Five.2

What you see here is a strong personality full of strong opinions. Like the fact that this is perfectly appropriate preschool attire.

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And in the end, why not? If she doesn’t where it to school, where will she wear it? She is doing a very good job teaching us to pick our battles. The battles we ARE picking? Usually they have to do with more listening, less blaming, and some perspective (the world is not a terrible place if Annabelle said something in a mean voice or you ended up not getting to do something you REALLY wanted to do, because we ran out of time). She is inherently more critical of the world than her older sister ever was, but can thankfully (usually) be steered in the right direction – especially if there is an option for silliness!

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In the end, Clementine is definitely an empath, and half of her frustrations have to do with unfair treatment or hurt feelings. Which means it didn’t surprise us when she told us this week that she’d like to help animals for her whole life by becoming a vet:

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When not evaluating the world around her, Clementine is usually found knee deep in an art project (she spends SO MUCH TIME working on a single project – it’s awesome):

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or on any form of wheels (bike, scooter, or skateboard):

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Clementine still spends plenty of time in make believe worlds doing make believe things, but since her sister is growing out of that a bit (and Charlie has never been a huge fan), it’s a little harder for her to find a co-conspirator these days. That said, she’s still great at entertaining herself, especially if you give her an important job. She loves to have an impact, especially if it makes others feel better. Not a bad quality for a 5 year old or an adult! Which reminds me on a regular basis what an awesome adult this beautiful child will one day be.

 

Five.1 and Eight.1

One month into being responsible for a five year old and an eight year old and so far, so good! P1410737

I am not sure I’d have all that much to write, except that both girls had their annual well check at the pediatrician and an assessment by a child psychologist in the past week! To skip to the punchline, we’ve got two incredibly (physically and mentally) healthy girls:

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Clementine:
About 88th percentile for height and 75th or so for weight, she is tall (expected to be around 5’8″) and perfectly healthy. And according to the psychologist, we’ve got another very bright kid on our hands who also has reading superpowers! She has awesome written expression and reading comprehension, and her “phonological processing” skills are apparently outrageous (10th grade level?!). This should serve her well when she goes into Spanish Immersion in the fall! Also, her “fluid reasoning” (ability to think flexibly and problem solve) is super strong. All good things, for sure. Also good to note, her complete inability to sit still is completely normal for her age. Who knew?

Annabelle:
Annabelle is off the charts in just about every way. She is “above the 99th percentile” in height, expected to be around 5’11 or 6′, and has gotten pretty slim. Her cognitive skills are very much off the charts, especially in reading where she is apparently operating on an 11th grade level!  We’ve been advised to skip her “at least one grade” at this point, but are working through what will be best for her both socially and academically – I suspect we’ll have a plan by the next monthiversary blog check-in. One cool thing that has come of this is the ability for Annabelle to become a Davidson Young Scholar, which is a cool nonprofit program for kids like her that includes all kinds of neat opportunities for her and us (camps, online forums, meetups, scholarships). Also worth noting that her anxiety has gone down since she was tested three years ago, and is very much in normal range.

Both:
It’s so interesting to see that our two girls with such different personalities have similar strengths and weaknesses. Both are lowest in processing speed (they like to take their time to think through things – which explains why we have to ask them 5 times what they want for breakfast before they answer), and in picture/visual memory (they are much better at auditory or reading recall). Their brains can’t skip 3 steps ahead visually like a chess-brain would. But both have certain specific verbal skills that are truly exceptional – practically untestable for their ages.

Now the differences: Whereas Annabelle gets so caught up in her own mind (coming up with new inventions daily), Clementine is always taking in the world around her (offering to give part of her lunch to homeless people, for example). Whereas Annabelle is keenly aware of the rules and order, Clementine is very happy to go against the plan if there seems to be a more exciting option. Annabelle writes long lists, goals and processes and posts them around her room while Clem makes beautiful artwork and sings nonstop. Annabelle could spend days with robots; Clementine can’t stand more than 2 days away from her dog.

Clearly the world is better off with both of them. And we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!

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