Our girl turned five a few weeks ago.
She is a fun, smart, imaginative, emotional 5-year-old.
Carly is fun. She is a good player, if that is a thing. She likes to ride bikes while singing (loudly). She likes to adventure on our backyard terraces. She likes to listen to stories. She likes to tackle and giggle with daddy. She likes to be silly. It is my favorite whens she laughs so hard she throws her head back and snorts. Carly is smart. She is a realist and a thinker, almost to a fault. I was telling her about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and we watched the first cartoon episode from the 80s. She was asking so many questions. "When they turned into turtle-humans, did they already know how to talk or did they have to learn how to talk?" What?! I don't know! Chris's sister is expecting her first baby, and when she was visiting Carly asked, "Did you want a baby? Because babies are a lot of hard work, you know." (That is her mother coming out of her. haha). Carly is imaginative. She makes up a lot of games and scenarios as she plays with John and Quinn. It is amazing to watch her organize them and get them to play right along with her. She teaches them a lot through play. Often she'll come to me and spell out a complex imaginary situation and I can't even keep track. Carly is emotional. She has been easily upset and easily spooked lately. Her poor primary teachers were giving a lesson on obedience and told a story about kids playing with matches and Carly ended up in tears. We had to have a long talk about matches and fire. Similar things seem to be happening a lot. She has always been an emotional being, but the fear is a new one (we're familiar with impatience and hyperactivity!). I'm hoping it is a phase that passes quickly or it will be an interesting Halloween.
As she always has been, Carly is a really amazing big sister. John and Quinn are becoming such kids, and it is so fun to watching them be friends and play so much together. They make each other laugh and make each other crazy. Carly has a real soft spot for Quinn. They are sweet sisters. She and John have amazingly similar personalities, and that is why there is a real love/hate relationship there; they play hard and fight hard. But Carly loves her babies, and they most certainly adore her.
Carly's birthday was 3 days after our arrival in Pullman. We pulled together a little party, and luckily her grandparents were on top of presents. She wanted a "Elsa-y and Wonder Woman-y" birthday cake. I came across a "blue velvet" cake at the store that I knew would be a hit, topped it with yellow and red candles and blue and gold sprinkles and somehow it fit the bill. The night before her birthday the house was filled with boxes. I decided to clear it out so we could have a nice day, and moved everything in to the spare bedroom. I was setting up her Elsa and Wonder Woman balloons when I realized a tragedy: the Birthday Clown was in a box, and I had no idea which one. I felt so sad, probably more sad than I should have. Chris helped me reason though which box it might be in. I took a guess . . . the first box I opened, and there he was. It was a birthday miracle! I'm so glad he didn't miss it. She woke up the morning of her birthday and saw everything set out and said "Thank you! It is just like I wanted!" She's easy to please.
We finally got around to the annual birthday interview the other night. Carly at 5:
What is your favorite color? "Blue, purple, and silver."
What is your favorite toy? "Honey." (Her stuffed puppy from Grandma.)
What is your favorite fruit? "Strawberries."
What is your favorite show? Movie: "Frozen" TV: "Jake and the Neverland Pirates"
What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? "Peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich."
Favorite outfit: "Blue dresses." (She has a collection.)
What is your favorite game? "UNO. And my Frozen game."
What is your favorite snack/treat? "Chocolate . . . chocolate rice krispies with fudge inside!" (Girl after my own heart.)
What is your favorite animal? "Baby seal."
What is your favorite song? "Let It Go." Church song? "The Golden Plates."
Who is your best friend? "Carlyn."
What is your favorite book? "My Wonder Woman book. And Frozen seek and find."
What is your favorite cereal? "Cinnamon Chex."
What is your favorite thing to do outside? "Color chalk and ride bikes."
What is your favorite drink? "Root beer!"
What is your favorite holiday? "Christmas because Jesus gets born." (Sweet girl.)
What do you like to sleep with? "Honey."
What is your favorite breakfast? "Cinnamon Chex." (Girl still loves Cinnamon Chex!)
What do you want to be when you grow up? "A scientist that discovers animals and finds real live cheetahs."
What is your favorite thing to do? "Get chocolate at the chocolate store."
What is your favorite time of year? "Summer because its my birthday."
Favorite part of the day: "School time."
If you could go anywhere in the world: "Carlyn's new house." (Her friend from Michigan who moved away too.)
If you had one wish: "Making snow and ice with Elsa!"
Favorite thing about being 4: "Playing with Carlyn in preschool and going home in her van."
Thing you are most looking forward to about being 5: "Going to school and meeting new friends."
|Carly's first day of school. J and Q REALLY thought they were going to school too. They were so sad.|
You heard the girl, she is excited to go to school and make new friends. So here's a story: We registered Carly for Kindergarten the last possible day before schools closed in Pullman. Having an August baby is the pits, as she seemed too old to wait, but too young to start. I felt like she was ready in so many ways, but the thought of how young she'd be, now and the rest of her life, was gnawing at me. I was asking everyone under the sun if they waited or went, and I came to a frustrating realization: it totally depends on the kid, and Carly would most likely do great whether I sent her or held her. How are you supposed to make a decision with information like that? I became increasingly unsettled as the summer passed by, and upon our arrival in Pullman I decided to explore our options. I went to tour a Montessori school and really loved it. The class is a mixed age class, from 3 to 6. They teach each child individually from where they are, rather that teaching the class as a whole, and the kids have the chance to teach younger kids and learn from older ones. This would cater to Carly, who excels is many areas but perhaps needed fine-tuning in others. Montessori also teaches a lot of real-life skills, and stresses interdisciplinary and self-guided learning. Don't get me wrong, I'm a public school girl, and Pullman has amazing public schools that Carly will begin attending next year. I just really liked the idea of Carly having this learning experience.
But there was one over-riding feeling, the feeling I couldn't let go of: she's only a kid once. Why send her off when I have the chance to hold on for another year? Kindergarten here is half-day, which is great, but then comes first grade. And it doesn't stop. I just wanted her home more. I wanted to have an extra year of her childhood. Its not because I didn't want her to grow up, but because I honestly feel the very best place she can be right now in her life is at home. We put Carly on the waiting list for the Montessori school. We were 10 days out from the first day of school, and she was fourth on the list. I had just about ruled out Kindergarten, so we started seriously discussing a schedule that would allow me to homeschool her a few hours a day. Thankfully, we found out she got a spot in the school on Thursday, met her teacher on Friday, and started school Monday. She goes half-day, 5 days a week. It was a whirlwind, but I'm grateful we are giving her an extra year. I'm not saying its the best choice for everyone, but I feel really at peace that it was the best choice for her.
So far she is doing great. Montessori has some quirky things about it that she has to get used to, but she has already met a list of girls around her age and is happy. Today I heard her singing a song of the days of the week while she played. Her first day of school was also Chris's first day as a professor. He was looking pretty gorgeous in his professor clothes. I'd take a class from him any day. After Carly's school we met Chris on campus and got Ferdinand's ice cream (from the WSU Dairy). They have a huckleberry ice cream that is to die for (and that is saying something, because chocolate runs in my veins). I think we might just make that a back-to-school tradition.
I love Carly. I mean, I just really love the heck out of her.
She is just a really great kid, and I'm so grateful to be her mom.
What a blessed 5 years it has been with her in our family.
She's our Carly, full of life with a heart of gold.