Today you are TEN YEARS OLD. I have now known you for over five years and you are turning into the most incredible kid. This year you have grown by leaps and bounds in pretty much every way except physically. You are still a little shrimp at 51 pounds. :) Your small size makes you the favorite among your peers and you continue to be one of the popular ones wherever you go. You gravitate towards older, bigger kids and they love you because you’re small enough to cart around and easily wrestle with.
School was a challenge for you in 3rd grade. You and your teacher didn’t mesh well and we didn’t feel like she was a good advocate for you. You struggled with a few situations regarding other kids that we felt weren’t handled the way they should be. You often came home from school frustrated about how the day had gone and telling me that Mrs. H was your least favorite teacher yet. Of course this was hard for Daddy and I to hear and we started to discuss homeschooling you in 5th grade. One-on-one instruction is what you thrive on and I think it would be so helpful to be able to tailor lessons to your specific needs and interests. It’s something we are seriously talking about. (Plus, we’re hoping you will have a baby brother or sister around that time and that Mommy will be home anyway!)
Grandma has been having some more serious health problems this year and it led to finding different childcare for you during your before and after school hours. After hunting around and checking out our options we settled on a community after school program, where you go for about 30 minutes in the morning and about an hour in the afternoon. You LOVE it. There is a huge array of activities and you were able to spend lots of time playing outside. You made some new friends there and always had fun things to tell me about your day.
You have become more mature in choosing your friends this year and have a very nice group of them. Colyn was your best friend last year but this year he took to throwing you under the bus a few times. When Daddy asked if you wanted to invite him to your birthday party you told him, “He lied to three teachers to get me in trouble and he slapped me in the face. No.” Your best friend at school is Alex and your best friend at your after school program is Kylie. Dalton and Riley are among your best buds and although you don’t see them much, you also like spending time with Mason, Rhonen and Blu. You also love to play with your cousins and Mommy’s older boy cousins.
This summer you went back to YMCA camp and it’s been a bit different than last year. You’re learning more about bullies and how to deal with them and have been doing an excellent job with that. There is one boy in particular that has been causing some problems and you even asked if we could set up a meeting with a counselor to talk about him. I’ve been very proud of the way you’ve used your words and not your hands. Andrew is your friend of choice at camp and you also spend a lot of time with Jonah.
Your eating habits still leave something to be desired, despite our efforts to encourage (and sometimes force) you to try new things. You have started to get tired of Happy Meals (HALLELUJAH!) and have moved on to Popcorn Chicken from KFC. I’m sure that’s not great for you either but at least it’s real chicken. :) Daddy and I still hope that your stubbornness about food will wear off and that you’ll branch out in what you like, especially with fruits and vegetables. This year your foods of choice were Top Ramen, Happy Meals, KFC chicken, fruit snacks, chips, cereal, popcorn, chocolate milk, juice, sweets, French toast and ice cream. Occasionally we can get you to eat some peanuts or pistachios. :)
You are learning to ride a unicycle this year and you are mere weeks away from mastering it! Nana got you started on it and at first you were less than excited about it but did it to please her. Now that you’re really getting the hang of it you have started to love it and can see your own progress. It’s exciting to watch you! You also learned to skateboard this year in PE and Daddy brought you home a skateboard from the lost and found at work, which you love.
You are a little fish and LOVE water. Swimming is your favorite activity and even though you complain about taking baths, once you get in the tub, you tend to enjoy them. You still take baths instead of showers but will sometimes use the shower to rinse your soapy hair when you’re done. You have finally started washing your own hair and getting yourself dried off, much to our delight. You have been known to stay in the tub for up to an hour, singing and playing and commentating. The cats usually feel the need to supervise your bath time and they have each fallen in a time or two, which is pretty much the most hilarious thing ever.
You love paper and can make all sorts of creative crafts out of it, your favorite being paper airplanes. If given a pen, the first thing you will draw is always, without fail, a skeleton. Your letterboxing signature stamp is also a skeleton.
You have been inquiring about dreams a lot lately and will ask almost every day, “So, didja have any bad dreams last night?” I don’t often have bad dreams but Daddy and I do have a lot of dreams in general so it’s been funny to talk about them.
We got rid of cable TV this year and were hoping that would naturally cut down on TV time. Many of the things you like to watch can be found on Netflix, however, so you’ve switched to that. Our Wii gets lots of use between Netflix and video games. You and Daddy love to play Super Mario Brothers together.
You are one of the most creative, imaginative kids I know and when I ask you to pack your library bag with activities, the things you choose are hilarious. One week at church you had a little wooden box, a phone cord, a dog leash, a funnel, a bouncy ball, a ring from a ring toss game and a Lego stick thing. You had the best time.
You still hate getting your hair cut and going to bed. Your favorite shoes this year are your hiking boots and 8 out of 10 pair of your pants have giant holes in the left knee. You don’t like to wear long sleeves but sweatshirts are ok. You LOVE to play in the sand and get dirty. We got a new car this year and your favorite seat is in the VERY back, facing backwards. You make up your own jokes and songs and make us laugh all the time.
This year you love Legos, Star Wars, Mario, Pokemon, superheroes, anything to do with science, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Goosebumps (or really anything scary), Transformers and history. You like to quiz Mommy on the presidents (which is good for me because I’m terrible with them). You’ve also taken a liking to board games and we love to play “I’m Thinking of an Animal” together. You’re awesome at that game.
This summer you’ve been spending a couple of hours with Caryn in the mornings and she has been tutoring you in reading and math. You’re really enjoying it and have grown in leaps and bounds in just a few short weeks. Daddy and I are so impressed at how far you’ve come and you can’t wait to wow your teachers when school starts. You missed out on learning your multiplication tables toward the end of 3rd grade and Caryn has taught you 0 through 10 in just a few short weeks. Once you master them, your reward is a canoe trip with her and Colby! You can now read easy level books all on your own and you have blazed through all of the Dr. Seuss books at Nana and Grandpa’s house. I’ve noticed you reading signs and packages more often and that’s really exciting for me. I hope that reading becomes something you enjoy. When I ask your about your day, your favorite part is often your morning with Caryn.
It’s hard to believe that you’re ten years old already and Daddy and I are so excited for this coming year. You have some wonderful traits and skills and interests and it’s so fun to watch those unfold. I can’t wait to see where 10 takes you. :)
We love you with all our hearts,
Mommy and Daddy