Monday, November 25, 2013

Adriana's Development - Age 4

Every once in a while I like to look at the various milestone charts (4 year old here and 5 year old here) and kindergarten readiness checklists to see where Adriana stands.  I won't bore you by going through the lists point by point, but I do want to talk about some themes for both kids.  And I plan to talk about what this all means to me as a parent and what I struggle with in a third post if you can stick with me until then :)

Generally, I think Adriana is ahead of the curve for language/communication and cognitive skills, average for physical development, and needs to work on social and emotional development.  

Language and Communication: Adriana is too smart for her own good.  She has always spoken clearly and been easily understandable, even to people who are not related to her.  Her vocabulary is insane; she uses big words and she uses them correctly 98% of the time.  She loves to repeat words and phrases she hears on tv, and is always cracking me up because she sounds like a little teenager.  She uses slang and inflection.  Her grammar is usually spot on, to the point that it throws me when she thinks mouse and mice are two different animals.  She can tell me the entire plot of a movie she has seen once, and can make up her own (surprisingly detailed) stories borrowing elements from books and tv.  She may start with a dragon king and end up with sister princesses as the main characters, but it's still fascinating to see how her little mind works.   She knows her first and last name, but sometimes forgets her middle.  She knows all but the street number in her address, but sometimes forgets which is the city and which is the state if I ask it separately.  

Cognitive: Adriana can write her first name on her own, and can write her middle and last if I tell her what letter comes next.  She can count to 39, but I have to remind her what comes next after each x9 number after that.  She can write all uppercase letters, recognize most lowercase, and tell me what sound many letters make.  Sometimes (for example) I'll make a K sound and ask what letter that is and she says "key" instead of K and I have to remind that it has to be in the ABCs to be a letter.  She is really good with scissors (when she's not cutting her hair), and loves simple games like Candyland, Go Fish, and this awesome game my brother got her called The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game.  She understands that fruits, veggies, and protein help you grow, you need money to buy things, and that makeup is awesome.  

This is what her drawings look like:

Adriana, Dada, Mama (because the head is bigger, I guess), Lucia
This is what her coloring looks like:

She tells me that I taught her how to color in the lines so good, and that she likes the "patterin" :)
And this is what her homework looks like: 
Ignore the bedhead, it was like 5 am so we hadn't showered yet
Physical: I have been impressed by her coordination since she was 15 months old and in Tiny Tots; glad she has some Justin in her after all.  She can hop, skip, jump, somersault, kick a ball with amazing accuracy, and looks adorably graceful in gymnastics and ballet.  She is a bit off-beat in tap, but I can't tell if it's because she gets so caught up in embellishing the movements and adding her own spin or if it's a sign that she's my daughter.  While she is pretty coordinated, she doesn't have a ton of endurance - she rides a bike with training wheels and will go on a short jog, but quits both pretty quickly because she's "tiiiiiiiiired".  However, she will run indefinitely when she's chasing other kids so maybe it's just a matter of desire.  Adriana frequently insists that I wipe her butt because "poop is disgusting" and she's "scared to get it on her", as if I don't agree and am happy to do it for the rest of her life. 

Social and Emotional: This is a bit of a struggle for Adriana.  She is more frequently demanding than she is cooperative, especially in the mornings and evenings when she is tired.  She loves to sing, dance, play pretend, and play with other kids, but she will get violent if she isn't getting enough attention or isn't getting her way (or is hungry or tired or just because she feels like it).  I have tried to explain to her about why we never, ever hit and how to be kind and to be a good friend, but she just looks at me and I can see that she's frustrated with she tells me that she just doesn't know HOW to be good.  She knows how to work the system and will frequently start sayings "sorry, sorry, sorry!" if she does something bad, but I rarely get the impression that she is ACTUALLY sorry.  When I put her in time out, she gets really upset and starts crying because "No one doesn't LOVE ME anymore!"  (she hasn't figured out double negatives yet).   Adriana has best friends, but I'm not sure that the kids she says are her best friends are actually her best friends (for example, for a long time she told me one little boy is her bff, but he hasn't been in her school for over a year...then another little girl told me they were bffs at the Halloween party, and it was news to Adriana).  She wants kids in her class to like what she is wearing or to tell her she has pretty hair, but seems less concerned with them wanting to like her for non-superficial reasons.  She is able to make friends at the park or in the mall pretty easily, and she seems like she is playing well with the other kids when I go get her at daycare.  Her teacher tells me that she doesn't get in trouble any more or less than any other kid in her class, so that is definitely an improvement from last year and a sign that she is growing up a bit. However, we have been struggling with her ability to follow the rules and listen in some of her extracurricular activities (more on that later).  She can be really shy and clingy when she first gets in a new situation, but doesn't take long to warm up.  She has been having trouble sleeping alone at night or in the dark.  

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