program at Montessori school. You're a kid. A little person. Heck, you'll probably remember being five.

Since turning four, you've learned so much and made me so proud. Since learning to read, you've progressed rapidly to level 3 on those Early Reader books. You love all aspects of school: math, science, geography, culture and art. You're still into fairy tales and princesses, but you're also asking questions (and occasionally jumping to conclusions) about Judaism, history and the natural world. You've learned to swim (although you're still doggie-paddling at this point) and you continue to shine in gymnastics class.
The year ahead is packed with the promise of more firsts. A trip to Australia. Public school. The school bus. Riding a bike without training wheels. Even the possibility of flying unaccompanied to visit grandparents (although I'm not sure I'm ready for that).

You're a model big sister, advocating for A and leading her around the house in elaborate games of pretend. Although you're not a holding hands, huggy kind of kid, you still have an enormous number of friends. Limiting your birthday party invite list was a touchy affair since you wanted to invite all your school friends, neighborhood friends and the kids from your old playgroup. We ended up limiting you to 10 female school friends--all of whom RSVPed yes and are coming to the almost sleepover on Saturday.

But life with you isn't all sunshine and roses. Your smarts, coupled with two parents who never shy away from a debate, mean you try to negotiate for everything (I think I wrote this last year, too). You're moody, and you have a whiny cranky voice that can peel wallpaper off a wall. You've also become more of a picky eater than before--something I honestly didn't think was possible. The whiny, cranky negotiator in you becomes particularly intolerable at bedtime. It's virtually impossible for me to put you to bed without a fight, but you behave much better for Daddy, since he has a zero-tolerance policy for nonsense. Good thing the both of you are enjoying the Lemony Snicket series so much!
More birthday letters