My dear Coco,
You have taught me a lot this year – I learned that I have great patience for messes, but not for puzzles; that there is always time for one more hug; and that a snuggle can cure any wrongs, especially when the snuggle is with someone as loving as you.
Somewhere in the course of this year you became a little girl, full of little girl opinions (princesses are the best), best friends, and favorites of all kinds (chocolate, princesses, and, like most other girls, anything Frozen). I am continually in awe of your imagination, which has only grown with each passing year. Every day you concoct some grand make believe game that we are all required to participate in, whether we want to or not. You have also discovered card games and board games, which gives us a chance to slow down and play something where the rules don’t change every few seconds.
Biscuit is your biggest fan. He adores you so much – he always wants to play with you, and you are generally really good about including him in some way or another. Whenever we go to the park I usually see him tagging along after you, and I can hear you calling for him to “come this way!” or to “follow me!” And, like all siblings, there are times when you just don’t see eye to eye, but I get it. I have a brother too.
In September we started you back to preschool 2 days a week. It was a rough transition – you had been home with me and your brother everyday for over a year, and you were not happy to be away from us. It took a long time, but you made some wonderful friends who made school fun for you. The switch to your new school after our most recent move went pretty well, and you’ve got a new best friend that you look forward to seeing. We have definitely noticed that preschool has been wonderful for you. Your social skills have greatly improved, you have really learned how to play by yourself, and you are very interested in learning how to read. It is also becoming apparent that you are a natural leader.
These improved social skills are apparent at home, too. We have real conversations about how our day went, what you like and want to do, and how things are made/work/fit together. You have a pretty extensive vocabulary, which gets put to great use between all the questions and conversations. Best of all, your sense of humor has gotten bigger as you have learned to pick up on some really important things, like sarcasm. Occasionally you decide to tell us a joke, but they usually don’t make a whole lot of sense.
So let’s see what things played a big role in your life this year:
Books – the Disney Princess Collections and your big book of fairy tales.
Food – Mac and cheese, jambalaya, pasta carbonara – you still aren’t picky about most foods, except that you just aren’t a fan of fruit. But you’ll eat almost any vegetable.
Movies/TV – Frozen (We watched this so much that you actually managed to get tired of it for awhile. We don’t watch it so much anymore, but you still insist on being called Elsa much of the time), Tangled, and Cinderella. Not surprisingly, you really enjoy the show Sophia the First (about a princess), but also Daniel Tiger, Paw Patrol, and Wallykazam.
Toys – Douglas, of course, continues to claim the biggest part of your heart. But also dolls! You have all these Disney princess dolls that you adore and play with each and every quiet time. They’re always naked (what is it with little girls and taking off doll clothes?). Any puppy toy is immediately cherished, and lately Andre has become your snuggling companion during quiet time.
Activities – drawing and painting, playing with Play-doh, swimming, playing with the water table, any sort of pretend play. Recently we have started taking you on Daddy/Coco or Mama/Coco dates, to do things like see a movie or get some ice cream. We all really cherish these times together.
Having you around has made the last 4 years terrific, and we look forward to all the years we have ahead. You are a wonderful and special girl, and I love every little part of you!
P.S. Please forgive how late this letter was. I actually wrote it right before your birthday, but the pictures were on your Daddy’s computer, and he really needed it to study for his board exams. I’m sure you’ll understand.