Child Development

Last week was Show Week at Maya’s gymnastics school. It is an opportunity for the kiddos to showcase all the new skills they have learned throughout the year for their proud parents. I always find their demonstrations so adorable.

Maya has had a great year in gymnastics. She has come so far and learned a ton of new skills. The days of being scared to go into class by herself and being too scared to participate in Show Day are long gone. She demonstrated every skill very well. We are so proud of her.

Maya is very good at gymnastics and has learned a lot of new skills this year. In fact, she has become so good so has been invited to join the advanced class at her gym. The class requires a skills assessment to join so all the kids in the class are at a certain skill level which allows the teachers to begin focusing on new and more challenging skills. Their is more time spent on skills training in the class, which is Maya’s favorite part. She will start in the class this summer in order to hone one remaining required skill that she is still struggling a bit with and then be ready to stay on with the class in the fall and participate in their shows and competitions. She, her teachers and we are very excited for this new step!

So, yesterday I spent all day psyching myself up to move Anna into her big girl bed. I knew the sooner I did it the more likely it was that things would be settled down and in a good routine before Maya starts kindergarten and before Baby Girl #3 arrives. Once I had myself talked into I started talking Anna into. Which, it turns out, was harder than I thought. Every time I mentioned her sleeping in her big girl bed in her new room she would say “No”. I tried not to let that get to me and scare me away from moving her over last night.

At bedtime I put her favorite guys, the ones that usually occupy the space at the end of her crib, in her new big girl bed.

When I brought her upstairs we went about our usual routine and jammies and brushing teeth. Then, we did something a little different, we walked into Maya’s room instead of her room. She got excited at the sight of her guys in her bed and climbed right in. I was excited and thought, just maybe, this transition would be smooth.

But then she got this look of fear in her eyes, you can see it in the last picture. That look didn’t leave her eyes until they were closed and she was gently snoring away. I climbed into bed with her and we read a few stories and I got her to lay down and climbed out of the bed to sit beside it for a minute. She was not having any of it and started crying. I climbed back into bed with her and laid down beside her. I told her it was bedtime and she needed to go to sleep. Her response just about broke my heart and resolve “No bed, I scared” :( I laid there with her for a while and watched her eyes dart all around the room, the fear still very prominent. When her eyes started to get heavy and her breathing rhythmic I tried to get out of bed and leave the room. She responded by sobbing. I gave up and laid with her until she fell asleep.

With her blankie held tightly to her chest, her eyes closed and her little snores filling the quiet in the room I determined she was asleep enough that I could safely leave. I whispered to Maya to stay very quiet so Anna wouldn’t wake back up and I tip toed out of the room. I checked back in on them later, before I went to bed. Both girls were sleeping soundly, Anna still in the exact position I left her in, with her blankie still clutched tightly to her chest.

Even though the going to bed part was a bit rough, and I’m guessing I’ll need to lay with her for at least a few nights until she gets used to the new bed and new room, I’m going to call last night a success. She slept all night, not a peep out of her, in her new big girl bed and woke this morning full of happiness, the fear of the evening before long gone. So, the first night was a success and my fingers are crossed that it is more of the same in the days ahead.

Tomorrow I am hosting a little play date for a new friend that Maya made recently. This little girl lives in our neighborhood (her first new friend that lives close by) and will be starting kindergarten with Maya in the fall (hopefully in the same class). Tomorrow she and her mom are coming over for lunch a little play date. It is the start of new friendships, for Maya and for me. Maya played at her house for a few hours on Sunday and the girls had a wonderful time. It is nice to see her bonding with new people.

We all still miss our friends in St. Louis dearly. Maya still talks pretty much daily about her best pal, Claire. But, these new little friendships she is forming are helping her. They are helping her adjust to life here in Seattle. They are helping her settle in and enjoy herself. Kindergarten is going to be a big step for her, it is going to be a big change. I’m glad she has someone to experience that with now.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m looking forward to watching Maya and her new little friend play and giggle and be little girls together. It should be a great afternoon.

 

Maya has been asking for a big girl 2-wheel bike for ages now. Our plan was to get her one this summer and then we decided to move to Seattle so it was put on hold for a bit. We told her she could get one once we got here and settled in. Well a couple of weeks ago her wishes for a new bike finally came true and the beloved UPS driver delivered a big box just for Maya. She was so, so excited.

I had to make a tool run and a bike helmet run so she could ride it right away as the bike got here before all our stuff arrived from St. Louis. Lorne managed to get the bike put together with the “help” of two little girls and lots of princesses :)

Maya has been loving her new bike and riding it all over the parking lot of our apartment complex and on the trails that run through our community. She is still pretty cautious but getting better every time she rides it. I’m sure before we know it, it’ll be time to remove those training wheels.

Anna is a bit envious of her sister’s new wheels ;)

Maya is extremely shy and nervous, she has been since birth. Even as a baby she was painfully shy around people, even those she saw regularly, and she had a very nervous personality. I’m sure you all remember the debacle that was our first attempt at gymnastics a couple of years ago. So, when she started preschool last year I was understandably nervous about how it would go. But I ended up not having anything to worry about, she did great.

Thanks to an amazing preschool teacher that really did a great job of helping Maya come out of her shell I felt like we took two giant steps forward in tackling her shyness. She was open to playing with new kids at the playground. She took gymnastics and dance without any trouble. Her summer camps went really well (most of them anyway). I could still see glimpses of that super shy little girl that started the school year, but mostly she was gone. And then we moved…

We are in the second week of school and instead of things improving they seem to be getting worse. She was scared and nervous her first day but did really well at drop off, she didn’t even cry. On her second day she cried at drop off but still ended up having a great day. Yesterday at drop off she threw a fit and clung to me crying. Her teacher was able to calm her down and I was able to leave, but when I came to pick her up she said she didn’t play or do anything all morning she just stood with her teacher. It is definitely beginning to feel like we have taken two steps backwards. The strides we made last year are all but gone.

I know it is still early in the school year so there is still hope. I know a lot of what is going on with her stems from the move and leaving her friends, her school, her home, all that was comfortable to her. I hope that as time passes she’ll make a friend or two in class and things will get easier for her and she’ll gain back some of the confidence she worked so hard for last year. Her teachers at her new school are wonderful and are working hard to help Maya feel comfortable at school and I really appreciate that.

We’ll just keep talking to her, encouraging her and working on getting her to come out of her shell a bit. She loved school so much last year, I hope she gets to that point at this new school too. Looking forward to taking those two giant steps forward with her again, hopefully sooner rather than later.