Today was your last day of preschool. I wanted to tell you about the happy experience I’ve had of picking you up from school several times a week. When school started, I thought you were such a brave little girl going off into the unknown on your own. You had never been in daycare or school before and in August you began not one but two new schools. Daycare in the morning and preschool in the afternoon.
At first, when I picked you up you would be so tired you would cry and cry for your mommy, but after a few weeks (and bribery with gum) you were happy to see me. When you saw me waiting at the front door of the school you would smile your pretty smile and hurry to jump into my arms. I would say, “How is my favorite 5 year old?” As we walked to the car you would hold my hand and jump over the lines on the parking lot “1, 2, 3, Jump!” you would shout. I would ask questions about your day. I guess I asked the same questions too many times because one day you said, “You know how you ask me those questions all the time, all the time, all the time? It annoys me!”. I had a good laugh and tried to vary my questions after that.
On the way home, we liked to play word games or sing songs. Your favorite game was called “Thinking of an Animal”. I would think of an animal and give you clues about it and you would guess which animal I was thinking of, then it would be your turn. Your first clue was always, “I’m thinking of an animal that is on Madagascar!”. After a few weeks of this, I would shout “Nooooo! Not Madagascar!” when you were saying it. That made you laugh every time.
Another game you liked was “The Rhyming Game”. We took turns choosing two rhyming words. We would say, “cat, sat, they both say at”. You became good at rhyming through playing that game. We also sang songs and nursery rhymes on the drive home. Some of your favorites were: The Wheels on the Bus, Five Little Pumpkins (which we were still singing at Easter time), The Pizza Song, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Many times when we got home we would walk over to Paw Paw’s farm where you were interested in everything that was going on, from tractor repairs with your dad, milking cows with Paw Paw or gardening or crafts with Maw Maw. This was especially fun in the spring when there were 4 litters of kittens and a flock of baby chicks to check on. You never tired of playing with the babies. Only for you and your sister would I climb the ladder into the hayloft to visit two of the litters.
When we stayed at my house, we would play Hide and Seek and you loved to hide in my ottoman or under the comforter and when it was my turn to hide you would panic if you couldn’t find me right away. After a while I would always hide in the shower so you could find me easily. You also liked to “help” me in the kitchen and would often ask to bake cookies. You loved to play with my cat and dog. I had you convinced that I knew what my animals were saying. Zoe would meow or Clara would come to see what we were up to and you’d ask me, “What did they say?” You really tried to “hear” what they were saying too.
This was your favorite toy at my house:
This was one of your favorite books:
You were always a happy, funny, loving child but sometimes you were ornery too. You always seemed to be able to find a permanent marker and one time you wrote on my computer screen. You loved to jump on my bed and roughhouse. You would bicker with your sister, who you called your “stister”. You had no interest in learning to tie your shoes or ride a bike and you were stubborn about it. When I asked you when you were going to learn, you would say, “When I grow up.”