Syd is 4 and turning into more into a girl every day. Even in her pictures she looks so grown up. All that baby-fat is gone. She impresses me every day with her intelligence, inquisitiveness and kindness.
I think my favorite thing about this past year was watching her learn to play independently. I find her putting puzzles together, coloring or just goofing off with her princess figurines. She prances around the house carting her princesses and ponies from one room to the other mumbling enchanted tales to herself. I have no idea what those princesses are up to but they can be quite busy some days.
Sydney LOVES to write. She will sit at the kitchen table and write her name, and everyone’s name in the family. Sometimes I have to write it out for her to copy but she can ramble off all our names and spell them correctly (letters being the correct direction aside). Although she has always enjoyed drawing pictures of the family I noticed recently some of her stick figures are starting to get clothes and sometimes even designs on their clothes made with different colors. Her princesses that she draws are getting more elaborate with crowns and longer gowns. It has been fun to see her drawing progress. For her birthday each kid in her class drew her a picture and some were quite good (lots of rainbows and stick figures with a few random kids who still scribble scrable), but Syd’s was definitely the best. She must be channeling some of her mothers artistic doodling capabilities. Her teachers say she loves to draw and write at school. We come home with a LOT of paper each day.
Syd is still rather shy. It takes her a while to warm up to a room and a situation. I can tell immediately when she doesn’t feel comfortable as she crooks her head to the side and mumbles into her shoulder. As a relatively assertive woman this kinda drives me batty especially when she can’t even return simple a simple “hello” or a “thank you” when someone compliments her. Even basic social etiquette tends to fail her and I get a bit jealous when kids younger than her confidently approach me for something and bound away with an assertive “thank you Miss Julie!”. This combined with her relatively sensitive and dower emotions have always been a challenge for me. I’m reading up a bit on emotional intelligence in kids so I can better understand how to deal with some of this as my current coping mechanism doesn’t usually work well if at all.
Thankfully she goes along with the crowd pretty easily. She happily participates in ballet class (and I don’t have to anymore!! 45 mins of blissful time to knit!) and does as the teacher says but clams up if the teacher asks her a specific question. And although the first few minutes of any encounter can be quietly painful til she gets her bearings, she almost always warms up to the situation and then we can barely drag her away.
She still loves to read, and will flip through books on her own. We have moved on to a few chapter books recently which have been fun to read. She gets a little antsy when there are not many pictures so I really have to drum up the entertainment factor with the voice-overs which can be hard when you are bone-tired at 8 PM. She is girly and loves princesses and My Little Pony but also loves using her Mega Blocks to build them towers and other structures.
At her 4-year visit (which was on December 4th) Syd was 33 lbs (31%) and 40 inches (52%). Since her 3-year stats update she has gained 5 lbs and grew 3.5 inches. Her wardrobe still mostly is made up of dresses and leggings. She doesn’t fit well in pants even when they are cinched up in the waist. And I was recently told that “dresses are prettier than pants”…so there you have it.