Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dear Moe (June, July and August 2015)

Oh, my bean, what a great summer we had together. It went by so quickly.

We had some lovely play dates. As school was coming to a close, I asked you if there way anyone from your class or from EDP that you wanted to connect with over the summer for play dates. You asked me to reach out to Jojo's parents, and are we ever glad we did. You had two wonderful play dates with Jojo, one at each end of the summer. We had a glorious park date just before school was out, and then we had an end of summer extravaganza celebration with Jojo and her family at Midway Family Funpark. We all had a wonderful time! We love Jojo's parents, and plan to get together with them again. If you and Jojo want to join us, that's super. ;) The two of you play really well together.

We enjoyed a lovely visit from Aunt Natalie, Uncle Darin, Caspian, and Darin's family from South Africa. Caspian absolutely loved playing with you and pretty much thinks you're the best thing since sliced bread. He just wants to do whatever you are doing; it's lovely to watch you play together.

You had lots of experience playing with little people this summer. We took Dorothy on an outing to the park together, and you were wonderful with her. You also spent a few weeks with Robin, and got to see the “day care babies,” as you call them.

We also had some great times with Emmett down the street, and a lovely park date with Wyatt, at which you showed a real talent for softball. 

We had a couple of great backyard playdates with the O'Donnell's, including celebrating Hattie's first birthday. You loved the set-up of sliding down the slide into the wading pool. (We're glad you play well with the O'Donnell girls, because we're adopting their parents, too.) You got to show off your excellent slip-and-slide skills at Keira's birthday party, too – they added soap to the mix, which made it even more slippery!

You did three weeks of day camp this summer: two weeks at Starr Gymnastics and one week at the RA Centre. We will definitely send you to the RA Camp again; you had a great time, and we can even have you in swimming lessons at the same time. Daddy especially enjoyed the four minute commute to pick you up.

Your reading has only improved this summer. You can read entire books to yourself as a means of amusing yourself. Jojo and her family introduced us to the Library Moose and the TD Summer Reading program, and we blew through that log book in no time. We read some great chapter books this summer, including Emma and the Blue Genie, Captain Awesome, Kung-Pow Chicken, and the first three books in the Wizard of Oz series.

Although we didn't go on as many bike rides as I would have liked, we did get you up on your bike and you continue to improve. You even got the hang of starting yourself off a few times, and shouted happily, “MOM! I don't need you anymore!” which was kind of like a knife to my heart when taken out of context, but I was very proud nonetheless.

We had two really, really wonderful trips this summer. In July, we went to Maine with Granny, Uncle Mark and Aunt Janine. We went to the beach every single day. Unlike in past years, you were right into the waves from the start. You still won't swim in the ocean, but you are all about playing in the waves and jumping over them. It was fantastic to watch you. It was a fun-filled week of ice cream, sand-castle building with Uncle Mark (and “making natural,” which is what you called the drizzly towers made out of very wet sand), playing at the arcade, your first round of mini-golf (you could not get over how your ball disappeared like magic on the last hole), walking the length of the beach to get fried clams, kite flying, and collecting rocks and shells. You and Granny built a lovely rock garden in the front yard with your booty.

Our second trip was in August when we flew to Halifax to spend a week with Grandpa Will and Grandma Anne. Your bond with Grandma Anne is something to behold. You stuck to her like glue... until David came home, and then you stuck to him like glue. ;) Our week in Halifax was really lovely. We did a day at the beach where Heather and her boyfriend buried you in sand up to your neck (and you loved it), and you played with the boogie board in the waves. (By this I mean that you played in the waves while holding the boogie board. You did not in fact play WITH the boogie board, but one thing at a time...) We went to the Citadel and you did the Parks Canada Explorer program and we counted canons, hunted for gunpowder, tried on hats and watched the firing of the noon-day gun. Then we walked down to the Discovery Centre, where we had a blast in the bubble room, built a wall, and played with the whisper dishes. It was all very hands on and very fun. We went to the Busker Festival at the Halifax Harbour, which was super crowded, and one of the highlights was listening to a guy play AC/DC's Thunderstruck on the bag-pipes. We had a great time at home with the family, too. You and Heather harvested her herb garden, you had a ping pong tournament with Heather, David and Grandma Anne, and you loved showing off your ninja skills to Grandpa Will. When you said you wished you could be a ninja in real life, Grandpa told you he was actually a wizard and could grant you that wish, but he was missing his magic wand.

The highlight of the Halifax trip was the visit to Upper Clements Park in the Annapolis Valley. It's such a gorgeous location, and it was amazing to see what you could do this year as opposed to last year. You played mini-golf, were all over the slides, had a great time on the rides, but interestingly were not feeling up to crossing the rope bridge as you did last year. You were good for the log flume again, though, and we had a great time.

Late in the summer, we started using screen time coupons, and they have been working well. You can earn 15 or 30 minutes of screen time for being a good listener and making our jobs easier. We also recently started giving you an allowance, contingent on you doing some basic chores.

You made some really great observations this summer, some of which I have recorded here:
  • At one point, I asked you if you'd had a big poop or a small poop, and you said, “I had one big poop and then a whole herd of poop.”
  • While driving in Halifax, we were listening to CBC Radio One, and you exclaimed, “Oh, let's listen to this! It's the same voices that are on Granny's headphones!”
  • You discovered Minecraft and spent a few days walking around the house whapping things with a sword, declaring you were “mining” them.
  • Also due to Minecraft, you spent some time pretending to be a baby ocelot. You were saying “oshawat” at first (it was like a Minecraft-Pokemon mash-up), and that confused us, but we figured it out.
  • You were game to visit the Animals Inside Out exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and I did my best to hide my squeamishness. But when you asked, “What's that?” and I had to respond, “That is... a cat's brain, eyeballs, and spinal column,” you looked at me for a moment and then said, “I think we should a visit a different gallery now, Mom.” Your sensitivity was appreciated.
And suddenly, it was September. You started senior kindergarten a few days ago, and French immersion. You've only had two days of school, but you seem to be positive about it all, and I'm looking forward to watching you learn even more this year. 

Today we began our fall activities with swimming lessons and judo on the same day, and it went better than I could have imagined. You loved your first judo class with Sensei Tina, and you are excited to go back.

I hope you had a wonderful summer, Moe. We loved spending time with you. We often forget that you are only five and a half – you are well spoken, such a great reader, and very observant. You still love to snuggle, have a great sense of humour, and a mischievous smile. I can't wait to see what the fall brings. 

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