Well, it seems that the gaps between letters are getting longer, but it could be that this last one was just delayed by our exhaustion by your being 4. That was a tough year for us – you got more complicated and capable at every turn, but also found every restriction an outrage, were prone to outbursts/assaults fueled by either anger or shame, and were not yet capable of reining in your sometimes biting and kicking-laced tantrums. Your parents managed to weather this, but honestly we often weren't sure we would.
Then, the approach of 5 seemed to bring a radical sea change. Suddenly you had periods of affection and telling us you loved us (even when we were pesky, hah); suddenly you were offering to help get dinner on the table, were taking in stride the occasional loss at a game, suddenly you decided you wanted a number of signs of being a Big Girl, from doing away with diapers to blow-drying your hair before sleep to requesting a change from crib quilts to full-sized bedding. You no longer insist on being carried places that are reasonable walking distance, you voluntarily hold hands... we're honestly a little overwhelmed by the number of novelties in the last two months!!
Besides the roller coaster of temperment, of course, the last year has brought many other changes. You ask much more complicated questions (replacing "why?" with investigations into how things work and what complicated words mean),you started treating the cats as toys (carrying them around and tucking them under blankets), you became a real reader (although you still prefer sitting next to us while we read a picture or chapter book aloud). You've become an avid gum chewer, taking Mom's occasional mint refreshment to depths of fruity torture. You went through a period of needing ever more arcane tucking of the blankets around your ankles, and then thankfully did away with the whole business overnight (in response to our pleas). The last of your gently mispronounced words has vanished (we don't really remember when), and I think you can now write all your letters and some approximation of all of your numbers. You can swim a few feet unsupported and like to go deep in the pool, but you're also done for a while with lessons at the Y; you climbed your first tree this summer, and have finally realized what fun a trike can be. And you're taking your first ever long trip with a grandparent (away from your parents), and seem to be viewing it as an adventure.
Where does all of this leave us? Well, we're wallowing in the enjoyment of time spent with a companionable and affectionate daughter. We love your humor and your ever more curious mind. We're excited about the school you'll be attending in the fall, and a little impatient with the many months it will take before we get there (although a new preschool teacher may help with the interim). We're looking forward to sharing some vacation fun this summer, and maybe even getting to relax a little during it. And we're clearly prepared for the notion that nothing is predictable except change, and hope we can do our best to make it all be for the better.