There is so much that has happened in the last year. I am sitting here at DST +1 (the day after day light savings time) and thinking the morning looks too early, and it makes me reflect back. I think of the planting last year - it was later than this - but it seems almost that time again. I think of how much Esme has developed in that time - and it seems like just yesterday and a whole other world at the same time. She still shoves toys in her socks, but not as often.
In the past year she has gained a lot of technical skills, and independence. She can mostly put on her own coat, do the buttons on them, and put on and take off her own shoes without any trouble. She loves her school backpack, and going to school with the kids and the 'ladies.' She can get a cup, fill it 3/4 of the way with cold water, get the gallon juice out of the fridge, open it - pour it into her cup, put the screw cap back on, put the juice away and bring the cup upstairs with very little spillage. When she spills she cleans it up with a paper towel, and tells us about it later. I can now rely on her to really put her own dishes away after a meal, hang up her coat on a hook and put her shoes away, get almost everything ready for her bath at night except for that back zipper on her dress which I still have to help her with. And all of her dirty clothes end up in the hamper or directly in the laundry room. Yet, her toys are all over my desk and her desk and pretty much everywhere ;) She can write her name pretty well, still has trouble with making the 'S'.
She still mixes up the gender of he/she, trying to use the opposite one to the one she was just talking about, to indicate the 'other'. Example: She was talking about her elephant doll 'Elly' and I asked if Elly did something - the toy pointed at her and said 'no, he did.' 'He?' I asked. 'Yes, Esme.' the elephant replied. I am certain that was a pure case of opposite to indicate the other - even though she knows for certain 'she' is a girl if you ask her. Her toys talk more now, too - and reply to her using her name with back and forth conversations. That is somewhat new. 'Here you go Scooby Doo. 'Thank you Esme.'' etc. and so forth. She was trying to tell Daddy something was 'locked' in his game after she saw an indicator for a key needed on a door he had passed. He really hadn't noticed it - as he was running somewhere else and the door was long gone while she still tried to make us hear the word. It sounded like 'rock' or 'dark' - finally she said 'It is like - UNGH can't open this (with gesture of pulling on a door handle). *locked*.' Then we understood her. I was impressed she found another way to say the word to help us understand. That is going to be very helpful for her. She will still say something like 'How can you look at me' to mean 'How do I look?' when standing in front of me with her coat and hat on. She has a fondness for both her Sherlock hat and ball caps. She thinks hats protect you outside in the rain - and if it is raining really hard, a jacket would help. I might have to get her an umbrella this year of her own.
Her pretend involves magic spells, octopuses, crocodiles, cooking, 'writing', doctor, building and fixing things, tea set, sports type games, ghosts and much more. She ran in scared from playing outside the other day, shut the door really fast and leaned against it. 'I saw a ghostses!' 'YOINKS!' and she ran away into the stairwell. Daddy and I just looked at her 'dust' in the air and shook our heads. A minute later she was back and said there was no ghost, no.... we don't like ghosts.
She is a back seat driver when it comes to games on our computers - who can take the controls and walk around the game quite well when she wants to. But, she says she is still 'too little' when there is something scary in the game. She is quite scared of some things, like zombies, and bones, and bugs - when she starts talking about them I am amazed at the complexity of her descriptions, especially some of the 'wrong' ideas she has about what makes you bones etc... And then she will refuse to talk any more about it to 'get it straight' because she starts to scare herself silly with the conversation itself. I know she is 'seeing' the pictures in her head - and the more she talks about it the more scary and real it seems even though it is imaginary. She has her Mama's brain on that one - the 'seeing memories/imaginary pictures as if it is here' talent/curse. She really watches things everywhere - and we have to be more careful about what she sees now as she is putting them all together into large nightmares and sometimes daymares. And other times her talent of observation is simply too keen on the fact we can't put anything away from her (she finds it - even if it takes a chair to see it) and she remembers things she saw in stores and gets 'ideas' of what we could do with this or that etc... As I was walking down the stairs with her yesterday she says to me: (not exact) 'Oh good Mama, you have money in your pockets. I can put those in the (gumball) machine please?' She could hear the coins in my pocket moving as I walked -- that one is scary. Her 'I have an idea!' or 'I want to talk to you about something' discussions are interesting, indeed.
She tucks me in when I have to go to bed early and she is staying up to watch a movie or watch Daddy play a game. She can run so fast outside that she wears the puppy out on a simple jog up and down the hilltop. She is very interested in nature - growing things, how she grows, the beating of hearts and the ideas of 'how everything works.' We have read her Dr.Seuss body book and she comes up with good ideas of how other things work - and I am often amazed to hear her 'expanded logic' on why she thinks things are the way they are. There is a brain in there - and it is working and trying to connect everything.
She is understanding time more, as well. I hear the 'ten minutes, fifteen minutes' and such often, although I am not sure she knows them as well as she thinks. She knows the sun comes back after the night - and that often will get her to go to sleep at night. She says she loves the sun, and it chases away the brown bears who live in the night. She is still worried about the brown bears and I am glad - because she can open the door to the outside now and there is a lot more than brown bears out in our woods that could find her! (coyotes and more). In our Minecraft game she will run inside a house when it is dark or raining outside, and if it is dark she will find a bed to sleep in to 'make the sun come back and be morningtime.' She will find torches and put them around her outside if she cannot find a house - and sit in the middle of the torches and 'be safe.' Those are her own ideas from watching us play the game. She also tells us not to use the wrong tools to do something (like a pair of sheep shears to dig - mom, use the pickaxe or the shovel, not the sheeps!) even though they technically will work. She sees octopuses in the water and nearly hides under the desk.
Last night I heard her belly grumble and roil several hours after she had eaten. She heard it and asked me what it was. I told her the food inside was processing - and she of course gave me 'the eyebrows.' The food was processing getting ready to be made into all the things that help her grow. 'I grow?' she asked, very interested in this prospect. 'Yes, tonight your food will help you grow, just a little bit, maybe this much.' (indicate a centimeter) If you keep growing I will need to make you more pants AGAIN!' 'No Mom, you made pants yesterday.' HAHA. Yes, I did. And I made them just an inch TOO long to roll up so there was room for you to grow some more. I was impressed by her use of the word 'yesterday' and it was correct. The day before I had made her a pair of planet and stars pants.
She also had her playmobil people out all lined up in front of a 'cooking pot' and was pretending to cook. She picked up each person and shook them on top of the pot - saying 'You are peppers.' She went all down the line with them doing this - and it was a good ten minutes before I realized she was playing an episode of Fraggles - where Gobo and Moki are pretending to be salt and pepper shakers and the Mama Gorg picks them up and shakes them. When I connected it and asked her if she was making goomba soup like the Mama Gorg she got all red in the face, denied it - No I am an ESME not a Gorg! - and found another game. *ha* But - she was back playing that game again within the hour, as long as I wasn't watching ;)