My little V has grown and changed so much this year. I looked back at the past three years’ birthday posts and it was like looking through time. She just shot up during the past year and left the baby years behind her.
And her personality has evolved this year. She started the school year making new friends, and to be perfectly honest, not being very kind to her old friend. There was a LOT of drama with the new group even though they’re all sweet girls. Just issues with navigating growing up, I imagine. Eventually, she reconnected with her old friend while managing to keep the new, letting go of the drama. And right then, remote schooling began.
Having her at home all day, every day, trying to help her get her school work done have been such a challenge. I realized how she thrived in school and struggled with motivation at home. This child used to talk my ear off on the way home from school, her mind buzzing with everything she’d learned. Yet, assignments she should have been fascinated with left her lukewarm. There was only one writing assignment that got her excited. The independent writing project. Oh, the writing was still a struggle but she’d chosen to do a non fiction book about Egyptian gods. She watched video after video, taking pages and pages of detailed notes, in tiny handwriting. But the knowledge was enough for her and we battled her to finish it. By the end of the school year, all I could do was make sure she got her math and some writing done, reading not being a problem at all. If I’d left her to her own devices, she would have spent all day reading, dancing, and watching videos.
Tantrums were an almost daily occurrence. She would go from sweetly cooperative to oppositional and defiant in a second. Laughter turning to screaming. Determination turning to stubbornness. Hugs turning to scratches. Was it the lockdown or hormones? Who knows. I suspect both. I can’t wait for this to be over… All we can do right now, is hang on tight and make sure we pick our battles carefully.
If anything though, V is extremely self aware. When she’s calm, she understands exactly what happens when she loses it. She just can’t take control in the moment. We’re working on it but her ability to understand herself gives me hope. And while she is still unable to stop herself from being hurtful when she’s in a mood, she doesn’t hesitate to hug it out afterwards.
Oh, and how loving and generous she can be! When on vacation, she spotted something in a store that she wanted to give someone (I won’t say who or what since the gift hasn’t been given yet). She paid for it out of her own allowance. It represented over 20% of what she had but she didn’t hesitate once second. She offered to give her sister money so she could buy both pairs of earrings that she wanted. Not lend. Give.
This Summer, she’s taken to writing a story. I’ve only caught some glimpses of it but I can’t wait for her to let me read it. It’s taking a while because she likes to work on a computer and we have to limit device time (it has a huge impact on her behavior even though she doesn’t interact online at all). M has seen a bit of bit and says it’s inspired by her love of mythology and fantasy (she’s been devouring Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase books).
She’s also been loving going to the beach and playing in the waves, unafraid of being pushed down underwater over and over again. That helped her so much with surfing during our vacation. Wipeout after wipeout, she got back up and went for it, unshaken. She hadn’t wanted to try at first. It wasn’t the water that intimidated her. It was the practice on the beach. Afraid of not being good at it, I suspect. She’s quite proud, that one, and won’t admit it…
Cooking and baking have become one of her favorite hobbies. She made us dinner one night. Chose her recipes, made her grocery lists, and went shopping with me. She’d even taken the time to check which ingredients we already had! And then, she made us dinner, complete with dessert. I’m guessing her budding interest in chemistry is related. Anything she can mix and transform into something else attracts her. Like slime.
Now if we could only get her to clean up after herself…
And to you, sweet little Buzz Beaux Yeux, I love you so much and wish you the best 9th birthday ever. Raising you is such a humbling experience.
PS: You’ll notice she isn’t wearing her glasses in pictures. It was a struggle getting her to keep them on at school and she’d take them off as soon as she got home. Since the lockdown, I’ve had the hardest time getting her to wear them. We have to take her to the optometrist to see if she needs a change in her prescription.