Jun 25, 2015

An Open Letter to London on her 5th Birthday

June 25, 2015

Dear London,

Just like last year, this letter is a little late. As predicted, life is busier each passing year as you and Sydney grow. 

To say you are ready to be 5 and all that comes with it is an understatement. The countdown is on to your first day of Kindergarten...54 days! We toured the school you will attend, Pleasant Grove Elementary School the day we left for Disneyland back in early October. You were able to go with us and loved the playground. You still remember that visit and seem excited for your new school. And the bus ride you will get to take daily to get there. You're dad and I are anticipating an adjustment period once school starts, since it will be a new place with new people. You went through it when we moved from Rancho Cordova to where we are now. 

Luckily, a bit of change is already happening that I think will help ease you into Kindergarten and the changes that it will bring. For one, your Transitional Kindergarten class at daycare has ended so you're back with many of your friends that you made while in the Friendly Frogs class. But some friends have since left daycare permanently or for the summer and may not return before you leave. 

Some of these lost friendships we are not sad to see go. While we have been proud in your choices and ability to stand up to friends making bad choices, at the same time we are glad they are gone and you will soon get to make new friends that will last a long time. One example is when a friend told you to kick the tree but you said no. You didn't want to hurt the tree. Recently we even received a call from the daycare saying that you were having an exceptionally good day, being a good helper and making smart choices. Then a few days later you came home with a note stating that you had had good manners at lunch. This was your actual birthday week, so we let you pick out what you wanted for dinner on the actual day with a special treat as well - you chose pineapple and mushroom pizza as well as a cinnamon wheel from Papa Murphy's. Plus, we took cupcakes into school so you could celebrate with your friends that day.

You're also ready for kindergarten on an intellectual level. You love learning. You have your ABCs down, both upper and lower case. You can count to 39 without any help. And you have learned several sight words over the last few months including: she, he, the, I, a, we, me. And you finished up speech the week before your birthday. You've come a long way in understanding the differences in how you may mispronounce a word and how it is actually pronounced, plus you work to get it right the next time as well.

We held a two-part party for your birthday this year. The morning of the party day was spent at Funderland for you and your friends. This has been a favorite place of yours since attending Eliza's birthday party there last year. You love rides, especially the dragon there. And it was a great stepping stone to the rides at Disneyland. You're a thrill seeker, given your love and enthusiasm for Splash Mountain. The dark thrill rides there, for now, you could do without. I'm sure the day you love Tower of Terror or Matterhorn are not far away. And you keep asking how long before you can ride California Screamin' in California Adventure. At last measurement, which was a week or so ago, you had 3 inches to go. I see a visit to Disneyland in our future early next year when you likely will have hit that height. Once you know you are tall enough, you will be begging us constantly to go, I expect. You already ask to go back to Disneyland at least monthly. You'll have to settle for Disney's Aulani hawaiian resort in December. 

We're working on strengthening your swimming skills in anticipation of that trip. You've already completed 2 rounds of swim lessons this summer and start your 3rd round on Monday. I'm debating whether we end the summer with a week of private lessons. And I know your dad and I need to work with you more in between lessons and throughout the summer to keep your ability up. The biggest issue you have with swimming is a lack of bouncy. You sink for lack of an ounce of fat on your body. And you're not as sure of yourself and your ability in the pool. We're working on your confidence, especially when you are floating on your back. You're so sure we or your instructors are going to drop you and let you sink to the bottom of the pool. While I'm glad you have a healthy fear of the water, we are doing our best to assure you that as long as we are with you, you are safe and that you can do some of it on your own. I know you'll get better at it as time and practice set in. 

This spring you decided you didn't want to play soccer on Wednesdays at school. While I was sad to see this end so soon, I'm glad you recognized you didn't like it and spoke up. Sydney took your spot and is loving it. Once you get into school we'll look into gymnastics or ballet for you, as you have expressed an interest in these activities.

I am happy to report that you are nap free these days, at least on the weekends. Rarely do you need one when you are with us. Quiet time is necessary, whether you zone out in front of the TV for an hour or play quietly, alone in your room. I know you will soon be transitioning to no nap time at daycare as well. 

You also no longer need pullups at bed time and haven't for several months. You don't quite like not being able to have a glass of water right before bed but you understand why. And we make sure to give you a warning on when the water drinking cut-off is coming each night. For the most part you head to bed between 7:30 and 8 PM. But you've inherited my doddling ability, trying to find any and every excuse to get out of bed and delay sleep. But, you also have me for a mother who knows every trick in the book. You have gotten a lot better. You know you can only get up once to go potty. If you get up any more than that you loose the dog. You rotate between Tulley and Gibson each night, although you have been happy to have Gibson a little more now that Sydney is asking for Tulley. And one night recently, you let Gibson out, saying you were brave enough not to have him. I think he was keeping you up and you were actually tired and wanting to sleep. He has a hard time settling down sometimes.

You're an amazing big sister Sydney and play well together most of the time. You're very good at allowing Sydney to have her way, most of the time as well. She's getting the hang of sharing but still needs help here and there. You are still learning that if you ask nicely you tend to get what you want, over whining. And you do need your space and quiet time from Sydney at times as well. You especially enjoy when that alone time coincides with a visit up to Grammi's for some 1 on 1 time with her. And you've discovered that when it's Sydney's turn, being home with mom or dad for 1 on 1 time isn't so bad either. 

This next year is going to be so exciting for you and I can't wait to see the little person you are becoming develop even more. 

We love you. 


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