I’m Just A Girl

Is there anything better than lying in the middle of your four-year-old daughter’s bedroom, watching her play, reading blogs online, and listening to Tori Amos? I can’t think of a place I’d rather be than right here, doing just that.

These past few weeks have been amazing watching Chloe grow up – literally.

First of all, she now actually has a bedroom instead of a toyroom, one that she actually sleeps in – by herself.  Goodness, I thought I was going to have a heart attack that first night.  I survived, and so did she.  Now it’s becoming old hat to her.  The transition from our bed to her own was natural.  We had very little trouble, and it wasn’t anything like I’d imagined.  Everyone had always told me that we’re going to have such a tough time because she’s “too attached.”  In fact, it’s been the exact opposite.  I think I’ve had a harder time of it than she ever did.  I do think that one of the things that helped, especially considering she’s been part of a family bed for her four years of life, was talking about it so much.  She knew what was going on and she was excited about it.  She was ready when we took that leap and that made all the difference in the world.

Four years of having a family bed.  If you would have told me five years ago that this would be me I would have laughed at you.  I know that the family bed/cosleeping doesn’t have a very high marks as the right thing to do with your children.  After four years I know a few things – namely, I would never take that decision back.  We formed a relationship that was very strong and part of it was the family bed.  The closeness Chloe shared with us gave her a confidence in us that is so strong and something that I’m so proud of.  I also know this – it’s not for everyone.  I also think that it differs not only by family but by person, whether that be parent or child.  We couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t something that Chloe needed and wanted, or something that myself AND my husband needed and wanted.

Chloe is reading.  I know.  I’m just as blown away.  She had been reading random words, but she’s using her ability to sounds letters out to read whole sentences now.  She is having a pretty big intellectual boom right now.  The only thing about reading a book she knows is that she has to stop herself from just reciting it from memory instead of actually looking at the words and reading them.  However, she is enjoying reading everything, and I do mean everything.  She’s reading signs outside, words on the tv, books, my computer, everything that her little eyes can see. Math is another boom she’s having right now.  She’s starting addition, with one-digit numbers.  She’s starting to get subtraction, but it’s not coming to her as quick as the addition.  She’s getting very good at adding her numbers. What I can’t wait for is when she’s devouring whole books.

She’s enjoying school.  I hope this continues.  I’m a little worried about changing her school next fall as I really do love this school (the teachers and kids are all great), but I *think* I’ve found a school on the other side of town that will be decent until we move out of California.

Top on her list of priorities lately is figuring out the world around her.  We have a children’s body encyclopedia that she can not get enough of; normally I let her name a part of the body and we turn to that page and talk about it.  She likes to tell us what isn’t real.  The other day she had asked to go to a restaurant that we couldn’t go to at the moment so my husband told her that the restaurant was sleeping – it’s worked before.  Not long after she started to cry and said that a restaurant doesn’t sleep because it doesn’t have eyes.  She wasn’t too happy about that lie.  This morning she told me, while watching a cartoon, that birds don’t talk, and if a bird ever did talk to her it would scare her.  One of the books that I love is called Children from Australia to Zimbabwe.  It takes a few countries and describes what life is like for children in that country.  It helps her make sense of her world and gives her a broader worldview.

I know that I used to think that she would always be my baby.  No, not anymore, she is definitely my little girl now.

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6 responses to “I’m Just A Girl

  1. I love that time when the reading really kicks in. It is soooo amazing to watch that huge leap and the excitement they feel as they realize they are getting it all figured out. Yay Chloe!

  2. She sounds like such a fun girl, and obviously a smart cookie. I love hearing about how you’ve co-slept all this time, Delaney is mostly co-sleeping with me and nobody in my day-to-day life gets it at all. I’ll have times where I think it’s time to force the issue and get her in her crib, but then I realize the biggest reason I think that is that “I’m supposed to” which isn’t good enough! Maybe if she were a good sleeper I’d do it, but whenever I’ve tried it only makes things worse, and goodness knows I don’t need that! So, really is great for me to read about how well it’s worked for you – since Chloe obviously is a great kid!

  3. So sweet to hear about her growing and learning. I hope her thirst for learning continues. I can’t wait until I hit that point with my kids that you’re talking about. I’m just excited now that Ava actually can name all the numbers and letters. Baby steps..

  4. awww what a beautiful post! She is so curious and driven, huh? I love your thoughts on the family bed. That was my experience too. I had a much harder time with all four of my kids sleeping alone than any one of them did. They all transitioned so easily and naturally it was just never a big deal (for them! ha). It took me about a week to get used to it, though. I still hate being so far away from my kids (they are upstairs, our master is down) especially when they are sick or there are storms so sometimes I’ll have them camp out in the livingroom or in our room anyway – for my peace of mind 🙂

  5. Oh, so sweet. It is just so amazing to see things click for a child, watch them literally learn to read and do math right in front of you. Love that thing about the birds! LOL.

  6. What a sweet post. Chloe sounds like an amazing girl…and super smart. I wish very much that Mattix could sleep with us. He just can’t do it. We tried pretty hard, but it didn’t work. I was just telling my mom the other day that I really would like for him to sleep in our bed. I’m not sure why I’m complaining, though, because at least he’s sleeping! I don’t understand why people say things like that – that she’s too attached. Maybe we’re just more sensitive or educated (I’m not sure what world I’m looking for) because of adoption and attachment. Hmmm. Anyway, I think you’re raising a wonderfully bright little girl.

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