Lately, I have looked at my "little" girl that will be turning five exactly a month from today, and I ask myself..."what happened?"
The past few months, Mary has really grown up in a lot of ways. She is in a "do it yourself" phase, and it involves everything. Truly.
Mary frequently gets Sam ready for bed. We don't ask her to do this, she just does it. She gets his clothes off, puts them in the dirty clothes. Gets his night time diaper on him. Puts his p.j.'s on him, and sometimes she even puts toothpaste on his toothbrush for him. ha!
She can actually clean her room. She organizes all of her toys, hangs up her clothes, and even sorts things by type or color. It is not the normal, put stuff in the closet or under the bed. She truly cleans her room to the point where I don't have to do any "touch-ups." It is great.
We took the training wheels off her bike the other day, to teach her how to ride her bike. Last night, she wanted them back on. Ben and I were busy, so we told her to wait. An hour later, we went to the garage. Mary was out there with the tool box, and the tools. She had literally screwed her training wheels on all by herself. It was amazing.
We took her skiing for the first time this season. She rode the chair lift for the first time and did great. Ben was so excited. I took a picture of it, but I guess the camera or my fingers were too frozen by that point.
When JoJo was here, there was a day I was not home when they came back from gymnastics. Jolene said that Mary set the table, got out the peanut butter, jelly and bread and made lunch all by herself. Crazy! She has done this SEVERAL times since then.
Getting out lunch items.
Making hot cocoa "almost" by herself. We have to draw the line when there is boiling water involved.
(above) Today's lunch set up and made by Mary.
She is really into art right now, but she wants no help. She has come up with some very creative projects. I love the ones where she spells stuff without help. I don't have the heart to correct her yet. It is just too cute.
She is now doing her own hair. The ponytail is her favorite, which is just fine with me, because I don't have to battle her anymore about me pulling too tight.
She gets her own snack out while I am laying Sam down for his nap. Sometimes this means dragging the stool over to the pantry, climbing the shelves and then getting the food she needs. She will then put her own DVD in for quiet time, make her own little bed, and settle down until I can get back to her.
She is really into playing "store." This weekend, after helping at a craft botique, we came home, and Mary set up her own Lemonade stand. She made the Lemonade herself and the signs. It cracked me up.
My favorite part are the signs. She writes it exactly as you say it.
She teaches Sam all sorts of tricks. Today, it was how to slurp your long spaghetti noodles. She has also taught him the splits, how to do a bridge, how to get his socks off, and how to open the sliding door. She is also in the process of teaching him how to get in and out of his carseat himself.
She gets herself dressed everyday, and spends a good amount of time "accessorizing" at her "Diva Corner" in her room. I must say, she can match like none other. I was not that way as a child, and I LOVE the fact that Mary has such a great balance of being girly, sporty, fun and dirty and pretty.
While grocery shopping, Mary makes her own list before hand (of things she knows I will "happen to forget") and she brings it to the store with us. She usually gets the produce for me, and makes sure I never forget to put money in the red bucked outside by the bell man.
Lately, she is very into how the car works. I honestly think, if she was tall enough, she would know enough to be able to drive.
She tells Ben and I if we don't match, or if our shirts aren't "cute."
She has asked me several times if she can help feed, change and rock the baby when it comes. I believe she really will do all of these things too. My answer is always..."you bet!" And yes, she has now learned that the baby does not come out the belly button. It is much earlier than I wanted her to know, but she would not let it go. I pray that she doesn't start asking about Santa in too much detail.
When JoJo was here, we had a really warm week. Jolene was planning on it being a lot more cold, so she only brought a few t-shirts. She ended up having to wear the same shirt two days in a row. I didn't notice at all, but I guess that afternoon, Mary walked into her room where JoJo was, and without looking up, or really even talking to anyone in particular, she sighed and said to herself in a matter-of-fact kind of way "same shirt," and continued on her way.
I still can't think about that without laughing my brains out.
This last Sunday was the primary program. Mary knew her part forward, backward and inside out, but that isn't what mattered to me. I just hoped that she would be able to stand there and actually talk.
She surprised us all by standing tall, looking at us, and saying her part (with some help due to stage fright). I was a very proud parent at that moment. That is a BIG DEAL for Mary. She can be so shy in public and she HATES attention (I wonder where she got that from). She did a great job.
She has been in a gymnastics class with 5-6yr olds since August. The coach was very worried about "maturity" level and Mary being able to jive with the older girls. I just talked to the coach today about Mary's progress, and they are very pleased with Mary's ability to get along with and keep up with the other girls. I am very proud of her. There have been some tears shed because of the difficulty of the class, but no tears about not getting along with the other girls. In fact, they have a blast out there talking, giggling and comparing nail polish and earrings (and working their buns off). No one notices or talks about the age gap. She still loves the sport, and comes out grinning every day. She has been a good team-mate and friend.
I could go on and on and on about all of her do-it herself things she has been doing, but I guess my point is that my little girl is a not so little girl anymore. It is bitter/sweet to me. There are a lot of perks to it all, but it also makes me a little sad.
It is giving me hope that there will actually be a time in our lives, where the kids will be able to fend for themselves, and I will be able to focus on other things about them aside from the physical non-stop tending to and caring for. It will be so wonderful.
At the same time, I am also beginning to feel the pain of not having a rewind button.
Like I said...bitter/sweet.
I am so glad she still loves to snuggle with me at night, and she still has a her little chubby hand for me to hold.
I don't care what anyone says if girls or boys are harder, more emotional,less emotional, better, worse, smarter, slower,blah blah blah. Oh, that is so annoying. I have one of each, and I love them just the same. And their differences are what make them so special. People are constantly asking me which gender is easier and what gender I am hoping for. I will be perfectly content with either gender, because I love both the same. Each gender has special perks and sweet blessings that come with them.
I love my little girl with all of my heart and she is my precious little buddy forever. I am glad I have such a fun little helper by my side. Why, oh why do they have to keep growing?