Today you are 41 months old.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, you are loving school and are thriving there. At the end of your very first day, your teacher mentioned to me how impressed she was with your numeracy. Your literacy is coming along well, too - you are very clear that letters combine to make words, and love to read out each letter in a word and then ask, "What does that spell?" You also love to point out your favourite letter (G) and your favourite number (3) at any opportunity.
I couldn't be happier at how well school is going for you. You seem more social, more confident, and more yourself as days go by. Last month, I commented that I hoped you would be able to tell me what you did at school each day: admittedly, when asked an open-ended question, you are not likely to give detailed answers. However, I stumbled upon a fun and fascinating way to get info about your school day: we role-play! You are always asking me to play House or School, and when I play either game with you I learn a lot about how you see these environments and the people in them. When we played School a few nights ago, you told me to be the teacher but you still led me through the activities ("Is it time for Circle Time now?"), which I loved. Your questions let me know what you expected of Circle Time, Snack Time, and so on. For example, when I confirmed that it was Circle Time, you asked where your name was in the circle. When questioned, you revealed that you have to find your name in the circle and sit at it - the same thing happens at Snack Time. I had no idea!
You are also ready to take care of many of your own self-care needs, like toileting and grooming. I think it helps that you are mostly expected to do this on your own at daycare and preschool (not that help isn't available when you need it - but I've noticed that when you expect a child to be competent, and make that expectation clear and positive, it usually comes true). It's now "your job" to take off your pajamas and pull-up in the morning, and put them in the laundry/diaper pail before going to use the potty. I can see this as the first step towards you doing your entire morning routine yourself someday. It's exciting to see you growing up and looking after yourself!
Since we're on the topic of grooming, though, I have to mention your extreme dislike of having your hair combed. I insist on combing through it (with the assistance of anti-tangle spray) every morning, and every morning it's a battle. Your hair is mad curly, and moments after I've combed it you can't even tell it was done ... but I do it anyway. Partly it's to get both of us used to the neccessity of that habit; partly it's to be able to say, "yep, I combed her hair," and feel like a competent mommy. I would say it's also partly so that you have a well-groomed appearance, but like I said, I don't think anyone can tell your hair was combed unless they actually watched me do it.
Well, as always, Gwen, I am so grateful that you're my daughter and that we get to share this adventure together. I love you so much and am so proud of you, every day!