Sunday, September 30, 2012

5 years + 11 months

The birthday countdown wheel is up as Emily enters her final month of being five.  She has made a lot of progress in adjusting to school and everything that goes with it.  She doesn't always need as much, or even any, decompression time after school.  Lunch is going much better as she has started taking cold lunch about half the time.  She has even started trying some surprising things and is finding out, as she wisely states, "Sometimes things that don't look good still taste good."  The things she actually likes at school now are cinnamon applesauce and mashed potatoes with gravy.  However, she still won't eat the quesadillas, or as she calls them, "quasarellas." 

I think the real turning point came this month when Emily made some friends at school.  Her best friends are named Rachel & Madison.  I'm really thankful for these girls.  I have met and talked to their moms while waiting to pick up kids after school, and they are very nice.  Emily made up a little story about the three of them when she got on a Valentine's kick the other day.

The good news is that Emily seems to be very inclusive and has even reached out and played with girls in the other section at recess.  She mentions new kids she plays with almost every day.  This is quite a relief because it was one of my concerns going into Kindergarten.

Not only is Emily more talkative about her day, but she has (not surprisingly) started playing school almost every day with the stuffed animals in her room.  She has numbers hanging up designating the five centers in her room and has charts and signs about other things, too.  I picked up a teacher's planning book out of the dollar bin at Target earlier because I knew this would happen and it would come in handy.  Emily has given names to every doll/figurine/animal in her room.  There is even one named "Sema" that usually ends up on red light and gets sent to the principal's office.

Emily is also doing fantastic with piano lessons.  Her teacher said she might be the most enthusiastic student she's had.  Emily asks to practice every day, so I often have to drop whatever I'm doing to oblige.  I'm extremely grateful for my piano background that gives me the ability to sit down and help Emily learn all the proper techniques and positions from the beginning.  I'm also learning about the excruciating amount of time and patience it takes to do this.  So far, things have gone well.  Emily has gotten silly a few times, but I've never lost my cool or gotten upset.  I have to try not to laugh out loud when she offers the excuse, "my hand is sleeping and has to wake up," when she grows tired of an exercise.  Overall, she has shown great progress over the course of a week of practicing and is catching on quickly.

Although we took a break from Junie B. Jones, there are still a few leftover phrases I hear quite often: "Only too bad for me," "bad news," and "apparently".  I even find myself saying, "apparently," a lot more often.  In a complete 180, we read Little House in the Big Woods this month.  This lead to several interesting discussions and epiphanies about things, like where they went to the bathroom, what kind of things they ate (always eating everything on their plate) and how they had to be perfectly still and quiet on Sundays.  I just want to know how Caroline (aka "Ma") got all that work done with babies.  The only time Baby Carrie is mentioned is when she's asleep in Ma's arms.  Didn't she ever scream and cry while Pa played the fiddle on cold winter evenings?!?  And how do you potty-train a kid in an outhouse anyway?!?

I'll end this post with a recent self-portrait by Emily.  She is very proud to be 5 1/2, but is eager to be 6!

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