Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Delaney at 6

Our brown eyed girl turned 6 over two weeks ago.  I think she'll understand why I'm so late with her birthday post.  It's been a busy couple of weeks around here.:)  I think this post will consist of many pictures but few words because lately I've been having trouble finding words.  I've been taking a little break from the blog as I just work my way through the busy parts of the day, relax with my family every spare minute, and plop down on the couch next to my husband after the kids are in bed.  I was just reading her 5th birthday post and I know for sure I won't be topping that today.
I think (hope) this year has been every bit as fun for her as I imagined it would.  She has made big strides toward becoming a big kid even though she is tiny.  At 47.5 inches tall and weighing 42.2 pounds, she is at the 7th percentile for height and 34th percentile for weight.  I had worried about her being one of the youngest kids in her kindergarten class, especially with the remarks her preschool teacher had given me on her final progress report.  She said basically that Delaney was very quiet, didn't like to answer questions, and then finished with an optimistic (and somewhat dubious to me based on the comments that preceded it) "She'll bloom in kindergarten."  Or something to that effect.  I hoped for the best and I kind of held my breath those first few weeks.  Delaney made me so proud.  It shouldn't have surprised me at all to see how she grew into such a confident reader and writer, and to hear from her teachers on a regular basis about how well she was doing and how much fun she is to have in class.  But then she's always amazed me.  When she was a baby I'd say, "Look how well she sits" or "Look at what a great crawler she is!"  Everybody sees their own kid as incredible, I guess, and as much as we want to keep them little forever, we still get so excited to see them move on and take another step.

She tried her first organized sport this past spring, soccer.  She had some fun, and she might have started to catch on a little, but she had a massive eczema flare-up that lasted for weeks, and that caused some trouble.  Her eczema is triggered by warmer weather and being outside.  Every spring like clockwork the redness and scales appear on the backs of her knees.  I know she suffered a lot during games and practices, with those socks that come right up to her knees.  Rolling them down a bit didn't even give her much relief.  She tried her hardest to participate but I could tell she was very uncomfortable.  I tried every remedy I'd ever heard of with varying degrees of success, but what finally worked once and for all was a prescription steroid cream called Triamcinalone.  That stuff was a miracle.  After the recommended 10 days of use were up, her skin had completely cleared up.  She was so much happier.  Too bad the soccer season was over by then.  I still have more Triamcinalone, and when the next flare happens I'll be prepared.  She wants to try soccer again in the fall, and I know she'll be able to focus more on the game if she's not constantly itching.
She is very inquisitive and wants to know and understand everything.  If you make an offhand comment around Delaney, she will listen to every word and want to know exactly what you're talking about and what you meant.  It means no more thinking out loud for me unless I'm prepared to explain it all to her.  I have to assume she is always listening if she is anywhere near.  Sometimes it can be the start of a good conversation, but if I don't really want to talk about it I have to think of an answer that will satisfy her anyway.  And she's smart enough to know if I'm just trying to avoid a conversation.  She absorbs everything that we say.  A few weeks ago in a Target dressing room, she told me that my "milky things were droopy and sad."  I couldn't even be offended by that because I knew she hadn't come up with that on her own.  She had to have heard me say it at some point and just filed it away for the perfect moment.  We have to be careful what we say around Delaney!
"I heard that."
She has become more sensitive this year and gets her feelings hurt easily.  She can't stand to see a bug squashed and when she sees Annie or Timmy do it, she cries and accuses them of "hurting nature".  If there's a little critter in the house somewhere, she can be counted on to get rid of it humanely.  She loves all the little creatures -- cockroaches, spiders, flies, ants, everything.  She is their defender.  She is also bruised by the silly insults Annie throws her way, things like "You're not 6, you're 4!"  I wish she would just ignore her like I keep telling her to, but alas, it seems like the secondborn child always knows just what buttons to push on the firstborn.  And the firstborn can never just ignore it.  Then throw in a pesky little brother who gets on everybody's nerves.  (Sigh) The only part of summer I don't like is having them all three at home all the time.  But I digress.  I don't like to see Delaney's feelings get trampled but there's not always much I can do about it.
Delaney with one of her cuter critters
In other ways she is pretty tough.  She was stung by a bee at a birthday party a couple weeks ago, and she didn't say a word to me about it, just got quiet and withdrawn.  I know I cried when I got stung by a bee when I was little.  I did find it strange that she wouldn't at least come to me and tell me instead of just looking all mopey and making me wonder what her problem was.  A couple days before Tim came back she got a little sick and was running a fever.  I gave her some ibuprofen when I put her to bed, and in the morning her fever was gone and she had made her bed without me asking, and seemed cheerful.  I thought she was OK to go to swim lessons, but a few minutes beforehand, she started looking tired and feeling warm.  I told her that she could just rest while Annie did hers.  But she insisted that she wanted to do it and reluctantly, I let her.  She was ready to collapse by the time the half hour was over, and at that point I knew that I REALLY shouldn't have let her, but it also seemed wrong to deny her the chance to do something that she thought she could do.  And after all, she did do it and she did not complain even though she had to swim the length of the pool.  I brought her home, she took a nap (the only time she'll nap is when she's sick), and was good as new by that evening.  She is determined and tough like her dad.  She doesn't let much slow her down.

On the subject of swimming, she passed her swim test at the Y a few days ago, and you never saw someone more proud of herself.  To pass the test she had to swim the length of the pool and then jump in and tread water for 30 seconds.  After that she was given a temporary armband, but she couldn't wait to get the yellow necklace that distinguishes the kids who are swimmers from the ones who are not.  She takes it off to sleep and that's about it.  Now she can go to the deep end by herself and go down the slides.  She is very happy and I am happy for her.
I know there is so much more I should say, and so much that I'm missing as I try to put together a post that does justice to this year of her life.  There are so many special moments, and so many things she says or does that make me laugh or move me, or just make me want to squeeze her.  I mean to jot it down but then the next thing happens, usually a kid who needs me, and the moment is gone.  Of course it's silly to think you can capture a whole year of a child's life in just a few short paragraphs, but that doesn't stop me from trying. 

Delaney, in a few years I will drive you a lot crazier than I do now.  Maybe you'll sit down and read this and know how much we love you and how proud we are of you, and what a blessing and a joy you are to all of us.  Happy belated 6th birthday!   


  1. I love these kinds of updates. It is SO hard to sum up your kid in just one little post to them, but I feel like you captured a lot of her personality. What a great kid you have!!