Standing in the hall waiting for preschool to finish up, I got to reading a bulletin board full of pictures. Each picture was a blank space with the words "I am thankful for" printed at the bottom followed by a blank. As I surmised from some of the four year old pictures, they were supposed to draw what they were thankful for and then tell the teacher who wrote it into the provided space. As I went through the rows, kids were thankful for flowers, dogs, batman, fruit, etc. Out of the entire board of 30 kids, one however caught my attention. The picture was an indecipherable scribble but written in the space behind "I am thankful for" were the words "Mom and Dad". It was only then that I noticed that written in the upper right corner was the artist's name and my heart completely melted when I saw Little Abbey's name there. I think I'm going to laminate that one.
A while back I sought the advice of my readers on what gift I should get for my daughter for Christmas. I ended up buying the train set and after a bit of searching and not finding anything that I liked that wasn't horribly expensive, I decided to just build my daughter a dollhouse. Back in the first couple weeks of November I took a few half days of vacation when it was nice out and got started, getting the carcass almost built. Due to a busy schedule I haven't gotten any further than that but hopefully before Christmas, I can get some more time in on it. I'm not even hoping to finish it before Christmas because one of the reasons I decided on this project was that it was one that we all could work on as the year goes by. Building furniture, accessorizing it, adding siding, shingles, curtains, etc. Little Abbey has already spotted it and has been playing with just the carcass and forever asking me when I'm going to finish the door, which it doesn't yet have. My plan is to take some pictures as I progress and put them in a future post.
The age of why has officially begun in earnest. I always said that when it happened, I would fully explain things to my daughter and not be one of those other parents who tiredly say, "It's just because," or "I don't know," or something along those lines. I think I broke that rule almost immediately. I still take time to answer the first few why's of a series but eventually she is just asking why to hear me talk. I know though that no matter how disinterested she seems she is absorbing what I say like a dry sponge. I am still blown away on a daily basis by something she said that I didn't think was in her faculties to say quite yet. But like dreams, I seem to lose exactly what those revelations were almost as quickly as they came to me.
It hasn't yet been the age of getting over the shyness yet. Perhaps that is a feminine quality as most of those boys her age would walk off with a stranger if given the chance. When in a setting with strange kids such as a playground, she kind of stays to herself off by the side doing her own thing. Eventually if another little girl her age is doing the same thing, she will kind of gravitate closer and soon they will be doing it together but with never a spoken word. I've heard others say that their name is so and so and ask hers only to get complete silence. I guess she is like her dad socially as I too often like to be off to the side in social situations and just listen. Just recently back from a trip to see Grandma and Grandpa where she spent three hours without hardly saying a word, she gets into the car and the first thing she said to me was, "Daddy, I was shy."
Despite her shyness, her boundaries are expanding and she doesn't always have to be in the same room or near me at all times. She will go up and play in her bedroom for an hour at times before I check up on her or she checks up on me. It has allowed me to get some jobs done that I normally wouldn't have been able to do such as plant some garlic in the garden for next year or work on a garage project for a brief period of time while she watched cartoons or one of her movies. But I still don't let her go very long without checking on her or I might end up with a television doused liberally in Shout Stain Remover. (It almost looks like a new television now!)