Living with a 4-year-old is such a fantastic adventure. From the moment Ayva wakes up, she has a full list of very important tasks that she has to complete. First, she has to have her breakfast. Usually it’s cereal, but occasionally she’ll tell me that she needs a “hot meal” and will ask me to make her “oakmeal”. After breakfast, she gets dressed for school. I let her pick out whatever she wants to wear, and she makes me say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing the one, the only, Ayva Graaaace!!!!” She runs in the room, models her outfit, and I heap tons of compliments on her.
When I pick her up from preschool, she tells me all about her day, and I try to figure out what parts of the story are true, and which are imaginary. After lunch, that’s when her work day starts. She has started to say, “Ugh. I have soooo much work to do today.” (Not sure where she gets THAT from…) When I ask what she has to do, it’s a combination of having to cut pieces of paper into teeny tiny shapes, draw pictures of the family and hang them on the wall, water her plants, or any number of other preschool-esque activities. My favorite “work” that she does, however, has to be when she stands on the balcony and whistles for birds to let them know that the bird house she created has room for them to come and visit. She’s so earnest and sweet when she does it, I stop whatever I’m doing and watch her because it makes my heart swell.
Of course, then there’s the storytelling, and imagination play. Today she put on a big poufy tutu, church gloves, a veil, and a chunky necklace to prepare for “Dinner Night” with Terrence. Between all of those things, the structured activities that I do with her, and ABC Mouse, she’s exhausted at bedtime nowadays. I know that it can be difficult to be an only child. I was one for 6 years before my brother was born. Ayva has really taken to it, though, and has learned how to keep herself occupied and engaged. And lucky me, I get to watch!
Watching my Ayva go about her tasks every day, I don’t take for granted how much of a gift it is for her to be able to just be a child. I know that some children don’t have that same luxury. Some parents aren’t able to give their children that luxury. In Ayva’s world, the most important thing that she has to do each day is to draw pictures filled with sunshine and rainbows. Her world is sunshine and rainbows. I thank God for that, and I thank God for my little working girl.