Thursday, May 17, 2012

Four and a half years old

I have not 'updated' for real in a good while. Esme is officially four and a half. She has made a lot of progress in the past few months, especially in her communication. She still points at some things instead of talking about them -ie: pretzels the other day at a store she did not want to be told 'no' about but wanted me to see... but she will tell me she does NOT like things, does not want things, does want things, and sometimes just spouts off huge plans for things she wants to do - or retellings of things that happened days, weeks, months and even years ago. That can be difficult - finding out 'when' she is talking about , past, future, potential...? And I just nod and try to figure out what it is she is saying - and have a very decent conversation with her. She tells me emotions more - happy, sad, mad - and sometimes she tells me I am not looking happy, be happy, does this make you happy? etc. She will tell me things do not make her happy - like going to bed.. and it is not 'sweet' and not 'nice' for her. Her PT is 'good' almost all of the time, a few accidents here and there mostly when she has been sleeping or we are out in town and she does not know how to ask and we have not yet offered an opportunity for her to say yes or no.

Her logic skills are excellent - she puts things together that we would not expect her to understand and when she is focused on something (like my Sims game or the process of buying things etc..) she makes large leaps in understanding that make us very surprised. She makes up her own theories for why we do things, why things are in games or movies and they are pretty interesting. Her making a moat in the game to protect her Sim characters from the monsters (vampire characters who walk around like they are going to bite someone) was an eyebrow-raiser.

And sometimes she knows things or terms for things we don't know where it is coming from. ie: the 'sleeping time bed shoes' for the blue terrycloth slippers she saw in the store which were not at all in her sizes. She told me last night she still needed them 'for to grow sleeping time bed shoes' when I presented her with a handmade night shirt that was too big 'because I left room for you to grow'. She thinks (and I have encouraged the thought) that sleeping helps her to grow and she will be 'bigger and stronger - way strong' when she wakes up in the morning. I have tried to press the idea that it happens in little bits, not all at once. She was scared once she would wake up a giant *haha* but that was a while back.

We went to buy a goat the other day at a farm and paid money for it. She paid a lot of attention to that - and Daddy pulling the money from his wallet and giving it to the farmer. We were quite embarrassed parents, because the first goat actually got out of the fence and ran away. She wanted us to go buy more goats. We had a long discussion about how we get money, and when it is gone we can't buy things and that Mama goes to work for them to send money to our mailbox every once in a while. She decided after that work was 'good' and started ushering me to the car and telling me it was good I go to work and bye bye and don't get eaten by brown bears and come back home when I was done etc. For several days she did not bug me about going to get another goat - just going to work.

And then one night she asks me to ride to walmart in the truck, use it to buy more goats. I told her we still didn't have the money for it. She decided maybe I should sew goats on the sewing machine. A 'pillow' goat (stuffed) won't run away - they would be like toys - and that is a good idea? Wow. So, I did sew her a goat toy - which she likes and calls a bambi. She told Daddy (I was not here) that she did not want to buy a goat it was like money in the potty go away. Wow - again. **Mama take a breath and then try to sort that one out with her**. Then - after we had bought a new real goat she told me that it had sharp things on its head and she did not like that - goat with sharp things on head was as good as money in garbage, not to the man at the farm, money in garbage for her, because she was scared of the sharp things. She has decided she does like the goat - she is nice, but her sharp things (horns) are not...and she has spent days I swear 'learning to speak goat' following her around and 'I'm just talking to her and watching the goat.' As a benefit, the goat is eating poison ivy out on a stake by the garden while Esme plays in her sandbox and with other toys.

She told me the other day that she was fighting brown bears with her flashlight and she goes KICK and they run away but not eat her foot. And she said that the brown bears had to go away, go outside, find a lady bear to love and be happy, do not eat us. Then she said she was going on her bicycle with her 'lady Esme' to be happy. Had to shake my head at that one... If she is asked if she is a little girl she will often say she is an Esme, and yes, a little girl, four years old.

She had her last day of school the other day and was sad that Miss Candace told her they would not come back for a long time. She said all the kids were sad and cried about not playing with the toys and the toys were Miss Candace's and had to stay there. She told me the playground equipment broke and they had to fix it - so they watched a movie, wchich was Scooby Doo, and it was the one with the green man ghost who walked like a Frankenstein (flat head arms at side, walk rocking side to side very slowly then arms out). She said she told the other children to not be scared the ghost would not eat them.

I have to say - the school has helped her a lot. Miss Candace also told us that she tried to help another boy come when he was called - but she misidentified who they were calling. She was trying to herd a boy they were not calling to the teachers until they told her she had the wrong child. As we were leading her out of the school Mark and I noted to each other that she was taller than everyone - even the boys, and was the calmest quietest one in the entire group - observant and paying attention to the adults for cues while other children were crying or running around or being told by the aides to sit still. Esme was tugging on my sleeve to point at the tater tots they were serving in the lunchroom, and trying to find a way to tell me she wanted those - not a french fry, when we went to our lunch. She knows we sometimes call those 'french fry' as well - and wanted me to be certain to see 'which' french fry she was wanting badly. I guess I had better differentiating more, because she is absorbing more and wants to call things properly now. She goes back to the school eight times in June/July for a special summer session. She started the year late but they have taught her a lot of social things, getting along, how to interact with people who are not Mom and Dad and just exposed her to a lot of different personalities, dialects and words she would not have gotten at home.

Physically, she is still very strong. She is 43 inches tall and only about 40 lbs, but can drag things that are nearly as heavy as she is. She can turn on the hot and cold water in the tub and kitchen sink now, and turn them off. She thinks that is a big thing. She is trying to learn to turn on the hydrant outside to fill the dog and goat's water dishes out in the yard. She tells me she is a big strong girl about lots of things - and wants to help with everything she can. She says that Daddy is strong he takes her to school driving the car, and Mama is strong, she goes to work to buy things at the walmart and to help people with (mime straightening boxes and giving them to people) boxes and she is strong, too. She still cries about getting her hair washed but cooperates a lot more - I am not fighting a tornado anymore to get it done.

She understands 'right' and 'left' more - and some more about time than she used to. She still does not understand the difference between 'earlier' and 'yesterday' - but we are working on it. 'Later' and 'Tomorrow' are sometimes hard for her, she just knows that means 'not now but forward from now' and sometimes has more trouble with it than others. She has a better idea of medicine and doctors than she did before - and plays doctor to check our hearts and ask us if we feel good. She asked me if we were buying her medicine, or if the goat makes medicine, or if she is all better now she doesn't need medicine. She plays in the dirt a LOT, and builds hills and covers up toys, pretends she is cooking with ingredients and throws dirt everywhere. She can do that for up to fifteen minutes or an hour without a break .... Mama gets tired of it long before. Her imagination is vast - but has themes and requirements for playing the game right that Mama doesn't always agree with. She likes to play some games 'exact' and repeats how she did it before - sometimes I have to press her to play a new way, but then she feels better about it and gets very creative. She still does not answer questions very well but acts like she didn't process it..wasn't paying attention etc. When she does understand the question she makes a good attempt to answer it. She can tell people things that have happened recently, but if they don't understand the first time she will not often repeat it.

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