Lilly's never had a "bad" age, but 4 is definitely my favorite so far. She is just so much fun!
She is talking so much. My favorite is when I say "I love you" and she says "I love you too!" Or when I give her a kiss and she spontaneously says "Love you!" The. Best. Ever. She's also so inquisitive - "What you doin, mommy?" And "Where's my daddy?" My favorite thing to do is, when I put her to sleep, we have a nice long chat about her day and it is such a sweet conversation. And I especially love the spontaneous things she says - "I want Lion King." (The broadway version, which she saw with Jon last month.) I reply: "Do you want me to take you to Lion King?" And she says: "No, I want daddy Lion King." (Daddy is her favorite, still.)
She is the perfect little four year old companion, too. Lately we've been cooking a lot (1 because we're on a new budget and 2 because I want Lilly to see what it's like to have family meals/cooking etc). And Lilly loves to help, especially if it's baking. She made delicious pumpkin bread last week, and cheese biscuits this week. And she made excellent pizza last week. She doesn't want any help with what she's doing. She wants to pour the ingredients in the bowl, stir it, etc. And she has such pride in what she does. I'm proud too!
Lilly is still the alphabet queen, and loves telling me what words begin with different letters, and says each letter she sees. She likes singing the alphabet and saying the alphabet and signing the alphabet and writing "L's" and "I's" and occasionally "Y's" (which are all important in Lilly's name, obviously).
She's still opinionated about what we do (i.e., bossy) but I've realized she wants to be in charge and make decisions, so we now give her lots of choices. Instead of telling her to put on her coat to go outside (which she won't want to do), I ask her if she wants her pink coat or her green coat. She picks pink, happily puts it on, and bops outside. If she really doesn't want to do something, the option is: "Do you want a bath or just go to bed?" She'll always pick the option that isn't going to bed. But she's good about bedtime too "Do you want to do stickers or read a book before you go to bed?" And we'll do the stickers (which she LOVES) and then off to bed easily. We're in a phase where she's not taking naps as frequently but we get a super early bedtime. Her new school gets out at 2 pm so it's much later if she actually was to nap. The only downside is that she's exhausted around 5pm, but we'll see how it goes. Without a nap, she's in bed at 7, which in theory is nice, but it makes me sad to not have a companion to watch Dancing with the Stars with me.
Miss Independent still loves her purse, and money, and on Tuesday I put $5 in her purse and we went down to the little gourmet grocery store around the corner and she walked the whole way, knew she was going to get milk, picked out which milk she wanted (with a little direction, she originally wanted whole milk because it was red - which is close to pink - but I convinced her we needed 1% instead, even though it was blue). We took it to pay for it, she gave the man her money, got the change, and she happily walked home, proud of herself.
She also continues to hail taxi's nonstop. Which is great when we need one, but when we're just taking a walk and she puts her arm up and says "taxi!" and one stops for us, it's a little embarassing. Spoiled little NYC girl! (She does like the subway as well, but moreso with her father. We can pretty much walk everywhere we want to go, which is good under our new budget.)
And her school adjustment: she's doing ok. She has separation issues so she's sad when I leave her at school, but I think she likes school when she's actually there and doing fun things. Unfortunately her class only has 2 other girls, but a few of the boys are very friendly so I think she's making friends. I can't say that I would hand pick this school out of every school I've ever seen, but it's definitely the best school that we saw in NY (actually I liked one better but they didn't have a spot). Lilly's previous schools in C-ville and New Zealand were definitely my favorites though; hoping we can find a school in our next city that is just as good. But I like Lilly's teachers and the principal and they do fun age appropriate things, and I think Lilly will have a good rest of the year here. She just started taking the bus this week - it's a mile and a half to walk to school, through Central Park, and I loved the walk, but with the cold winter weather and rain and snow, it's impractical to have Lilly out in that weather every day. So, she's getting on a school bus all by herself now - which breaks my heart a little - but she likes it, I think. She likes it less in the morning, but she really likes it in the afternoon and is proud of herself. In the morning, I've been putting High School Musical stickers on her shoes to make her happy and keep her busy while she's on the bus - she can look at "Troy" and "Gabriella" and smile.
And that's my Lilly. :)