Today, this one turns five:
In celebration of her fifth birthday, I'd like to share five things about Anya I think everyone should know:
1) She is kind. Really, and truly, genuinely kind. Nearly every parent at Anya's preschool tells me that she treats other children with respect and gentleness. She is always willing to help a child who needs it, and as most of the kids in her class don't speak English as a first language, many of them look to her to understand the classroom routine. She willingly shares her toys and treats, even with Daniel.
2) She can read. This started about a month ago, and it's actual reading, as in sounding out words. I don't for a minute think this makes her better than other kids (Daniel didn't read before kindergarten, after all), but I am amazed by her tenacity, her willingness to stick through a whole story.
3) She loves Clifford, the Big Red Dog. Looooooves. Clifforrrrrrrd. For evidence, see above picture, in which she is wearing the frayed remains of her beloved Clifford t-shirt, which has seen more trips through the laundry than any other piece of clothing in our house, and this includes the hiking socks I bought 12 years ago when Stuart and I moved to Madison. Her birthday present from us was a big stuffed plus Clifford. Said toy is her new best friend and accompanied her to preschool this afternoon.
4) She can spell a few words. She often expresses herself through spelling. Ask her a "yes" or "no" question and she'll answer either through sign language (which she remembers from when Daniel brought it home from school last year - his KG teacher used ASL quite a bit) or by saying the letters "Y-E-S" or "N-O". She can also spell "poop," "butt," "pee," and "fart," courtesy of her big brother. S
5) She detests pink princess dresses. I think my mom believes this is due to my influence (I'm not the fancy, frilly, feminine sort), but I chalk it up to her individuality and independence. Even at this young age, Anya rejects the notion that all girls love pink and Disney and all that (much like young Riley in this video I found the other day), and I am proud that she isn't afraid to say so. Now, she is also rather sensitive about this matter, so she might dissolve into tears if you offer her a cupcake with pink frosting (yes, this actually happened, good Lord, it was a CUPCAKE) and refuse to wear any article of clothing with so much as a speck of pink on it, but hey. That's my girl.
I feel like I can't post today without at least mentioning the absolute horror from Newtown, CT today. It's unfathomable. After the carnage in Colorado this past July and the mall shootings earlier this month, how much more evidence do we need that a ban on assault weapons is necessary? My heart is heavy with sadness and anger.