Your 5th birthday came and went in a whirlwind of activity. Grandmothers coming to visit, parties, new jobs and new schools have had us so busy that, although I wrote this letter and chose these pictures about 9 months ago, they are only just now getting published. I apologize, but as your 6th birthday is imminent, I felt it necessary to put this one up sooner, rather than never.
The start of your 4th year was full of exploring and learning new things, particularly reading. We began working on simple words and sounding things out, and you have progressed so much! By now you are able to read some of your easy reader books all by yourself and can sound out more complicated words all on your own. As much as you enjoy reading, you still enjoy being read to more.
While your knowledge has increased, some things remain the same. Playing dolls and make believe, concocting “science experiments” or “cooking” in the kitchen are still high on the list of play, but you’ve also added in more complicated puzzles and board games, and some role playing, such as playing school or veterinarian. We also enrolled you in gymnastics over the summer, and although I don’t see a career as an Olympic gymnast in your future, you really enjoyed the classes!
During the past year you were at preschool at least several days a week where you made some great friends that we have enjoyed having playdates with occasionally. It is really fun to see you develop real friendships and I look forward to hearing about all your new friends in kindergarten. It has also become apparent that with your friends, like with us, you enjoy directing the game play and coming up with whole worlds in which to play (everyone is a princess and has a castle, and you go visit each other’s castles, for instance).
Daddy and I are very lucky that you remain a generally sweet girl who still loves to hug and cuddle and shows a desire to take care of people. When one of us feels sick or is sad you like to bring us a toy or give us a hug to make us better. Oh sure, we have our rough moments, but even those are outweighed by your sweetness.
At some point this year you and your brother went from coexisting to becoming real friends and occasional compatriots in play. Although, like with most brother-sister pairs, the game play involves princesses and superheros, monsters and fairies, evil queens and dragons. It can be quite a riot in the house, especially when one of you is casting (very loud) spells and the other is being a fire-breathing dragon! But we love seeing you play together and develop a great friendship.
Some things have remained the same, and some have changed. Without further ado, your current favorites:
Toys: Douglas, as always, remains a favorite, although you are becoming slightly less attached. And by slightly I mean a very minuscule bit. My Little Ponies, dolls, any puppies, and legos have been big this year, and books (especially Pinkalicious and fairy tale stories). A lot of toys become ingredients in a cake that you’re pretending to bake.
Movies/TV: My Little Pony (all the time, in any way possible), Strange Magic, Harry Potter, and the Tinkerbell movies. Usually a movie watching experience is followed by a round of pretend play, where we are all different characters from the movie and occasionally have to act out scenes. But every movie is followed by a dance party while the credits play!
Food: Quesadillas, and pretty much anything that has cheese on it. Pasta carbonara, jambalaya, bananas and apples. You aren’t too picky of an eater, thankfully, but we still have to coax you to try new things.
Activities: Reading, drawing, and playing make believe. This summer you loved swimming and began swimming without a floaty, plus jumping in all on your own (a major accomplishment for a girl who didn’t want to get her face wet at the start of the summer)!
You have grown so much from 4 to 5 and surprised us in many ways. I can only imagine how much different you will be next year, after a full year of kindergarten and all the new skills you will learn! I can’t wait!