Monday, July 12, 2010

Little Abbey Update

According to my archives, it has been six months since I last did an update on my daughter. Since then she has turned four and thinks she rules the roost. I don't expect that will change over the next 14 years. For now I still have a mental edge over her but we'll see how long that lasts.

I must say that by far, this is my favorite stage in her life so far and for once, I don't wish for something more. When she was born, I couldn't wait for her to crawl so that she didn't constantly need held. Then it was walking so that she didn't need help over insurmountable obstacles. Then it was talking so I could understand what she wanted. Then it was to mature a bit so I didn't constantly have to entertain her ever second of the day. But now, she is just right. She can talk and we can have entire conversations albeit on a simple level. She still wants to be around the action and still wants daddy to play with her but she can entertain herself for periods of time and not need constant monitoring in all situations. She says something that melts my heart on a daily basis and I am still the center of her world though she spends more time away from home (school, daycare, other activities) than with me at home, at least in an awake state. It is perfect and she could stay like that for the foreseeable future and I wouldn't mind, at least until I retire from the 9 to 5 gig. In another year, she will be starting kindergarten and though she is ready, I'm not sure I am ready. Perhaps soon after, dear old dad won't be cool out in public anymore and playing with dad after school will be traded for texting friends, hanging out in the bedroom listening to music I don't understand at too loud of a level, and all the other things teens do. But for now, she is still young, innocent and naive to the world which still revolves around me. She can do much by herself but prefers to do so in my company. It is my favorite stage.

This stage might not have been my favorite had I not quickly learned to harness the power of competitiveness. Evidently, four-year-old kids start becoming competitive amongst each other which is evident at any social event with more than one four year old. The air is full of "look at what I can do." I quickly used that mental edge mentioned above to gain the advantage. If she doesn't want to dress herself I will say lets race to see who gets dressed the fastest. If she doesn't want to go somewhere I will say lets race to see who gets their shoes on and out to the car the fastest. If she doesn't want to go to bed I will say, lets see who can get upstairs and start brushing our teeth the fastest. It works every time... for now. Sooner or later she will wisen up and I will lose a little bit of my mental edge but for now, I'm taking advantage of it.

I've lost a lot of ground on the food front and most of that is probably due to daycare. She won't eat when we are eating mostly because she is holding out for something she would prefer better. She knows that unless it is a weekend, she just has to hold out to daycare and then she can load up there. Mrs. Z at the daycare feeds her lots of fruit and vegetables but also a lot of baked french fries, chicken nuggets, fish sticks and those sorts of things that young kids seem to love. I have got her hooked on quesedillas which I fill with vegetables and other better for you foods which helps a bit but I've a lot of ground to make up. But she looks healthy and is growing like a weed so I guess I'm not too worried yet.

I'm not sure I ever mentioned this previously but when she was in preschool, she spent quite a bit of time bringing up Anthony. It was always Anthony this and Anthony that. So during our field trip to ride on Amtrak which I wrote about here, we were waiting in line to board and I struck up a conversation with the parent/kid combo beside me. When I inquired "and who is this" while looking at her child who looks like a mixed race child just like Little Abbey, she told me he was Anthony. I mentioned that my daughter talks all the time about Anthony which surprised the parent. She said when people talk to her about Anthony, it is usually about something bad he has done. Great I thought. My daughter is already hanging out with the trouble makers. Flash forward now to summer break and I finally got around to developing the film from one of those disposable cameras that we sent with her to school with her name on it. While looking at the pictures, she was pointing to the kids and naming each of them for my benefit. I asked her if she had a crush on Anthony when his picture came up. No she said, Anthony just lets me play with him. I feel a little bit better now... slightly.


R. Sherman said...

It's nice your daughter can be friends with anyone. Perhaps, that's what he needs to turn into a "good" kid.


Ed said...

R. Sherman - For the most part, she is still a social butterfly but I don't mind that. A kid that is friendly with strangers would just worry me even more.

Bone said...

Man, it just seems like with kids, every day is a new day.

I don't think I had my first crush until I was like 10. 4th thru 7th grade, same girl.

Also, I'm now craving fish sticks.

geri said...

You had many lines in this entry that touched me - like this age is your favorite age and how you didn't wish for something more, how it is still cool to play be with your parent, how she says something to melt your heart everyday. It is how I feel about Evan being 4. I am genuinely scared of the day when he'd feel he's outgrown his parents but that's how life goes.

Evan doesn't say it and probably not even aware of it but I can see that he's really into the opposite sex now. He just gravitates towards blond, slim 8 year old girls and tries to do stuff to impress them, oh boy lol

Ron said...

I thought four was a great age for all the same reasons as you. I was a bit apprehensive as she kept getting older, but I have to say that every year since then has been my favorite.



Three Score and Ten or more said...

With my six kids, four was a favortie age because the child was no longer TWO, which was not my favorite age. When my oldest was four, I was the waterfront director for a Boy Scout Camp. The main waterfront was a lake, but we also had a naturally heated pool. (which was also where we had washing machines). My son was watching me fill the washer when I heard a splash, looked up and saw that he was in the pool, casually swimming under water. With a father's panic I rushed in to rescue him only to have him say "What's wrong dad? You let your boy scouts swim in the pool" I spent the next hour teaching him that one could raise the head above water even if you were not at the end of the pool. (I didn't take him with me to do the washing again, but his mother did/

Ed said...

Bone - I'm not sure I even knew what a girl was until sixth grade. I hope my daughter is a late bloomer like me.

Geri - The feeling is mutual whenever I read one of your blogs on Evan.

Ron - I hope you are right. Still, I hopes she grows slowly from now on.

3 Score - I am hyper paranoid when it comes to my daughter around water. Every year or two, another kid in town drowns and it is always when the parent is gone or not paying attention for a few seconds. I won't rest easy until she knows how to swim.

malor said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm glad that I could use your blog as a reference. I'm also happy to know that I'm not the only one who cannot wait 'til my baby crawl and or walk. ha.ha. I cannot wait for 4.

Murf said...

The only thing missing with this story is a photo of the back of her head or of her feet. You should repost with a picture. ;-)

Vince said...

That swimming thing is near on as much a requirement as learning to cross the road. Two things that need drilling well beyond the point of knowing into the realm of instinct. And much like teaching her how to drive a motorcar, best left to professionals.

Ed said...

Malor - Geri's blog has been my reference for many years since Evan is a month older than my daughter. It's nice to have another person to refer to.

Murf - I merely just trying to prevent her from hating me in the future due to having her pictured plastered all over the internet. I don't want my picture posted on the internet either.

Vince - Swimming will be a requirement. I'm hoping perhaps next summer to start on that path.

TC said...

She sounds like a delight :)

Beau said...

She sounds so nice and friendly. Enough to keep a Dad thinking I'm sure. Nice that you're just enjoying the present with her, and her age. I can't believe how fast time has gone with our son.

Murf said...

A blog isn't 'plastering' and I was talking about the back of her head like you normally do, not the front.

She will hate you for many more things anyway. :-)

Three Score and Ten or more said...

After that first one, my kids learned to swim at the same time they learned to walk. (convenient to be a Red Cross sanctioned teacher). My youngest son was a competitor in the "six and under" category for the state swim meet before his fourth birthday.