Monday, June 11, 2007

Last Day of School

Last Thursday was Padyn's last day of preschool for the year. When she woke up that morning and I told her it was the last day she said, "YEAH!" She has no idea what that actually means, and I know she'll be asking me in two weeks when she gets to go to school. Or college. Lately she's been telling me that she's going to college. Tomorrow. And spending the night there. I think she's watched the "Steve Goes to College" episode on Blue's Clues one too many times.

A lot has changed since last September for Lil' Miss Padyn. This skirt she's wearing in the First Day of School Photo? That no longer fits. Nor do those shoes. And the sweatshirt...well, it would fit if it hadn't been lost at school. With her big girl haircut, pigtails don't really work anymore. Besides, she looks more grown up with a headband. Not that it stays in her hair very long.

The Last Day of School
What else can I say about Padyn and this year of growth? Well, she no longer wears a diaper during her nap and her nighttime diaper is dry 9 out of 10 mornings. That's a HUGE accomplishment. Her vocabulary and clarity of pronunciation has improved tremendously over the year. Now the only time I really don't understand what she is saying is when she is making up a new word. That happens quite often. The new word usually rhymes with a known word. Rhyming, especially nonsense words, is very popular in our house right now. She has a pretty good understanding (for a 3 year old) of who God and Jesus is, and she can pretty much preach the gospel to you. That rocks. Totally worth that tuition money.

Her eating habits haven't exactly broadened, but you can usually convince her to at least try something new. But even then, she sticks to a simple and consistent meal plan. Peanut butter toast is her favorite breakfast, turkey cheese and crackers is fine for lunch EVERY DAY and dinner can be almost anything as long as it involves yogurt and carrots, preferably with hummus.

Some changes over the year haven't been as welcomed as others. We seem to have entered a phase of tantrum throwing. I find it amazing that she continues to throw these full-out tantrums even though they NEVER get her what she wants, and usually they get her even less than what she is hoping for. And I mean tantrum. On the ground, screaming at the top of her lungs, thrashing about TANTRUM. It usually ends with me carrying her up to her room (trying to avoid being kicked) where she kicks, yells and screams on her bed until I go in and convince her that life would be better if she cut it out. (Various methods work for that...I won't go into them now.)

She uses the word "scared" more than before she started school and she refuses to watch most children's movies because they are loud and scary. Not that I'm complaining about her disinterest in most television, but I'm just getting tired of the same Blue's Clues, Berenstein Bears and Leap Frog videos. While most of her friends are branching out into movies like Cars and The Incredibles, Padyn is happy with her "shows" on PBS. Again, not complaining, just finding it interesting.

While she loves her sister, Padyn has entered a bossy, bratty stage with her, also. I know that this "stage" will be never ending, so I've been trying to find a balance of letting the natural flow of "Big Sister verses Little Sister" occur without ganging up on the big sister and always coddling the little one. I'm trying to find new ways to say, "You are not the Mommy," and "It's ok for Kate to do that. Leave her alone!" This weekend I picked up, "You are not in charge," from a friend of mine. I think I'll try that one for a while and see if it works. Padyn's constantly swiping toys away from Kate, yelling at her to stop doing something, or tackling her to keep her from crawling somewhere. I'm getting tired of repeating the same instructions over and over again, and I'm especially tired of hearing 'why" come out of her normally sweet little mouth. Do you know how many times I've said, "Because I said so," over the last month? I don't either, because it's so automatic now, I don't even notice.

One thing that I was hoping would change this year with school that really hasn't. Padyn is still a pretty shy, introverted kid when she doesn't know people, when she's in a large group (even of people she knows) , and even when she is with a small group of friends. She just gets uncomfortable and there really isn't much I can do to help her. I've had a problem with her turning away from people that say hello to her, even people she knows, so we've been working on acknowledging people's greetings. I tell her that she has to either say hello back or wave, but turning and scowling is not an ok option. I understand she isn't comfortable and isn't outgoing, but still...I don't want the rude, sullen child.

Oh, something else that hasn't change this year? When she doesn't want to take a picture with her teacher, you really are not going to convince her to look happy. I understand being unsure on the first day of school to take a picture with this new person, but the last day of school? Give me a break. And believe me...the last day picture? That's the better of the two I took.

First picture with Mrs. D.

Last picture with Mrs. D.

Still, I love my Padyn Baby. Despite the tantrums, the bossiness, and the scowling, she's a sweet sweet gentle-natured girl who I know will be a loving, responsible adult one day. I love watching her grow up. I just don't want it to happen so fast.


Rochelle said...

I have to laugh - Brandon is so simliar to Padyn it's scary. I'm so sick of the save DVD's or Tivo'd shows, but branching out isn't an option. Food - breakfast is a Trader Joe's cereal bar. That store doesn't exist here, and we're running out of our stock. Should be interesting. And the bossiness? Not limited to sisters. I'll have to remember "I'm in charge." I have a feeling I'll be using it a lot. One big change I've noticed since moving here. Poor Brandon is so starved for friends that he becomes instant buddies with anyone he meets at a park, school, church, etc. I love it, but I'm so not use to it!

Brand New Momma said...

Wow! She seems so much older in your pic comparisons. Wish we lived closer- makes me sad to miss all the growing up.

Erin said...

Tantrums...they're much worse now that she's older, I bet. Callie never threw bad tantrums until now, when she can carry on for HOURS, literally.