Five Years With Claire

At five years old, Claire...


Is forty-four inches tall and weighs forty-four pounds. Probably the only time in her life those numbers will be exactly the same!

Loves preschool so much that she says she'd like to stay there forever. Her favorite activity there is art - the first hour of preschool is spent in "activity time" - the children are free to play wherever they'd like and work on the day's art project. Claire often spends the whole hour carefully crafting her latest masterpiece. She also enjoys going to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which she calls "church preschool." She seems to spend most of her time there doing art too!

Prefers gymnastics to dance. This winter, Claire and Maggie having been taking a class that's thirty minutes of dance and thirty minutes of gymnastics. Maggie says she prefers dance, while Claire says the opposite. She is very close to learning how to do a cartwheel. She is really excited about swimming lessons this summer and playing CYO soccer next fall - she has no fear in the water and she loves to run.

Wants to be a singer when she grows up. She says her husband is going to be a singer too and I will have to watch her kids while they're performing. Her favorite songs are "Fight Song" and "Try Everything" from Zootopia. She likes to rock out in the car and calls it her "singing practice."

Has a very long attention span for reading aloud and audio books. After Claire and Maggie are tucked into bed at night, we read them a chapter book aloud. Most of the time, Maggie falls asleep before the chapter's over, but Claire always sits in rapt attention. We're currently working our way through the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series. She doesn't do quiet time very often these days because she goes to afternoon preschool, but her quiet activity of choice would definitely be coloring while listening to the audio book version of Little House in the Big Woods or Farmer Boy.

Sleeps in a twin bed and no longer wears pull-ups at night. After we've tucked her in and closed the door, she usually comes out a few minutes later asking for a drink of water. She is probably the most likely of our children to be up in the middle of the night, whether it's because she needs to use the bathroom or she just says she "can't sleep" and needs to be tucked back in. She sleeps eleven hours a night on average and only naps very occasionally on car trips.

Is afraid of being alone. For example, this afternoon Maggie fell asleep in the car on the way home from preschool. We left her sleeping (in the closed garage with the van doors open, of course) and I went in to put Betsy down for her nap. I asked Claire to go use the potty, but she insisted on quietly sitting in the nursery while I got Betsy down and then insisted that I come with her into the bathroom.

Loves to make what she calls "paper dolls" - people or animals printed off the computer, colored, and cut out. She is usually playing in her imaginary world with those, dolls or stuffed animals, and figurines of some sort. Her and Maggie play so well together. I mean, they occasionally fight, of course, but they're really just the best of friends. 

Doesn't play with Betsy much, because Betsy pretty much just manages to mess up whatever imaginary game her big sisters have going on. But they have super cute moments together every so often. Claire has a lot of simple board books memorized, so sometimes Betsy will bring one over for Claire to "read" to her (or we'll ask Claire to do that to keep Betsy from fussing while we finish preparing/cleaning up a meal). Betsy woke up with very crazy hair this morning (she had pigtails in yesterday and her hair just remained sticking straight up after the hair ties were removed) so, unprompted, Claire grabbed the brush and detangling spray to tame her baby sister's locks while Betsy just sat there patiently.

Happily helps out with small tasks most of the time, like grabbing a new diaper out of the linen closet or putting some clean towels away in the bathroom. However, she almost always makes the biggest production out of cleaning up the toys. If she's not moving at the most glacial pace ever recorded, she is complaining about how "it's just SUCH a big mess" and "she's just SO tired." Maggie sometimes joins in the protestations, but she's much more likely to start tidying without complaint and actually accomplish something without fifty thousand reminders to stay on task.

Usually has cereal for breakfast these days, although she also likes scrambled eggs and frozen waffles. She can pour the cereal and milk herself - we have a small pitcher for the girls to use. Her favorite lunch is a snack plate with cheese, ham, and crackers. She also really likes tuna sandwiches, but thinks peanut butter and jelly is just okay.  Her favorite dinners are your typical kid things like pizza, hamburgers, and tacos, although she is happy with pretty much any meat as long as it's accompanied by ketchup. She now prefers vanilla ice cream to chocolate and she loves to go out to eat just as much as her parents.

Looks forward to watching a couple episodes of Clifford when we get home from preschool. She also enjoys watching "Julie's Greenroom" but is officially over Daniel Tiger. We instituted Friday family movie night back in the fall - it's been a mix of classics and new releases. She thought Moana was too scary, but really, really loved Sing.

Rarely makes a fuss about saying prayers or going to Mass. We're trying to get her more actively pay attention during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, with pretty decent success. She surprised us by her interest in the passion play during the Palm Sunday Mass.

Is definitely a perfectionist. She gets very frustrated when she can't make something (usually art of some kind) match the idea she had in her head. Adam and I both remember crying in elementary school art class for the same reason, so we certainly know where she gets it from.


 We're very excited to see what life has in store for Claire this year!

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