Friday, November 8, 2013

What it's like to be 5 years old...unconditionally

So, DD is 5 years old and I've fielded a few questions now about practices and if/how they changed. Here's a synopsis of growing into age 5:

The top question of course is, "Is she still breastfeeding?" Yes! We are still on our path of CLW (Child Led Weaning). She asks to nurse only for bedtime, and even then she has skipped a few nights.

Breastfeeding for her seems to represent comfort and affirmation. She will latch on for a few minutes and quickly begin to fall asleep.

Her nursing has naturally tapered off without me needing to fuss or restrict. I also notice that when I envision her weaning, it doesn't hurt my heart, so I think we are both together on a journey that is almost over. Upon asking her when she will wean, however, she firmly tells me not until age 15. Haha.

Speaking of sleep, yes, she is still in the family bed. She mostly keeps to herself at night and is sleeping through the night, but loves to steal cuddles from me in the early morning, when the boys are still snoring.

Interestingly, bedsharing is one of the things I find hardest to imagine giving up for us. She is wary of the dark and dislikes being alone, two things that are just part of who she is, as I've noted her brothers show their own likes/dislikes that are different despite ages and milestones. I would feel bad transitioning her out of the room.

(PS, this was a supervised photo op and does not represent safe bedsharing practice. Be sure to read up on that when researching this method.)

Under the topic of meeting milestones and learning new skills, we are still pursuing the CLL (Child Led Learning) route.

For example, she was physically capable of bicycling around age 3.5/4 years but emotionally not ready. I've noted this in her personality on several other milestones such as potty learning, so I quickly backed away from the topic.

Sure enough, one day she pulled her bike out of the closet and began to teach herself in the playroom, completely unprompted by anyone. Then I brought the bike outside and she got on as if she had always been riding.

She is doing some limited reading and writing, working on phonics and sorting out English, Spanish and Tagalog. I'm unsure if introducing her to all 3 languages was ultimately good or a hindrance, as at this point it's caused some confusion. So right now she primarily uses English and I follow her lead on that and support it. She also has found a great interest in science (fist pump) and is getting what she most wanted for her birthday: a microscope!

Is she still rearfacing in her carseat? No. I made the decision to turn her forward a couple weeks before her birthday. Although the Radian XTSL did not have a rearfacing limit excepting the 1inch of hard shell, I noticed the newer models all had 44 inch limits, which led me to worry that the XTSL merely hadn't been tested. She was also about 2lbs from the weight limit.

She has upgraded to the Britax Frontier85 SICT, handing her XTSL over to her brother. At first she was upset about not being rearfacing, but when I gave her "big sister" privileges such as opening the van door, she felt better about it.

Is she still babywearing? Yes, she does pop up there occasionally, although she rarely asks these days. She only requests when she is tired out and there's a long walk ahead.

But we've moved into new and precious land: siblingwearing!

I feel as if we've reached a new turn, getting to the magical age 5, and it's wonderful to get up over that big mountain of "babyhood and toddlerhood" because now I see more of what's ahead.

Is it bittersweet to leave some things behind? Sure. But the future is filled with the light, sensitive, inquisitive and joyful spirit DD brings with her to every part of our lives. I can't wait.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful child and beautiful mom, both inside and out
    :) thanks for sharing