I recently read an article online about “strong-willed” children, and it called them “intense.” That is a perfect description of our little girl. Though at times this can contribute to power struggles between her and us, it generally leaves me in amazement over how capable and knowledgable she is.
Sophia is a technology bug, just like her dad. She loves to use our phones to play games, including Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, Train Conductor, Coin Dozer and other “adult” games, along with the games we have that are geared at kids. She also uses the phone to watch movies and TV shows, and can load up Netflix and scroll to her shows faster than I can. She loves to play on the computer, and we have acquired an old iMac that plays some kid games. However, she is also happy just typing her name into a word document, over and over. She has mostly mastered using a mouse to click and drag, and has been questioned by on-lookers at the Apple store as to whether she is actually aware of what she is doing. She has also discovered using the phone to text messages to people, and will “text” whomever happens to be open in the messages window. She precedes all of her messages with her name, and then texts a jumble of letters (though with auto-correct, sometimes she sends words).
Speaking of letters, she can visual recognize most of the alphabet, though does get hung up on M, W and T. She spells out words, and undersands that they stand for the whole word, but she has yet to start sounding things out. Honestly, when we attempt to work with her, she won’t sit still long enough get get much done. She also can recognize the numbers 1-9, and understands the basics of a digital clock (that there is a time represented by the numbers, and it relates to when we do things). She has memorized Andy’s phone number and Grandma’s phone number.
We still watch a lot of TV and movies, though it has been taken by Sophia to the next level. She now has most of the movies we watch memorized, and quotes them at the oddest times. I have been told, while shopping at Target, “you can never use my hair again, Mother!” (Tangled). It has gotten so frequent that she now finalizes each quote with “that was from ________,” because I generally ask. Andy, of course, the movie-quote king, is thrilled. She will also explain the entire movie to you if she thinks you haven’t seen it, so that you understand the plot. Her favorite movies at the moment are Rio and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, both which have led to some interesting discussions about naughty words, selfish behavior, and violence/fighting. However, she is still obsessed with princesses and routinely watches Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Tangled, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast.
This past year we continued with swim lessons, and spent many days this summer at Grandma’s pool. Sophia can hold her breath across the width of the 25-foot pool at swim lessons, and she still loves to play in the water. We took a trip in March to California and got to stay right on Seal Beach in a rental house. I told Andy afterward that I’m pretty sure Sophia will move away from us to California as soon as she graduates high school. She and I both cried that we had to leave the beach. She constantly asks when we can go back.
This past summer was one of firsts, including dance lessons and an attempt at ice skating lessons. Sophia is always willing to try something new, and after watching hockey on television, decided she wanted to play hockey. Andy and I took her to a public skate session and she loved it, so we signed her up for skating lessons. Unfortunately, after about 5 or 6 falls on the ice during the lesson, she wasn’t as keen on playing hockey as before. We couldn’t even get her out onto the ice for the second lesson, and decided we will wait until she is a bit older. She also started dance lessons, which we are excited is offered through her preschool by the local dance company. Sophia is so exhausted by the end of the day, I dreaded taking her to a dance class in the evening. This is the best option, as the dance teacher comes from the studio once a week to teach the class during the day at the preschool, and it is still considered part of the studio’s classes (which means she will have a recital at the end of the year, just like the other classes). Sophia likes to show off her moves and practices daily, dancing to whatever music is on in the background.
Sophia’s other new hobby is singing, and it is super cute. She not only sings the songs she learns in school, but sings along to the music in the car or that we play at home. On the way home from preschool last week, I heard her singing along to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” I shouldn’t have been surprised she knew so many of the words, what with her mad memorization skills. Sophia has two groups of music she likes, and has named them “Phia’s Girls” and “Phia’s Boys.” Phia’s Girls consists of alternative/indie musicians like Adele, Norah Jones, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, A Fine Frenzy, Sarah Jaffe, Neko Case and others. Phia’s Boys are similar style musicians, but generally less requested. Occasionally she likes to listen to “hot 100″ type music. Usually when we listen to the radio she requests KXT 97.1, the public music radio station in the area, because they play the music she likes most of the time.
Sophia still loves to eat, and her favorite foods are still cheese-based (like grilled cheese, mac ‘n’ cheese, or cheese quesadillas). However, as a family we have taken steps to cut out most grains from our diet (check out this or this or this), she has the option of eating these much less. However, she is slowly taking to actually eating meat (if you don’t call it meat – it has to be beef, chicken, fish, or even more specific steak, hamburger, lemon chicken, tilapia, etc), and she still loves vegetables and fruits. She also loves to eat eggs for breakfast, though won’t try bacon or sausage. She still does really well stopping when she is full, even if it is a dessert item, but I think we have just finally gotten over the obsession with candy that started last Halloween. I think we are going to have to be those parents who throw out their child’s candy the next day, because we tried hiding it and keeping it to one piece a day, and she figured out where it was.
Sophia went to her first football games last year, though they were high school. She is very interested in sports, but doesn’t understand why she can’t go out onto the field and play with them. She understands it is a competition, and that the teams have names, and that our family is generally cheering for one team over the other. When she sees a sport on tv or in person she will ask “what does the blue team say,” which means what are they called. She goes through all the various jersey colors she sees on the field, including whatever ref/umpire is out there. We did take her to see her first professional baseball game (the Rangers) a few weeks ago and she loved it. She has already decided she wants to be one of the girls who runs around with the flags every time the Rangers score. She also ate an entire tub (about 8 cups) of popcorn, half a bag of peanuts (which she flagged down for herself, much to Andy’s chagrin), and a cup of ice cream. With all that food, she made it through about seven innings before needing Andy’s phone to keep her busy. After the game there was a fireworks display, and she proceded to literally run circles around us as she watched, shouting “I’m not afraid of fireworks.” This was at around 11pm. We hope to take her down to Austin for a UT football game this year, but aren’t sure how she will do there.
I will add pics in the next post (sorry!) but they don’t want to upload at the moment.