4.6 Years Old!

Dear Carolyn,

Today you are officially 4-and-a-half.  You’ve made sure that everyone you see knows it, too!  When I told you this morning that it was your half birthday, you wanted to know if there would be cake.  I thought about it, but instead we settled for ice cream at Friendly’s after lunch.  Maybe next year I’ll figure out how to make you a half cake for your half birthday!20090415_icecream

You are thrilled that the weather is getting nicer.  We’ve spent some time outside lately on your tricycle, blowing bubbles, drawing with chalk…I think you’d live outside all day long if I let you.  At the same time, you would probably be willing to watch TV for the entire day if I let you do that, too!  You now know how to work the entire setup we have – you can turn the TV on yourself, switch the receiver to the right mode, control the DVD player and the Tivo…so the next time one of your grandparents is over to watch you while Daddy and I go out you can be in charge of helping them use the TV!20090330_book

Speaking of things you can do yourself, every day you are getting more independent.  In many ways, it’s good – I’m glad you’ll be able to use the bathroom entirely without help when you go to kindergarten, and once we figure out where to store some of your cups, plates and bowls so they’re within reach I think you could practically be independent for meals of breakfast cereal and pb & j.  In other ways…it’s not so good.  I’m terrified of the fact that you can open any (locked or unlocked) door leading out of this house, and that you’ve learned this month how to get around the extensive network of baby gates we have up.  You’ve used your new skills to get out of the house more than once without permission, and the scary part is that you really don’t get why that upsets us so much.  I think we’re going to have to put hook and eye latches on the outside doors…20090414_trike

You’re an amazingly wonderful big sister.  It’s cute (even though I do try to discourage it) to find you in your sister’s crib in the morning, plotting with her about how the two of you can best make me crazy that day.  You want so much for her to be your playmate, and can’t quite understand why she won’t do exactly what you want her to do.  I predict that in a couple of months you’ll have a little more success with her understanding your directions, though I also predict that she’s got quite the mind of her own and won’t necessarily want to do what you ask!20090410_piano

And even though we’ve had quite a bit of struggle lately, you and I, you are an amazing daugher as well.  You are working to gain your independence, and I am working to keep you safe.  Those two goals can’t always exist in harmony, and sometimes it feels like entire days are spent arguing over what you can and can’t do, and why you can or can’t do it.  I have faith we’ll figure it out, though, and no matter how rough a day we have, I will always, always love you.

Love, Mommy