Mid-May is always a big time for C.. Most years her birthday falls right around the end of her school year, which turns our already exciteable daughter into an extra-charged bndle of energy.

That’s really the case this week. She turns six today. Tomorrow she “graduates” from kindergarten.1 Following graduation is St. E’s annual year-end bicycle parade. It’s all about C. this week.

In addition to the normal birthday night dinner, we always let our girls choose a dinner out the week of their birthday. C. has simple culinary tastes and selected Steak & Shake for her night out. We had a lovely meal there Wednesday night topped off by obligatory shakes after (C. went with the Strawberry-Banana special).

C. has come a long way this year. She was not super excited about having homework each night, something new to her kindergarten class. Last fall there were some tense nights as we tried to get our most energetic and least focused daughter to calm down and get through her work. Eventually she got better, though, and for the last month or so she’s not only been excited about homework, but often wants to knock out a couple nights’ worth of work in a single night.

She’s making progress reading and able to tackle simple books with just a little help. Her printing needs some work, but we are finding little notes all over the house with backwards letters and phonetic guesses at words. Sometimes they look like secret codes or some ancient language from which our alphabet evolved.

As good as this year has been for her academically, in some ways it’s been a struggle in terms of her behavior. She’s still our most emotional child, and has a hard time not overreacting to things. We’re trying to help her, but it’s tough on everyone and we admit we don’t always handle her meltdowns in the best fashion.

Her class of 12 had only one other girl in it, and she’s picked up a lot of boy behavior. That fits her; we often call her the girliest tomboy ever. But there’s some weirdness to her speech and humor that you can tell comes from being around so many boys. At her class’ Mother’s Tea earlier this month, one of the other moms told S. that her son told her that C. wasn’t like the most girls. “She’s fun!”2 She’s right in there in all the boys’ games holding her own.

Yet for all that boyish weirdness, she still wears dresses almost every day, fixes her hair, gets into the makeup, wants her nails painted, plays with her dolls and does all the other girly-girl stuff. She’s an enigma, a study in contrasts, a walking, talking wild mood swing.

Last year on her birthday I wrote that C. was our “most” daughter. That’s still true. Neither of her sisters makes me laugh more than C.. Neither of them pushes me as much as C.. Neither of them is as loving as C.. Neither of them is as fearless as C..

  1. I’m not knocking kindergarten graduations. Rather, I put it in quotes because, as her big sister did, C. will go through kindergarten again next year at St. P’s. 
  2. Things I do not want to hear in ten years for $500, Alex.