These updates are getting challenging. I remember Sparky’s growing much harder to write around this point, as well. There aren’t as dramatic leaps forward as there were earlier; it’s like everything is just a bit more developed or precise than it was last month.
We spent Easter weekend in southern Ontario with my parents, and visited the RBG while we were there. They were hosting an exhibition on frogs, and the kids were enthralled.
We walked through the permanent collections after seeing the frogs. The greenhouse room between the main building and the collection building was full of spring flowers. Walking in, the scent quite literally hit you like a physical blow. It was warm, spring-damp, and gloriously colourful. I wanted to stay and just drink in the smells. Owlet wanted to pet all the flowers, and was sad to leave that room.
But then we took her to the wee indoor koi pond, so it was all right again.
After our stroll through the collection, we saw that there were people with kids gathering for a presentation, so we sat down with them and were treated to an interesting talk on local flora and fauna. Talking about the frogs led into the host showing two snakes and talking about respecting the participants in the local ecosystem. After he was done, he invited the kids to make a line to come up and touch the snake, with the idea that if they actually experienced one firsthand, they wouldn’t have misconceptions about them and hopefully perpetuate that respect beyond the RBG doors. Sparky and Owlet were right there in line, and Sparky was fantastic, helping Owlet hold her fingers out and stroke the snake. It was pretty special.
Owlet has given up her naps at home. We don’t even try on weekends any more; we just set her up with craft stuff and she works quietly for an hour or so. She’s down to forty-five minutes at preschool, too, and only because her educators run them ragged!
I bought her a new pair of size 10 canvas shoes to use as indoor shoes at school this spring, but she’s taken to wearing them at home. She calls them her coronation shoes, and it took us a while to figure out that she meant carnation shoes, because they have flowers on them. She also has new rain boots, which have ladybugs on them. They clash with her spring coat, but we don’t care. She’s really lengthened out; a couple of her dresses are definitely tunics now. We’re into size 5 in most brands now.
Her current favourite books are the Henry and Mudge series and Madeline books. She doesn’t have a favourite movie at the moment; she’s happy to watch anything and everything. She does tend to suggest Miyazaki films first, but we have a house rule that if the sibling absolutely does not want to watch whatever has been suggested, they can say no and have to propose something in return that the sibling agrees on. Negotiations can drag on until they both agree.
There’s been a recent language upgrade; everything is more precise and stories are more involved and complex. Her artwork is refining, too; she’s still very into coating an entire page with colour, but now she draws things with circles and dots and says they’re actual things, not just abstract shapes. We started a pen pal exchange with the other July 2011 kids from my online mums group, and she had loads of fun chopping up bits of card stock and gluing them onto a butterfly shape.
And she dictated her penpal letter to me, then signed her name. Now, I talked her through how to make the letters, but this is the first time she’s ever shown interest in actually printing out her name. She did an amazing job!
She and Sparky are really good at playing together. She’s starting to stand up to him and codirect the play, and he’s starting to allow her instead of ploughing right over her like he was doing a few months ago. A couple of weeks ago they were working on a Secret Project downstairs, and when they brought it up to show us they were so proud of it. It’s a family portrait in Lego, and we really love it.
(Sparky and I have owls, HRH is holding a drill, and Owlet has flowers.) I’m so happy that they worked on it together, making artistic decisions and allowing one another those decisions. The Owlet minifig has black hair, for example; that Sparky didn’t insist on blonde hair is quite impressive, because he’s a perfectionist. Owlet’s capriciousness is teaching him to let go a bit.