Monthly Archives: October 2017

What Is New With Sydney in Fall 2017?

We had our first six inches of snow, the leaves are changing colors, and it distinctly feels like we are finally out of summer and approaching winter.

Wading in a puddle

Wading in a puddle after a fall rainstorm.

Here is what is new with Sydney:

Classes

Sydney is signed up for a variety of extracurricular classes: Spanish on Mondays, Hip Hop on Wednesdays, Ballet on Thursdays, Soccer on Fridays, and Swimming (now over) on Saturdays. We have always scheduled this many activities for Sydney because she has enjoyed them so much. While participation has always been subject to the motivational whims of a young girl, for the first time we are seeing a reluctance by Sydney to participate.

I had to cajole Sydney to engage in her swimming class, even though she had already mastered everything they were teaching in her previous private lessons. One Friday Sydney sat out of soccer for all except the final five minutes because it was “boring”. (Where did she learn that word?) I showed up at Hip Hop mid-class one day only to find Sydney sitting on the edge of class and, when I asked the teacher, she told me Sydney is often an “observer”. Devon tells me she has experienced the same things.

It is certainly possible we are over-scheduling Sydney, the classic modern parent mistake. Things changed quite a bit this year as Sydney is now going to school until 2:30 PM instead of 1:00 PM. It is also possible the swimming and soccer lessons are boring. With soccer in particular, Sydney is in a class with a bunch of younger kids given the cutoff date and they are not doing anything related to real soccer yet. But Sydney has always loved ballet and hip hop so it is not clear what is happening with those classes.

Bicycling

I wrote previously Sydney learned to ride a bike recently. Her enthusiasm for this has not waned at all. I take Sydney to the park at least three times per week and she will spend 20 or 30 minutes riding around, making me jog after her as her breaking and starting are still not perfect. She loves it.

Travel Schedules

Devon and I worked out a travel schedule in which Devon took Sydney to New York in September and will again for Thanksgiving in November while I will take her to Seattle later this month and again in December for Christmas. Although that might seem like a lot of travel, Sydney loves these trips and interacting with family members, who are all eager to see her and thus like to plan fun events. My feeling is preschool is a great opportunity to take these trips, as taking her out of school will undoubtedly get more difficult as Sydney gets older.

Interacting With Other Kids

All signs of last year’s aggression against other kids seem to be gone; there is no more pushing or hitting. For the most part, Sydney seems to do very well with other kids on the playground, at school, etc. Last night Devon, Sydney, and I went to a preschool dinner at the JCC and Sydney did a fantastic job playing with an older girl and also sharing a soccer ball with a couple of younger kids. I was quite proud of her.

Having said that, Sydney definitely wants to be in charge. I took her to play with her friend Martha this past weekend and multiple times Sydney instructed Martha how they were going to play. I try hard to not let Sydney do this with me at home. Some kids (like Martha) accept Sydney being in charge and others (like Evie Fleetwood) also want to make the rules, in which case Sydney actually seems to accept this without an issue.

Creative Games

As an example, one of Sydney’s favorite games to do at home is to make up her own game. She will move the furniture, set out books in piles on the floor, and then create a “game” with intricate rules about where we are supposed to run and what we are supposed to do. On the one hand, I love the creativity. On the other, I try hard to make sure Sydney knows “playing” means playing together and not telling someone else what to do.

Sydney also likes to play “statue museum”, a game she and I created over a year ago. One of us strikes a pose and the other person pretends to be in a statue museum and has to guess what the statue is.

Playing Statue Museum in the bedroom.

Playing Statue Museum in the bedroom.

Arts and Crafts

Sydney has always loved arts and crafts but has never been that into following the guidelines. At preschool last year, Sydney would often paint outside the lines, seemingly on purpose. She is clearly more interested in being creative than in being orderly.

While arts and crafts are not at all my thing, I pull out paints, pencils, paper, tape, stapler, and even hole puncher (all fun tools) regularly to let Sydney engage in her creative side.

Painting

Living in Two Houses

In my opinion, Sydney is doing an amazing job dealing with our divorce and having to live in two houses. While our transfers from one person to the other can be difficult, once Sydney is with me she is invariably happy, loving, and even caring.

Sydney and I have a good time playing together and she often will prefer to stay home to play rather than go to a park or scheduled activity. She loves helping to set the table for breakfast or dinner and even wants to help with meal preparation. As I wrote on a previous post, our evening routines are heart warming and, to me, priceless. Sydney and I rarely argue and any pouting when Sydney does not get her way is usually over very quickly. We have one sweet little girl.

Sydney on slide - great photo