Anna June is one terrific kid. When her uncle Patrick mentioned to me that my blog often focuses on her negatives rather than her positives, I knew he was right. Anyone who spends time with her knows she is awesome, but she tends to act differently around us; for some reason, I feel compelled to give you a clearer picture.
I met an Avondale mom who works part-time at UAB. When she found out that I work full-time, she said,"That's so hard!" And I said, "Thank you for saying that!" Sometimes just getting that acknowledgement feels nice. Maybe that's why I write this blog - to validate my life choices and say, "Hey, it's hard as crap, but it's also wonderful and rewarding and we're making it, so thanks for your support."
As I tap this out, phone on silent,
AJ is asleep on the floor next to our bed. Here's one of those parenting mistakes I love to write about myself: routine is VERY important to AJ and when I mess with it, I pay every time. AJ was very tired after Nana's birthday party and she didn't get stories or a bath, but went straight to bed. I couldn't convince her to go potty. I let her go to bed anyway, and at 3 AM, she woke me up to tell me she was going to the bathroom. Then, she was too scared to go back to sleep, so she ended up making herself a pallet on the floor. An hour later, everyone else is sleeping peacefully, but I am wide awake. At least my blogging will be done so I can get straight to work once I get there.
Anyway, here are ten great things about AJ I can think of right now:
1. She has grown 2.5 inches in the past year. She's tall, y'all. This is a great thing. As I kick her steps tools around our bathrooms, I think she'll be done with these soon and will likely not need similar aids when she's an adult.. I was explaining what the P is for on a size label of my sweater and was glad she'll never have to shop in the petite section!
2. She is well-liked by the kids at school. Her teacher called to answer some questions for me the other day and told me that the other kids invite AJ to play on the playground all the time, and she gets along well with them. She's still shy about asking other kids to play, but has been doing better this week. Mrs. D told her that it must be her haircut - getting her hair out of her eyes let her see the other kids and gave her confidence!
3. She loves to dress up. We think she'll be a ghost for Halloween, but she will sometimes take her uniform off and end up in full princess costume in time for dinner. Note to self: look up how to get root beer stain out of taffeta.
4. She is a great conversationalist. She loves to talk. If we're not talking to her, she'll talk to the dog, her baby dolls, or herself. I'm sure there are lots of times at school she must be quiet, so this helps her put ideas together and get it all out. I try not to shush her too much.
5. She is very observant! She notices the tiniest bug or slightest smell. She likes the way peppermint extract smells, we discovered this week.
6. When she makes her bed, everything must be Just So. It is adorable.
7. She asked to wear her uniform on non-school days. This is also sweet. I think it goes back to routine and how she's overwhelmed by her choices, but still I'm glad to know she doesn't hate them.
8. She and her friends are learning their addresses. She asked me if I knew what street her friend lived on. As it happened, I did. "She lives on Bienville Lane," I said. "Yeah," AJ said, "That means 'happy place'" I thought that was cute, and also if she ever gets lost and can't remember our street, at least they could take her to Bienville and someone would know her.
9. Speaking of safety, AJ has memorized our cell numbers. I am relieved in a way, as I was when she learned to spell her name. If she starts texting me from class, though, we'll have a problem. :)
10. AJ earned 2 "Gotcha" tickets in after school care by being obedient. The teachers pass these out when they catch the children being really good or doing exceptional work. AJ evidently gets them all the time, and she doesn't usually tell us about them. Apparently, there's a "Gotcha Store" that opens a few times per year and the kids can cash in their tickets for cool stuff. But for K, the teachers let them choose an item from the teacher's treasure box when they reach a certain number for more instant gratification. I keep forgetting to ask what 4k does, but I am sure it is similar. I'm glad AJ earns then frequently, and it shows me our strategy of expecting good behavior, as our parents did, seems to be working.
This is about all I can write for right now on my phone. I hope this gives you a better picture of our sweet, intelligent, beautiful, and quite loved little girl. We love you all. And when my alarm goes off in 45 minutes, I'll try to remember there's a sleeping 4 year old on the floor, and throwing the clock would be a bad idea.
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