How that time went by so quickly, I'll never know. But I do know having Anna around has made for the best five years of my life. All of us together.
For the last few years, I have written a letter of sorts to Anna, describing a few of the more (and less) endearing things about her. The everyday things I want to remember when I'm eighty.
So, for 2012.....
Here's a dozen things I know about Anna:
I believe Anna may have been a cat in another lifetime. When she wakes up in the morning, she'll spend 10 minutes stretching. Really. Ten whole minutes. Big, full body, arched stretches. Accompanied by groans and sighs. Sometimes, she may even purr a little. She's just like a happy cat in the sunshine. And once she feels that she's stretched properly - - well then, Anna is ready to start her day.
For my girl, the sure fix to any bump or scrape or owie is a bandaid. At any given time, Anna has at least 2 or 3 bandaids affixed somewhere on her body. Heck, the kid squeals with delight when she gets a box of bandaids as a gift (think stocking stuffer). Last weekend, after a particularly tough wipe-out on the cement, Anna was sporting no less than 11 bandaids. She's even been known to come running for one, only to realize that her new-found owie was just a spot of misguided red nail polish. (We put a band aid on it anyway).
Between preschool and Anna's fabulous daycare, she is pretty much set for kindergarten in Fall. However, I know that the hardest part of the transition to school will be not getting to see Tami, her daycare provider. (Actually, that will be hard for all of us!) Most mornings, Anna gleefully skips to the car, singing "I can't wait to go to Tami's house." (How lucky are we?)
At our house, Anna has been dubbed the "manner's police." At the dinner table, you dare not chew with your mouth open or forget to use your napkin or lapse on your please and thank you's. Otherwise, Anna will call you on it. Last week, she threatened to put Henry in "manner's police jail" for a milk slurp that she deemed too loud.
Anna is an amazing storyteller. (I think she takes after her great-grandpa Joe). Although she loves to be read to, and is starting to read words herself, Anna really has no need for reading. She simply makes up her own stories. She'll pick up a book, and narrate her own wild tales and adventures, simply by looking at the pictures. And often (okay, yes. I may be biased....), her stories are much better than the originals.
Anna has a style all her own, and it reaches far beyond what she wears. It's the inflection in her voice and the way she rolls her eyes and how she flips her hand across her forehead (in a "no sweat off my brow" gesture). She can be cute and sweet one moment, and all drama the next. She turns it on and off like a switch. She's five, but has a charm and personality well beyond her years.
This kid has an incredible memory. Even her teachers have remarked at what she remembers. Anna can recall events from years' past. She can hear a song once at school, and then sing it all day long. And she'll remember some long-ago promise I made, calling me on it when I least expect it, and demand that I make good.
My favorite part of any movie is the very end when the credits roll. Because inevitably, that's when they play the really good music. And that's when Anna hops off her chair to dance. And I mean dance! She wiggles and bounces and twirls and shimmys. And she doesn't care if anyone is watching her. She just wants to move. I think Anna is happiest when she is dancing.
Hand's down, Anna's least favorite meal is dinner. We'll be sitting at the table for a minute or two, and Anna will whine "How many more bites do I have to take?" It doesn't matter what is on the menu, dinner is just not her thing. But compare that to breakfast - - oh my. 180 degrees different. As soon as Anna finishes her morning stretches, she's out of bed, asking for a pancake (or three).
Anna can really keep up with the big boys! She could care less that her brother is almost 3 years older than she is. She's going to make herself noticed. If Henry has friends over, they better well be prepared to have a tag-a-long sister. No one puts this baby in a corner.
|Anna is pretending to be Henry.|
Anna is prone to bad hair days. Her hair just hasn't grown in. And that fact is starting to bug her. She notices that she can't have pony-tails like the other girls. It comes up more and more often. Of course, I don't have a magic potion to make her hair grow faster. But it does spark conversation about patience and the important kind of beautiful. (Around here, we can turn anything into a teachable moment....)
Unlike her brother ("Mr. I'm Bored"), Anna can entertain herself really well. She easily finds things to do during the course of the day. She's a master of "the project." I can give her paper, scissors, glue and a few markers, and she'll be happy for half the afternoon. But, while she's working so hard, she'll turn me into her go-fer. "Mom, can you get me a drink of water?" "Mom, I need more glue." "Mom, do you know how to make a book?" "Mom, I'm really, really hungry." "Mom, where did my purple marker go?" "Mom, can you put on a movie for me while I make my project?"
Random favorites: SpongeBob, ice cream, her brother, going to the park, dress-up, Tami's house, Papa, the reading backpack and sharing can from preschool, sleepovers at Grandma and Grandpa's house, chocolate, playdates, Happy Meals (primarily for the toy), reading, swimming, Skype-ing with Aunt Annie in Africa, and her new pink bunny from Uncle Rick.