December 31st, 2009 at 9:00 PM, my daughter Kylie was born.
My life has never been the same since that moment. The updates have been fairly frequent here, Facebook, Instagram on how she has changed over time. It is amusing to me as I watch new parents posting countless photos of their newborn children to reflect back on how normal that was for me at that time, as well. Now, not so much, as my daughter rarely sits still for photos (unless she is the one taking them) or give me a moment of peace to see how she is growing.
The changes happen quickly in their first year of life, and exponentially fast as they hit the toddler stage. Several times in the past year, I have mentioned that I felt my daughter was a 3 year old turning 13, because the battles have been endless as she learns how to do so many things. She has also started to master the technique of playing my decisions against her mom (or grandparents), stating quite confidently, “But my mom lets me…”
This past year, has seen the most growth compared to the other years of her life. It has been a whirlwind of adventures for us both, especially the latter half, as her mother was off working in Edmonton for the last five months of the year. A strain on all of us. Me having to raise my daughter full-time with some breaks, her being away from her daughter, and my daughter continually having to adapt to being away from her. The highlights have been too many to really list and remember fully, but here a few ones for me to remember down the road:
From Doubts to Confidence
During Kylie’s third birthday party, there were some whispers from people wondering if Kylie had problems with her speech, because she was not talking as much as people thought she should. Sometime between June and July, a switch was struck and transformed her into a little chatterbox. From the moment she woke up, to the moment she went to bed, rarely was there a time of quiet for her. At least at home. Initially, it was great to hear her master new words, new sounds, more complicated sentence structures. After six months of it, it really does get to be a bit tiring to listen to constantly. Even more so with my introvert ears.
On the other hand, I am glad she is becoming quite confident with her social abilities. Yesterday, while waiting in the lobby, she had to approach and talk with everyone that passed through the doors. Always saying, “Hi. Where are you going?” A security guard in training, perhaps. I felt especially bad for the pair of people moving stuff in and out, passing past her at least five times. Each time, was the same response from her, but they didn’t seem to mind it.
She still plays shy around kids her own age, even the ones she sees on a regular basis. A mix of introvert with her extroverted self (a blend of me and her mother almost to a T.)
In September, the leap was made to enter the Montessori preschool. Quite simply: wow! What a difference on a weekly basis. Learning the alphabet, more numbers, the continents, the provinces of Canada (!) and plenty of songs. It has been a great experience for her, and it’s only halfway done. Yoga every week, zumba, a trip to the 4Cat’s Art Studio, field trips to the pumpkin patch, a Christmas concert, and so forth.
The best part has been seeing her practice outside of school. Tracing letters with her fingers, pointing out all the numbers she sees, writing in the air when she works on spelling her name, writing on paper and mastering her numbers and letters. It’s amazing to see her progress, almost daily.
Her teachers at the school have also commented on her incredible memory. Several times at home, she has a moment where she tries to remember where something is, and heads directly to it. No endless searching around. It’s rather frightening.
- Trip to Vancouver to see her aunt and uncle, newborn cousin, with a visit to the Aquarium.
- Trip to Edmonton to visit her mom. First time on an airplane! Visits with grandparents and other friends. Daily trips to West Edmonton Mall and rides in Galaxyland.
- Many hikes down the Mission Creek Greenway, or Hardy Falls south of Summerland to see the salmon running and learn more about the life cycle.
- Helping my nearly 90 yearold grandmother adapt to life in Kelowna, helping her navigate the hallways of her residence, and meeting all the new people in that building.
- Visits with plenty of extended family members with more happening as more people come over to check out the Okanagan Valley.
- Birthday parties, play dates, adventures with grandparents and her mom.
- And so much more…
Kylie is really blossoming into a lovely little lady. She may cause me to want to pull my hair our, but at the end of each day, I am glad she is a part of my life. A big part of it.
Happy birthday, Kylie, and may you continue growing in 2014.
Favourite iPad Game this year: