Yep, it's true! As of January 28, Kaylee Baylee is 6 years old!!!
Kaylee is so responsible and mature for her age. In the morning, she often gets dressed and gets herself some cereal, without even waking anyone else up. And she loves helping out around the house.
She is equal parts girly girl and tomboy. Her favorite color is definitely PINK! She adores dresses, headbands, purses, nail polish, princesses, and anything sparkly.
But at the same time, she is a seriously tough little kid! She plays outside, gets dirty, climb trees, digs for dinosaur bones, and wrestles. She does not care one bit about gender norms or what anyone thinks about her, which I hope stays the same as she grows up.
She loves singing along to music on the radio and it's ADORABLE. Her favorite songs are Girls Chase Boy by Ingrid Michaelson, Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, and Rather Be by Clean Bandit.
She did want to be a firefighter for the longest time when she grew up, but she changed her mind to being a school nurse. I can see a theme here; she wants to help people. :) She also says she wants to be an archaeologist in her spare time and discover real dinosaur bones.
She's such a good big sister. She plays with Brynna, reads to her, and even helped me potty-train her! She is just so patient (most of the time, anyway).
She had been BEGGING me for months to have another baby. When we'd say our nightly prayers, she'd always ask God to put a baby in my belly, lol. When I told her I was pregnant, her reaction was priceless! Although I felt bad because she couldn't focus on her homework after that. I should have timed that better!
She has apparently decided who she wants to be her boyfriend when she grows up!! She says there is a boy in her class named Maurice and he's very handsome and funny. I admit that is pretty adorable, but I'm not ready for her to be talking about dating! Lol.
She started Kindergarten in September and she loves it. When she got on the bus the first day, I asked her if she was nervous or excited. She said she was just patient and calm, lol. She had a great first day and has been doing well every since.
We are very relieved at how well she's doing, behaviorally. Her teacher has experience with kids who have special needs, which is why they placed her in this class. But the teacher literally doesn't believe that she has any of the issues I warned her about, lol. She does thrive when she's kept busy, so it makes sense that school would be a good environment for her.
We're not at all surprised at how well she's doing in school, academically. She has always been too smart for her own good, lol. She is always surprising us with her vocabulary. The other day she used the word 'attribute' and when I asked her if she knew what it meant, she explained the meaning perfectly!
She gets a homework packet on Monday that she's supposed to finish by Friday and she usually finishes it in 1 or 2 days. She actually gets upset when she runs out of homework, lol. She seems to remember every single thing she learns and will quote so many facts. And she is already reading and writing simple sentences! We are so proud!!
On top of schoolwork, she learns a lot from playing educational games on the computer. She likes ABCya.com, ABCmouse.com, and Starfall.com. Sometimes we work on Spanish and American Sign Language with her, but not strictly. She's still at the point where she's learning Spanish vocab, but with ASL she can already hold a simple conversation.
Watching her grow up is just amazing. Her personality is developing more and more. I mean she's not just funny, she's witty. She's unbelievably sweet and caring, and just such a joy to be around. She is like a ray of sunshine and makes friends wherever she goes.
She is a thinker. She thinks about things you'd never expect a little kid to think about. She told me recently that she's decided to never have children. Apparently disciplining them will be too hard for her, because she will love them too much to ever say no to them! And she really worries about the earth. If she sees a piece of litter, we have to go pick it up to throw it away. I worry that she worries too much!! (I guess she gets it from me.)
She is also incredibly stubborn, fiery, and ornery, lol. Her spirit was not broken by all she has been through with her health. I am proud of her for how strong she is. But it also tears me apart to know she had to toughen herself up so much. I wish I could have prevented the pain she went through.
Discipline has been really tough in the past year. Since the brain swelling, we've been constantly unsure of how we should discipline her. Her tantrums can get pretty out of control. Recently, she had a meltdown in a grocery store, and a lady actually tried to intervene. She thought I was abusing Kaylee, and threatened to report me! I've also had the opposite happen, where a complete stranger has told me I just need to give her a spanking.
But the super strict approach hasn't worked for her AT ALL. It just makes her shut down. A patient, empathetic, but still firm, approach works best with her. It's taken a lot of practice for us to learn to stay calm and consistent with her, and also avoid her triggers (not eating often enough; eating gluten or red food dye; not enough sleep; not enough exercise; being bored).
Basically, we need to block out what everyone else may think, and focus on doing our best to be the parents SHE needs. There is a very blurry line between realizing that she can't control herself, but also not telling her she can basically act however she wants. And it's hard enough to walk that line without trying to deal with the input of others!
Don't get me wrong, there are good days, even a week at a time, where she doesn't have a single issue. A lot of the time, she can be just the most well-behaved, thoughtful, sweet, inquisitive little kid. And no matter how crazy she makes me at times, I love her JUST THE WAY SHE IS. :) I never want to be so focused on raising a good kid that I forget I already have one!
One thing she has come so far on lately is eating. She tries new foods all the time, which is awesome because she used to literally survive on just 5 or so foods.
She has been sleeping pretty well. She rarely has night terrors anymore. :)
She's been interested in gymnastics for a while and ends up doing these insane acrobatics at home. I always worry she's going to hurt herself and recently, she did. She got a minor concussion by hitting her head on a table. Luckily, after a few days of rest, she was just fine. But then we decided to sign her up for gymnastics ASAP and hope that will help her get her energy out in a safer way. So far, she absolutely loves it. :) And whenever she starts getting too hyper and doing her crazy tricks, I tell her to save that energy for gymnastics class and that seems to work pretty well.
For her actual birthday, she didn't want a party. Eventually she agreed to just a small celebration. My mom came over, we gave Kay a few presents, and we had cake (gluten free, of course). The only thing she really asked for was to take a trip to the American Girl Doll store, so we will be going there in the next few weeks. :)
I just can't believe my baby girl is 6! Honestly, it's too crazy to describe my feelings about it in words. There have definitely been some challenging times, where I don't feel like I know how to parent her properly, and I don't feel like a good mom at all. But it is such a gift to be a her mom, and each day is a chance to try to do a better job. I know if I keep trying my best, and always make sure she knows that I love her so so much, then at the end of the day that will be all that matters. I can't wait for the next year of watching her grow up, and just can't believe she will be 7 on her next birthday. It all goes by so fast!!