You will be six tomorrow! That seems about right. Most years I am blown away that you are another year older but not so much this year. It seems like you have been five for a looooong time. Just know that one day in the distant future when you are struggling with your own children it is this last year for which you are paying. And those first three months of your life of course. While it may have seemed tougher on us than the previous years we didn’t make it so easy on you either. It has certainly been an eventful time in your life and you have mostly handled it admirably.
You moved to Alaska! I kind of swore that I wouldn’t have my kid move around like I did and then I totally moved you at the same exact age I moved the first time. And I’m sure there is at least one more move in your life, if not many more. You have handled moving brilliantly. You seem happy most of the time. You are very enthusiastic about the cold and the dead animal horns and the lack of stuff to do around town. You are also very enthusiastic about going home to Arkansas or to visit “the city” as you called Vegas. You are just very enthusiastic in general. On the other hand, you seemed to change a little bit after moving here. You became far more difficult than ever before. At one point we took every toy and decoration out of your room and made you earn them back one at a time over the next few months. It took forever. It was necessary. I thought maybe it was more to do with the age five than anything else, but when we visited home at Christmas you improved immensely and have stayed that way since returning. I am starting to see some of the misbehavior sneak back in and I know it is time to head home again. I think it comforts you to know it is still there with all the people you love. Seven weeks to go!
You started school! You are good at school. You have started to read everything. I don’t just mean your school books, or even the books at home. Everything. Every word that passes by on a screen that you can manage. Every sign we pass in the store or on the road. Our clothes. I spelled something out to your father the other day so you wouldn’t know what I was saying, but you immediately knew what I had spelled. I guess those days are over. As I have shown here, you also love to write. It is one of the joys of being a parent for me to read your writing everyday. You have solidly decided that a lowercase q is in fact the letter p, but otherwise you are all over writing. You got all E’s in writing and almost your whole report card this time. You still got an N (needs improvement) in Taking Responsibility For Your Actions. That…seems about right. I can be standing on the other side of the house and you can stub your toe in the bedroom and you will yell, “Mom, why did you make me do that!” So, yes. We’re working on it.
You love video games. We are probably crap parents because we will let you play for a long time. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to do otherwise. It’s too cold here to send you outside. We didn’t give you a sibling with which to entertain yourself. The pool is only available to us on the weekends most of the time. Video games are a wonderful thing. I believe in the power of hand/eye coordination.
You are a fish. Since swimming is the only constant entertainment we have we do it a lot. You love to swim in the deep end. You love to jump in over and over again. You love to swim the whole length of the pool as long as someone will go next to you. You do NOT love to go down the slide, but you did it twice during lessons and I was really proud that you tried it out. You never seem to get tired of going to the pool.
You started eating salad! Last week! This makes me ridiculously happy. You turned on all things green at three years old and have not returned. I gave you a simple salad last week and you inhaled two helpings. Then we had “Big Salad” later in the week and you thought it was so much fun to build your own. So far there isn’t much healthy happening in your salads but I hope it is a door to better things.
You have been on nineteen airplanes in nine months!
You have lost two teeth!
Though we have had some struggles with you this year you are still totally delightful. You have a fun sense of humor. You are such a great travel buddy. You care about people in a way that is quiet but kind, like when you remembered to make a valentine for the aide in your classroom when I didn’t. You are optimistic. You are ALSO ornery and itchy and impossible to clothe or groom because everything hurts or irritates you. Everyday you are getting more grown up and logical and thoughtful. It isn’t your natural state to get ready quickly but you say almost every morning that you want to be a help to Mom and Dad and so you try really hard to get ready faster. Most of the time.
As it turns out, you are quite sick today. You have been puking since the wee hours this morning. You make a remarkably sweet patient. It’s gross cleaning up after you but you have been nothing but nice and cuddly. You keep offering us drinks of your water and bites of your ice pops and it is really icky to think about but sooooo nice of you. Seriously though, quit puking. We don’t have enough water to wash your bedding again this week.
Happy sixth birthday, Little Lady…Rolo Cate the Roller Skate…Stink Face…Rododo…Chickadee…Rhododendron. Man, you have accumulated a lot of nicknames in six years.
I can’t find any pictures from your past birthdays that haven’t been used several times already so let’s just take a look back at year five this time.