Friday, January 6, 2012

My big four-year-old

So, I realized that it has been almost a month since Leesi's birthday and I still haven't written about her at age four.

My sweet girl is still Mommy's big helper. She loves helping me cook, and is at the point where she can actually be helpful. She often makes sandwiches for her and Jonathan's lunch (mostly pb&j, but sometimes tuna). She loves pouring her own cereal and milk in the morning. The other day she started to get upset because Jonathan got to help with the dishes and I told her that she couldn't. She settled down when I told her that she could help me later. And then she relished the opportunity to wash the mirrors and dust with me. I know this helpfulness will probably end all to soon, but for now it's nice... most of the time.

She loves to read books (which I also love, so we're a good combo). Some of her favorites are Berenstain Bears, and Little Critter.

She is quite good at riding her tricycle, and is just now moving up to a big girl bike with training wheels (she got it for her birthday). She likes riding the big bike, but she's fallen off of it a couple of times, which has made her a little leery of it too. So sometimes she switches back to the trike.

She is still quite shy and mostly won't talk to people that she doesn't know well, and often won't talk to people that she does know well. Someone in our care group described her as "cold" and I have to agree, she has a look that can wither even the friendliest of adults. I've started doing role-playing to help her get used to the idea of talking to people she knows. I'll say, "You be so-and-so and I'll be Leesi, and you say hi to me." etc. I think it may be helping a little. It's definitely something we're going to be working on this year. Mainly I just want her to at least acknowledge people she knows with a "hi" or even just a smile.

But of course she is not cold all the time (or even most of the time). She loves her little friends, and can be quite loud with them. She plays and giggles with Jonathan all the time. They are the best of little buddies, and I'm hopeful that their friendship will continue as they grow up. She loves her daddy. The other day, after Daddy was being particularly silly, she announced, "Boys are funny, girls aren't funny." Which of course, is a statement about our family and made me laugh so hard, it still makes me smile to myself when I think about it. Even still, she is a Mommy's girl and often demands, "I want Mommy to do it!"

She LOVES doing art projects. If I had to pick one activity that she chooses to do more than anything else, it would be this... art projects. She is quite prolific and when she runs out of room in designated art displaying areas, she'll take it upon herself to find the scotch tape and begin taping them up in random places around the house. Some of her artwork is quite... how shall I call it... original. Art can be pieces of crumpled up tinfoil, dirt and water smeared onto paper and then folded and folded again, pieces of paper cut apart and then taped back together in different configurations, or scraps of paper with one or two lines drawn on them. No one could accuse her of being stuck in a box when it comes to her artwork. She is a master of "mixed media."

She knows her own mind and has her own opinions. She still chooses her own outfits everyday, but I feel like the outfits are getting a little less outlandish. Or maybe I'm just getting used to them. I don't know.

She can be a little bossy with her family, "Now Mommy you go there, and Jonathan you sit here." But she acquiesses fairly quickly to her friends.

She regularly asks, "Why?" and the other day told me, "Mommy, don't ask why so much!"

She also has a keen ear for information. You can't get much past this girl anymore. When she hears some little tidbit that she finds of interest, it's like her little ears perk up. "What?" she asks.

She still has a rest time each day, though she never sleeps anymore. But she needs the alone time (and I do too - we're both introverts). During her rest time I'll hear little conversations she makes up between her dolls or stuffed animals. My favorite is when I hear the calm Mommy voice saying, "You need to share." or the chipper Mommy voice saying, "Can you clean up your toys? Time to clean up!"

She is usually fairly obedient, and has now finally gotten past the frequent meltdowns and tantrums (thank the Lord!). For the most part she is cooperative, and easy and fun to be around. Of course, she still has her meltdowns, but they are fewer and farther between these days. I had so many people tell me that age three is harder than two... which I think is true in some ways, but not completely. And I am hoping that these past few months are a herald of what is coming at age four.

My precious Elisa Marie, I love you to pieces. You bring so much joy to our family, and I can't wait to see all that you are going to be!


Denee said...

Happy birthday, Elisa! (I have to say that it's comforting to hear other moms who have had a tough time w/ age 3. With Henri, it has been SO MUCH HARDER than age 2!! Some days I think, "You can't be like this for your whole growing up, can you?" I feel like each and every request & command is met with a 3-year-old alternative or twist. JUST GO TO THE BATHROOM!! YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE CONTROL OVER EVERYTHING! Anyway, it's encouraging to hear that there might be light at the end of the tunnel. :)

linde said...

This was so fun to read! It's amazing how much she has grown and changed into a little person over the years! Funny thing, I was thinking about doing a belated "happy birthday" post for Sydney yesterday but never got around to've motivated me :) Happy belated birthday Elisa!!

Christa Forsythe said...

What precious thoughts! It is sure fun discovering who your kids are... isn't it?! She sounds like such a neat little girl... I wish Ethan could play with her!

Wanda said...

Lovely Mommy, great party & very happy kids.
Cold is not a word I would ever discribe Elisa.
Very loving,but shy.
She thinks,ponders & is very bright, can't believe she is 4.