4 years, going on 14, or is it 24??

It’s been a year of upheaval in this family and little Miss Maya has handled it with grace, so the title is mostly for good.

Maya Rose is now 4.  Her Dad and I took her to Disneyland and California Adventure for her birthday again this year, together.  Part of the custody agreement in the divorce was/is that we would share time with her on her birthday, so share we did, for the whole day.  I’m not sure, honestly, if this love of things Disney will ever die…and I’m okay with that.  There are so many other things that she could be into that are much, much worse.  We took her again to Ariel’s Grotto and she took her picture with all of the princesses…though only a few of them came out okay on my end because these days Maya likes to give us the “I’m constipated” smile instead of her beautiful, natural one. She’s still cute though, constipated or not.

Maya and a princess...not quite sure about her smile
Maya and a princess…not quite sure about her smile

She continued Transition (to preschool) in the Spring of last year, and started preschool/nursery school officially in the Fall of 2013.  She goes 5 days a week, 2 half-days until 12 or 1 depending on her enrichment classes, 2 full days until 5 and another until 3. She loves her teacher and has blossomed incredibly in all areas:  physical, social, emotional, mental…I couldn’t be happier with her progress. She’s taken music, dance and is now taking a science & art class that has her learning about Matisse and Van Gogh (and painting like them too!) She’s gone from being tentative to courageous on the playground, wallflower to friendly.  Her teacher Lynne says that she is a good friend to all those in her class, and that pleases me so much as you truly need to know how to be a friend in order to have good ones.  That being said, we’ve already had a “mean girl” issue and a few of Maya trying to fit in with the crowd…deep breaths, mama.

I had Maya’s annual IEP and she will continue to receive services through LAUSD at her private preschool at least through the beginning of the New Year until we can schedule another assessment for her.  That was supposed to happen in February, but according to my sources, school psychology is backed up through May so it will be status quo for a while.

Here are Maya’s current stats (her actual appointment isn’t until March, and I’ll likely update this then) :

Height: Taller!  She is still too short for the pants that fit her butt and waist, and can still fit into 3T pants if they are a bit loose on top.  She can now reach the light switches and slide off our bed without help.  She still needs a step stool to help in the kitchen…UPDATE: As of 3/5/14, Maya is 3’2″…a whopping 38 inches, 15th percentile on that nifty chart they have at the pediatrician’s office. Still a shortypants.

Weight: 33.9 lbs. (up about 4 lbs. from last year)…most people think she is 3 because she is petite. UPDATE:  She was nearly 36 lbs with clothes and shoes, which put her at the 50th percentile, on the same track she has been since she was born.

Head: Still big, yet more proportionate now that the rest of her is bigger.  Still not much of a hat girl…UPDATE:  Aw…they don’t do this measurement anymore. And they made her wear a paper gown…and there were no hysterics during her 4 shots.  My girl is brave 🙂

Current loves: TV (Side note – I kicked cable to the curb this year so we now rely on Netflix and Amazon Prime to entertain…) including, but not limited to My Little Pony, Jake and the Neverland Pirates (though I find it vapid and don’t let it be on very often here…wait, didn’t I say this last year??), Scooby Doo (old school only thanks), Disney musicals, particularly Frozen (and belting the songs out), Barbie (which is actually pretty funny)…and really still everything Disney, especially Mickey, Minnie, Ariel, still Disney Fairies, still cooking, still reading (and is starting to “read” on her own now), still surprises (especially if they involve presents or food.) Chocolate, french toast, rice, apple juice, orange juice, did I say chocolate? Chocolate milk, still singing…and now she can almost get the words right…and she emotes! Chicken tenders, hot chocolate. Hello Kitty! Pancakes and challah bread…

We even made some back in July...
We even made some back in July…

Current dislikes: Naps (as in… they’re on their way out and I’m in mourning)…Being told what to do 🙁 Still all of the following: Hair washes, car washes, other kids invading her play space, though that is getting better. Having to go to “early school” when mommy has to go to work. Having to return home from “staying” when mommy picks her up from aftercare.

She’s become incredibly more independent in the last year, can now get dressed all by herself (though sometimes things are backwards and she gets very frustrated when I offer to help her turn them around)…she can go potty mostly by herself (#1 for sure, #2 still needs assistance), invent games to play all by herself where she’ll ask me to play but doesn’t really know how to tell me to (because she’s making it up as she goes along…), she can wash herself nearly properly in the bath and brush her teeth all by herself (with just a little toothpaste help)….

She is very mature most days, except when she’s tired, and then I remember that she is only 4 and is figuring out how to survive on less sleep (can’t introduce her to caffeine just yet…)  There are times when she shows me glimpses of what her teen years will be like, (“No! I won’t do that. I will not. No sirree!”…arms-crossed, foot stomping) and then before I can correct her behavior, she’ll fall into a heap, nearly in tears and ask for a hug. When I try to explain bigger concepts to her, I can see the gears in her brain turning and most of the time, if she doesn’t get it, the failure comes in my explaining rather than her understanding.

I ordered (and received) the parts to convert her toddler bed (which was once her crib) to a real bed with a full-size mattress.  When I first told her we would do this, she got excited, especially about wanting to put on the new Hello Kitty bedding I got for her…but one night, as she sat on my lap while we were rocking in the glider just before she went to bed…as we have done for more than 4 years now, I was talking to her about rearranging her room and her tune changed…

“I’ve been thinking about where to put things in your room once your new bed gets here…”

“We’re going to move things?” she said with a bit of apprehension…

“Well, yes, we have to so that the bed and the rest will fit.  In fact, I think we are going to have to get rid of the glider because there won’t be enough room for it”

“But where are we going to rock, Mom???! We have to rock…”

“Ok, we’ll figure something out…”

Grateful, I smiled, squeezed her, and kissed the top of her head.

Not 24, not 14…just 4.

By Joy

I'm 42, a remarried mom of an 8 year old girl and a toddler son, a teacher, and a writer. People tell me I tend to be brutally honest and ...tell it like it is, so I had hoped to use this outlet to keep me sane while I got used to my new life as a stay-at-home Mom back when I was home with my daughter....it worked. And it's been therapeutic through the end of a marriage and the emergence of me...


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