Today Penelope is 4. My sweet and silly sissy is now so grown up, that she often talks about things that "happened when I was a little kid" - things like our family pictures last year, or when we lived in Sacramento, or even things that happened last week. Nearly everything in the past is described as an event that happened when she was "little" which is both charming and hilarious.
It's also a sign that she has rather clear grasp of a linear timeline. She can also articulate things that will happen in the future using appropriate (albeit) amusing vocabulary. Example: "Mommy, when I'm a bigger kid I'll go to Kindergarten and teach my students."
I've already talked about how tall she is for her age - but she's also advanced in other ways. She can identify and draw parallel lines (she does call them parallel lines), horizontal, and vertical lines. She talks about organic shapes. She can tell you what primary colors are and how to make other colors from primary colors (thank you Mr. Pencil Saves Doodleberg).
She can do some basic math (2 people plus 1 person = 3 people... she can do this with concrete objects, not yet with abstract numbers).
She's becoming quite the artist and can draw a multitude of objects, most of which actually resemble the things she's drawing.
She's got her name down, and can copy anything we write.
She can put together complex puzzles (think 48+ pieces). She knows we live on the planet Earth and can pick it out on a map of the solar system. She can also identify the Sun, Mars, the Moon, and Jupiter. She wants to become an astronaut after she graduates from Kindergarten (yes, she really said that).
She has a dozen or so sight words but isn't quite reading independently. She has almost 80% of our book collection memorized. And we have A LOT of books.
Once she hears a song, she can remember a significant chunk of the song/lyrics, even after hearing it just once. With songs she already knows well, she'll make up new words to the song.
She loves ballet and actually pays attention for a full 45 minute class - which is amazing because I have 15 or so highs school students who can't pay attention for that long.
She is super sweet and sensitive. The other day, in a rare moment of defiance, she told me she wasn't going to take a bath. When I gently but firmly escorted her into her room to get ready for said bath, she turned to me, and with big tears in her eyes said "Mommy, I'm sorry I talked back to you." Then she gave me a huge hug.
When she didn't want to sit on my lap during the holiday parade in downtown, I made an exaggerated frowny face and she scrunched up her face, came over to me, gave me a hug, and said "I'm so sorry I made you sad Mommy." To which I replied "Oh my sweet Sissy, you didn't make Mommy sad, I love you." And she replied, "I love you too Mommy, you're the best Mommy I ever had. The best Mommy in the whole world."
She loves her brother even though he exasperates her (and lets be real, who doesn't that child exasperate?)
She always uses her manners. She is thoughtful, welcoming, loving, goofy, and warm. She is amazing and we are so very lucky to be her parents.
So happy birthday baby girl. You came into this world quietly with your eyes wide open and changed our lives. You give 100% of yourself every day to whatever it is you're doing - you love almost everyone and you love them without reservations. We love you with all our hearts, and you inspire love in others as well.
Here are some of my favorite past posts about Pen. Enjoy!
Penelope's birth story
Penelope's birth slideshows (actual pictures of birth and breastfeeding).
Bats for snack
2 weeks ago