Mark and I attended our first parent-teacher conference today, enjoying the right of passage of sitting in tiny Kindergartner chairs where our knees don't fit under the table and chatting with the teacher about our girl. Lily is, as expected, totally normal. She's made huge strides in just the last couple weeks regarding her independence as well as phonics. She has a great vocabulary, expresses herself well and is eager to learn and master many new things. She's at the stage in learning to write where it's not so important that she get it right (to us, that is), just that she's learning the process of sounding out words and making an effort to write them down. I have to let go of my inner Virgo and simply allow her write down that "cat" starts with "k" as it is the process that is important right now. She does posses a strong desire to get it right (gee, I wonder where that comes from?) so correcting her at this stage would actually stifle her willingness to try.
For show and tell today she illustrated and told the story of "Princess Rose" who gets kidnapped by a witch, the end. This took about 10 minutes of telling and then showing the whole class each and every page, pointing out the details that including things like the class guinea pig poking his head out of his cage, down in the corner of the page. Her imaginative skills are wicked awesome and her drawings full of color and emotion. She spent all day yesterday and this morning working on her book and was so proud of the finished product.
We talked with her teacher about sleep issues (of which she has been having many), nightmares (of which she has few), performance (of which she does daily) and tantrums (of which she's on a roll!). Her teacher explained that all day in class these kids have to struggle to keep control and conform to the social norms they are learning. Once they get home where they feel safe, they often loose that control and that's where tantrums and challenging behavior is found. Knowing this is a product of her feeling safe enough to express her pent up emotions actually makes it easier for me to accept and support, rather than flee into the night with a fifth of whiskey.
Overall, we found what we already know: she's amazing, that kid. And yes, I know I'm biased, but that doesn't make me wrong. Especially now that a professional has backed me up.
Lily at an event at Mark's work, goofing off and having fun. If you're marked as friends or family on my Flickr, you can see Anya's matching pose here.