Five! A lovely round number. I can't even believe it.
I always think on birthdays and big events about life "before," or "when this all started," that type of thing. 5 years ago? Totally different jobs for both of us, different house, different pets, different selves.
Of course Beck has changed a ton in the last 5 years, but we've changed right along with her.
The thing about 5 year old Hope and Change (jk) is that it's a little more obvious than adult growth. Beck, for example, lost her mind attempting to consume a ham sandwich just a few months ago (it kept falling apart) and now asks for one almost daily in her lunch box. Pants fit one day and the next are not-quite-capri length. Things like that.
For her part, Beck is LOVING being 5. She responds well to the placebo effect of milestones, so we've convinced her that 5 year olds wipe themselves (working on it), 5 year olds use toothpaste (she doesn't like the taste), and 5 year olds absolutely do not come out of their rooms at night when they randomly wake up (she did it twice, no thanks).
It magically all worked! The first night of the toothpaste, for example, was a few days before her birthday and she decided that since Will uses it she definitely will too. This all happened while I was working so at bedtime she told me all about it, just vibrating with pride. I told her that I was really proud because I knew she didn't like the taste and she said "I know, but I handled it!"
Olivia Pope of 5 year olds, apparently.
Handling emotions is a new thing and kind of wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time to see. For her 5 year old doctor's appointment she assured me she knew everything that was happening but asked questions if she didn't, and held in her fear of her flu shot until the very last minute. Then when the needle fairy (my term) came in, Beck LOST it. I don't know if she didn't have enough time to process or had just been holding in a lot of anxiety about the shot, but she was having NONE OF IT until, of course, it was over and she realized she was fine and moved on with her day.
Those little outbursts of somuchemotion are paired with mostly being a completely reasonable human, so we spend a good amount of time trying to prepare for them and not criticize Beck for having big feelings. I'll be honest, though, sometimes I'm just like....WHERE DID THIS COME FROM. Not with the shot thing, but with other things like not having her hair washed first in the bath that causes a 4 hour meltdown. Wat.
Explaining emotions with words is getting a little easier and something I focus on a good bit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don't, and this morning Beck said "I'M JUST MAD AT WILL FOR MESSING UP MY PUZZLE BUT NOW EVERYTHING SO I'M JUST GOING TO SAY I HATE YOU ALRIGHT?!!?"
I had to walk away to not laugh in her face. She got over it after a sandwich and a cookie, which honestly I get.
Beck has taken to educating Will on things he doesn't want to do, which is hilarious given all the grief she gave us for the same items. These things are mostly food related, why he should eat crust, things like that. The rest of the time she chases him around and attacks him and then we talk about consent. This happens about 40 times per day, so I think it's going really well.
Speaking. Of. Will. Beck is so absolutely into him, very parental, always telling him how cute he is, and it just cracks us up since she barely outweighs him by 10 pounds. She wants to come wake him up in the morning, they eat every meal together, and she uses funny little phrases after she gets home from school, "sorry Will that I was gone for so long, you're just not big enough for school yet."
One of the best things about this age is that Beck is mostly willing to share things with Will - music choices, TV, big toys, etc. She loves things that are hers and hers alone, but seems to have the beginnings of the joy that we feel in giving, even if it's just letting him change the channel to crappy 2 year old music shows. 5 year old grace is hilarious and so sweet to witness.
Favorite things include "arting" of all sorts, playing outside and missing summer's water opportunities, and school. All school, all the time. This girl THRIVES in groups, loves learning new things, and I just hope that kindergarten next year is the same positive experience as this year has been.
One thing I'm noticing as she gets older and I think about who she is, sit down to write these posts, is that she requires more words, more specifics, more details about who she is, less about what she can do. It's an interesting shift that has happened in the 3-5 ages, and one that is so joyous to see.
It's almost like she's a real person. Weird.