Four.8

Yesterday, Clementine announced that she would like to cut her hair. While I’ve been BEGGING to cut Annabelle’s naturally tangly, impossible to brush hair for years, I really hope that this is just a passing phase for Clem – because:

P1370938On the other hand, maybe I should shave her head… to put off how long it is before she becomes a supermodel?

Luckily, she’s MUCH more than just a pretty face. She is a “leader of the class” in school, now that she is one of the oldest Sage Sparrows. She is an expert on almost all sea creatures (ask her which squid, octopus or fish is her favorite and why, and she will teach you a LOT of things about marine animals that you didn’t know, mostly thanks to her favorite show – the Octonauts). She is a newly minted piano player (two 10-minute trial  lessons in, Annabelle’s teacher thinks she’s ready to start). And of course, she is sweet as ever:

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Unfortunately, we are learning that even the sweetest four year olds are little liars (confirmed by parents of other 4-year-olds I know. Did Annabelle go through this? Will have to go back a few years on the blog!). Yesterday she asked for a muffin at Charlie’s house. When I gave it to her, she smiled huge and said, “Thanks! They are chocolate! I don’t know that because I ate one – just because Charlie told me.” At which point I noticed the chocolate smear on her face from earlier and confirmed it with Charlie’s nanny. She had had one an hour before! Little sneak!

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It’s hard to stay mad at Clem for long, because she is quick to apologize (in a heartfelt way), always ready to snuggle, and very kind and generous. She’s also a great sharer with other kids (including Annabelle), her parents, her cousins and friends, and even animals (she could feed birds and ducks all day long):

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It’ll be interesting to see how the school year unfolds for Clementine. She seems to like school more this year (combination of familiarity and having Charlie by her side, no doubt) and is on the brink of so many academic things (between her passion for math and her not-wanting-to-work-on-reading). But she’s also as fiery (or more fiery?) as ever, showing plenty of grumpy mood swings (even more this past week, due to the fact that she’s had to get up early for school). Most of all I want her to have a great last year of preschool. I can’t believe our little tiny Clementuna is barely a little tiny anymore!

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Seven.7

So much about Annabelle was obvious from the start. But over the past year and especially through the summer, we’ve seen so many qualities we never thought we would when she was a little tiny thing. Like… athleticism?

P1370049Athleticism might be a strong word, but she’s been pushing her body this summer. Between horseback riding and gymnastics camp, and practicing handstands and cartwheels at any chance she gets, her body has gotten strong – and tan! And more than anything, this has given her even more confidence – this, along with trying plenty of new camps and making plenty of new friends throughout the past few months. And two weeks of horse camp has brought her not only that, but also the inability to talk to any animal as if it is not a horse! Poor Eddie 🙂

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When Annabelle isn’t regaling us with stories and facts about horses or details about all of her new friends,she can be found doing one of two things –

A) Staring off into space (most common when we are late to something). When I’ve come down hard on her about this, she’s said things like, “Mom, you want me to be a creative person, right? Because it’s going to be important when I grow up to be an inventor. The thing about creative people is that they use their imagination a lot. You don’t want to stop me from doing that, right?”

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B) Finger knitting, finger weaving, rainbow looming, and the like. This kid can’t get enough of using her fingers to create bracelets, necklaces, bridles for her stuffed animals, and more. I think maybe it keeps her hands busy and productive while she’s having one of the moments I’ve referred to in (A). That said, ever the entrepreneur, this can be profitable. Yesterday she sold her wares for an hour on the sidewalk with her cousin Charlotte and made $6 (6 bracelets sold!).

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If there was one thing we’d like to see more of this summer, it’s Annabelle thinking more about others and less about herself. To be clear, she is VERY in tune with her own feelings and is extremely eloquent in expressing them. One morning this month when I woke her up for horse camp, she groggily took off her headphones (yep, still wears them to bed) and very seriously said to me, “Mom, I have a question for you. And it’s not going to feel like an important question to you, but I want you to really think about the answer because it is an important question to me.” HOW well does she understand grown-ups and our inability to take the needs of 7-year-olds seriously?! The question was, “Do we have any craft feathers?” To which I thought carefully and then very seriously answered, “no.”

P1370082But it sure would be nice if she took her sister’s needs and wants and feelings as seriously as her own. These days we get about 50% sweetness, 50% “you’re in my space and don’t know anything.” Annabelle never misses an opportunity to tell Clementine that it’s “cannonball, not candonball” or it’s “Breyer horses not Reyer horses,” to which Clementine sweetly replies, “I know, it’s just hard for me to say these words sometimes because I”m 4 and a half.” Luckily there are occasional moments that make us realize they’ll eventually be BFFs – like this one:

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Man – look at that photo. Man are we blessed.