Sunday, October 19, 2014

Now We Are Six

Dear Jude,

You've been six for almost two months now, but better late than never, right?  Where to begin....  At this age, you are a READER.  Over the summer, you finished the library's summer reading challenge in July, and then lost your scorecard and had to start again from the beginning.  Unfortunately, you only got prizes for the first time through, but that didn't seem to dissuade you.  You were pretty excited to finish the second round and finally pick up your t-shirt from the library.

Every night before bed, you read to yourself until you get sleepy, using a little reading light attached to your bed.  For a while you would read the same books over and over again (mostly Star Wars or Clone Wars) but now you're mostly working on chapter books.  Some of your favorites so far are the Beverly Cleary books, like Ramona the Pest and Henry Huggins, and the Zita the Spacegirl series (thanks, EMM!).  You also love to read aloud to others.  Earlier this week, your school had a late start, so you went to preschool with your sister and read Silly Sally out loud to the class.  Everyone loved that!

This fall, you have been part of a soccer team.  This is your first team sports experience, and I think it's good for you.  You love to play defense, but you also have a strong kick.  Your signature move is kicking the ball over the heads of the other kids and into the goal on the other end of the field.  You've also been playing soccer at lunchtime with your friends.  Swimming continues to be one of your favorite activities; we swam almost every day this past summer.

You are very tall and strong for your age.  We took you in to see Dr. Jack last week, and you are 51 inches tall, which is the 99.8th percentile for your age.  You grew three inches in the past year and gained four pounds.  Dr. Jack said that you are about average height (50th percentile) for an eight-year old.  You're wearing size 7-8 clothes and size 4 shoes!  Your BMI has dropped down to the 60th percentile after hovering in the 90s for a while.  I guess you are growing up rather than out!

You have many interests, like Legos, Star Wars, Angry Birds, My Little Pony, and Minecraft.  Many of these things are associated with iPad time, which we've had to limit because you would spend hours and hours playing iPad games if we let you.  I have a policy that I only download free apps on my iPad, so you've learned to start every request with "Mom, it's free...".  On that note, we have started giving you and Ada a weekly allowance.  You are definitely a saver and put most of your money in the bank, although you have a weakness for spending a dollar here and there buying resource packs for your iPad games.  You always do a cost/benefit analysis, though.  If you could earn as much just by playing the game within a short period of time, you'll decide it's not worth the money, but if it would take you days or weeks, you'll often try to convince us to let you buy the gold or jewels or whatever.

You and your sister Ada love to play together, and she is finally old enough to play most of the games that you like.  You also fight a lot, but I think I'd be more worried if you didn't fight!  After years of letting you win every game and every race, Ada is starting to resist the "little sister" role.  It's good for her, but hard for you because you are very competitive.  You love to play "school" with Ada where you are the teacher and she is the kindergartner.  You practice writing, math, have story time, and have snack time.  When asked what you want to be when you grow up, your answer is always the same: "A teacher and a Dad".

When you were younger, we often struggled with your behavior and our reactions to it.  At this age, you seem so mature and reasonable.  You do like to get a little too close to other people at times, invading their personal space.  This is mostly a problem for Ada, who is really bothered by it.  You know exactly how to push her buttons, and you find it hard to stop yourself at times (ok, a lot of the time).  Her usual reaction to your button-pushing is to scream, so we hear a lot of screaming in our house these days.  You also have a LOT of energy and need to have some hard physical activity each day or you start to bounce off the walls.  Soccer, swimming, and work around the house help with this.

We love you so much. and we can't wait to see how you grow and change in the years ahead.  We are so proud of our first-grader.


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