In July, Second Daughter turned six year olds. Six!
Second Daughter is a free spirit. She doesn't follow a schedule at home, just wander about the house whenever and wherever she likes. Sometimes I love how free she is and sometimes I am more frustrated than by anyone else I've ever met!
She loves the water. I think Second Daughter would spend the entire summer swimming if she had ready access to a watering hole. She took swimming lessons this summer and did really well moving her arms and legs. I think the private lessons were a great investment.
We visited my parents in August and spent some time at their pond. She just floated in the pond most of the time, but she also loved fishing and sleeping in a tent. (They tried sleeping overnight in a tent at our house, but it was the Fourth of July and the fireworks kept her awake so she slept on the floor of our bedroom with me.)
Speaking of sleeping, Second Daughter is the most likely of any of our children to come in to our room at night. She often comes in during thunderstorms. I usually let her stay, because I'm sleepy and in theory like the idea of snuggling with her. In reality, she steals my pillow, kicks me constantly, and her hair tickles my face. So it's usually not so much fun for me. Luckily it's not very often.
Here's a silly face at Second Son's birthday celebration. She and Second Son play together remarkably well most of the time. They have invented their own version of the board games and card games they like best. I love to watch them playing happily, especially while I'm doing lessons with the older kids. It's amazing when they can do so without creating complete havoc in the living room or around us.
Her favorite foods are candy, popsicles, ice cream, and more candy. (That's a girl after my own heart, though we have to intervene immediately if we catch her sneaking candy from her candy bag.) Her favorite candy is Fun Dip. She also loves yogurt, enchiladas, Kansas Dad's barbecue ribs or chicken, PawPaw's macaroni and cheese, Doritos and Cheetos (sigh), muffins, apples, peaches, canned mandarin oranges, and baked blueberry oatmeal. Her favorite vegetable is canned green beans.
She still loves the craft box more than just about anything else. Give her some glue and free access and she'll be happy for hours (and leave lots of little pieces of paper under the table). She will create truly amazing and interesting pictures. (Kansas Dad has an impressive Jesus on the crucifix surrounded by cotton balls hanging in his office.) She's incredibly generous with these, wanting to mail them to whoever catches her fancy.
She has memorized a prayer asking St. George to pray for us because it includes a specific place to mention intercessions. She has been praying each night that my back would get better for over a year now and also prays almost daily for the former librarian of our local library with whom she shares a name.
She is currently enamored of birds. She loves to pore over books about birds from the library, especially birds of prey. She also recently scoured an animal encyclopedia from my own childhood (and a beloved book it was!) to discover a bird we saw at the zoo and could not identify.
She is always the first to find the praying mantis or walking stick outside our windows or in the yard. She doesn't have any interest in drawing them, being too frustrated by what to her is an obvious inability to express in pencil when she sees with her eyes. She has a camera, though, and often takes (too-close, out-of-focus) pictures of wildlife she finds.
Second Daughter is the "strawberry monster" and is the most consistent of the children in searching the strawberry patches for the few fruits they have this time of the year. Sometimes she just eats them, but she's just as likely to present them to a loved one as a special treat.
Oh, she loves to play games! Some of her favorites are Sleeping Queens, There's A Moose In The House, Hoot Owl Hoot, and Skippity. She'd love to play just about any game with you, though.
Her favorite toys are Playmobil, anything Playmobil, but especially girls and boys and toys and playgrounds and moms and dads and baby animals. She received quite a few Playmobil sets for her birthday. She and First Daughter play for hours with them. I appreciate how they encourage open-ended play and tell myself all those small pieces are excellent for fine motor control, until I step on one.
Usually, Kansas Dad makes a pancake as big as your head when it's your birthday, but Second Daughter didn't want that. Instead, she dropped lots and lots of chocolate chips on her pancake and we let her eat it with chocolate syrup.
For some inexplicable reason, Second Daughter insisted she wanted a dog bone cake for her birthday. The benefit of this desire is that I could make it myself. (I've been farming out cake-making to various friends the past few years; cake decorating is not something in which I am skilled or even interested in learning).
I did have to invest in a dog bone shaped pan, so if you live nearby and have a need, you know where you can find one.
She had asked last year for a pinata at her birthday party just a few days before the party, long after I was planning to buy anything else, so I told her she could have one when she turned six. She did not forget! She wanted one shaped like a puppy, but I couldn't find one and didn't want to order one online, so I took her to the store and let her pick whatever she wanted: a party hat.
We've recently started school and Second Daughter started kindergarten. She could have started last year, but wasn't very interested and she was so young. So we waited and I am very pleased. She's happily learning to read, is delighted to take out the salt box for her writing, and loves her saint book (My First Book of Saints) and Aesop's Fables for Children. She'll be singing with our parish children's choir for the first time this year and attending children's adoration while I teach a Catechesis class. Hopefully all of that time with Jesus will bless her (and us).
I'm looking forward to a fabulous year with Second Daughter. Many blessings to her!