S at 5 years old

“My daughter turned 5, and I didn’t take a single picture.”
That’s the thought that immediately occurred to me Monday morning, the day after her birthday, 2 days after her birthday party. Oh well. I’ll take pictures of her soon.

Five years. Man, that went fast.
Well, since I didn’t take any pictures of her, here’s a verbal snapshot of my daughter at age 5:

She’s lippy. Getting in trouble lately for talking back. “Why should I!?” “You don’t have to, so I don’t have to.” screaming “YES MA’AM!!” When she’s in trouble, and knows “Yes Ma’am” is the only right answer.

She’s stubborn. Her decisions are more important than ours, unless we get all punishy on her. Arguing about bedtime, not staying in bed, not being quiet in bed, not cleaning up, sneaking into things she knows better about… We get all that. The explanation is usually a lame excuse given in a pretty impressive, very matter-of-fact tone.

She’s creative. She and her brother play games together. Creative, imaginative games with rules, and changes to rules, and cooperation. All dolls have names: hers have life goals, free will, fears… and sometimes diseases.

She’s helpful. Sometimes. They were both covered in blue marker Wednedsay night (“It’s bacteria. We have to wash it off”). J hates getting his hair washed, but she assured him she could do it better than I could, and he let her wash his hair. No tears, no fuss. Just trust. She did a good job, too.

She’s beautiful. Her hair isn’t fire-engine red like mine, but people keep calling hers red. It’s beautiful, long or short. She has adorable blue eyes.

She’s clever. I can’t fool her anymore – she can tell when I’m kidding or trying to pull one over on her.

She’s independent and fearless. We tell her not to talk to strangers. So she introduces herself to anybody she meets. Then they’re not a stranger. She wanders into the neighbors’ yards to talk to adults as if she’s on their level. Doesn’t matter if they’re entertaining guests, lighting their grill, etc. The whole world is her own private backyard. This part frightens me a bit… she’ll talk to anybody. Even complete strangers, while in another part of the country, who have a weird look in their eye. We can’t seem to train her out of this.

She’s a drama queen. Don’t give her what she wants and she’ll pitch a fit. Not as bad as J, so I’m sure she’ll continue growing out of it, but she can cry on command, and then she’ll get very angry if you don’t take her seriously.

She’s strong. I don’t mean Hercules strong, I mean emotionally, and mentally tough. She gets discouraged when she can’t do something herself, and that’ll get some tears and yelling, pouting and stamping her feet… but calm her down and show her how to do it, and she learns fast, then teaches her brother. She hates when she can’t do something herself, or her own way… but she learns fast. She’s started making good decisions with money too… I have P to thank for that.

She’s an adult in her own mind. The other day I raised my voice to J for disobeying me. S waited until I was done and said, “Daddy, you were just arguing with a 3 year old. That’s not good.” She must’ve seen the red glow in my eyes – she left quickly. That day we calmly voiced a new rule: Don’t get involved when somebody else is being punished. To which she said,

Ok. I think that’s a good idea. What does ‘involved’ mean? (From the same girl who told me the marker on her skin was “bacteria”)

P is convinced that little J is possibly smarter than S at the same age… I think it’s just the benefit of example and competition. I saw it in my own brothers and sisters… they picked up on things I did. But we’ll see where he’s at in 2 years and know for sure.