Monday, May 19, 2008

Is a 4 year old Cutie Donut stale?

I have been calling her 4 for several weeks now, but on Saturday our Cutie Donut officially turned 4 - and she is far from stale;)I have been begging her for the last 48 hours to stay 3 and she simply refuses to comply. I don't understand why she can't be 3 forever - and why she doesn't want to. I do, however, now understand why my Gram always asked us to stop growing up:)

Georgia and I celebrated her birthday with her at school on Friday afternoon. She got to play Bozo Buckets, pass out treats, and blow out candles on a fake birthday cake. She was so proud to have us there! And I loved seeing her in that environment.

Since our family is not in town, we do what we can to make the actual day of the birthday special and then celebrate with grandparents at another time. So on Saturday we picked her up from our friend's (they spent the night on Friday night) and begged her to stay 3. We brought the girls to an open house at Dinner By Design (owned by friends of ours), so they could jump on the jumpy thing (what do you call those?) and get their faces painted - and begged her to stay 3. We walked over to McDonalds and they played and played in the playland before we had to leave to get ready for church. After church we brought pizza next door and had dinner with our next door neighbors and their kids and opened presents - and begged her to stay 3. They gave her a Webkinz, which was awesome!!! (although, Cornbread and I are now convinced that she will never feel compelled to do chores around the house now that she doesn't need to earn money to buy her own lol!). When it began to rain, we had to forego our plans for s'mores and play inside their house instead. It was a really fun and tiring day! The girls didn't go to bed until after 10pm and had been up around 6:30am. And needless to say, she reFUSES to stay 3. Hmph.Ryann is such a joy for us. It has been incredibly interesting to observe her and parent her over the last year. All we have to compare is Nora - and they are SO different!

Ryann is very easy going and laid back. She doesn't seem to overreact to situations like her older sister does. She is not overly emotional. She just is and usually accepts situations for what they are. While she has had her share of tantrums in the last year, they are very rare now and I have learned what fights are worth fighting and which ones are not (fighting over what she wears is NOT worth it - took me a few times to learn that lesson).

She appears to be kind of shy - she is quick to hide in our legs if someone she doesn't know walks up to us. She does not like to look people in the eyes and say Thank You or even Hi. But once you are in Ryann's circle, she is so snuggly and loving and giggly and cute! She is still stingy with her kisses, though;)

She is also more introverted than the other two girls. I often see her playing by herself on the playground at school. She is never upset about it. Never complains. And I don't believe it is because noone likes her or doesn't want to play with her - she likes to be by herself and with her closest people (this is also evidenced in the fact that she misses and craves "Jenny Time" - time alone with our friend Jenny).

And although she is introverted and somewhat shy, she is very, very confident in herself. Her teacher told me this on Friday and I defnitely agree. She knows who she is and is very comfortable with that - because of this, we try very, very hard to not make her shyness or introvertedness a big deal. We encourage her, but understand and do not put social expectations on her that are unmeetable (I guess it helps to have an introverted mom, heh).

Cornbread and I each have one older sister so we know absolutely nothing about middle children or the dynamics of a 3 child family. We try hard, though, to treat Ryann with fairness and perhaps a little extra attention because of her place in our family. It seems that it would be easy to overlook her based on the needs of her older and younger sister and her easy going personality. While we don't favor her, we do try to be aware of the possibilities and be more intentional in our affection for her. We also try to make her feel she has a special role in our family because she is the only one who gets to be an older sister AND a younger sister - how cool is that?

It isn't hard to be intentional with our affection for her because she is just so yummy! Her hugs linger longer than most and she is quick to reach out and touch me - seems that she has always, always craved physical touch and I am happy to comply:) I can never satisfy my Cutie Donut craving!


Jen 3:43 PM  

She's 4 already?!?!? Holy buckets. . .

Happy birthday Ryann!!!

April 4:22 PM  

WOW! She wouldn't stay three no matter how much you pleaded, what are we going to do!!!

Happy Birthday Ryann!

Jen 10:15 PM  

what an amazing tribute to your daughter. I really enjoyed reading it!

JCarey 8:22 AM  

Amazing group of little ladies you are raising! I have to tell you that it sounds like you have described my Liz when you share about Ryann. I have always said that she can find a peaceful spot in a war zone, likes to be with kids but also likes her alone time, is always happy and very confident but has a quirky shyness to her similar to Ryann.

kkoois 9:38 AM  

Happy Birthday, Ryann!! It seems like just yesterday when we got to meet you for the first time and you used Jeremy's finger as a pacifier. I wish we lived closer so I could see you grow up in person - I think you and Elise would be good friends. But, your mom does a great job of keeping us all up to date on your life and the way you are growing up to be such a special girl. Hope you had a great birthday!!

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