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McKenna Child Summary: 5 Years Old

McKenna has been teaching herself
to play the piano
This is a summary for McKenna at 5 years old. McKenna is a very fun person. She is one of those children that everyone always stops to tell me how much they enjoy her. She is the life of whatever party is going on. Even people who only see her because they have a child who is friends with one of my older children stop me to comment on how much they enjoy McKenna.

McKenna eats a lot and eats a very healthy diet. Her favorite foods to eat are fruits and vegetables. Her weird quirk with food is whenever Kaitlyn is around, she wants to eat things exactly how Kaitlyn likes them. For example, if we have spaghetti, Kaitlyn likes hers with just butter and Parmesan cheese. So McKenna has hers that way. If we eat spaghetti for lunch (when Kaitlyn is at school), however, McKenna wants it with spaghetti sauce. 

McKenna still needs a lot of sleep. If she doesn't get at least 12 hours of sleep at night, she needs a nap the next day--not just rest time, but a nap.

Rest time is 30 minutes typically.

You might remember that shortly before Brinley was born, we had McKenna and Kaitlyn share a room (see Room Sharing Log). It didn't go to well--McKenna could not leave Kaitlyn alone. She was also at the time the type to need to sing at the top of her lungs to fall asleep.

Well, she was 3 then. She is 5 now. We decided to give it another try. McKenna still rememebred the last time we tried and what happened when she didn't listen. She has been wanting Kaitlyn to share with her this whole time, so she was very willing to be good.

She has been great! She stays in her bed until it is time to get out, even if Kaitlyn leaves the room. She is quiet. She doesn't try to steal Kaitlyn's blankets. She is the model room sharer. It is SO NICE to have all of the girl toys in one room instead of spread between the two. Brayden is loving having his own room again (he was starting to feel modest). All around, it has been a great change. 

To catch you up, she was a great swimmer (still is--her teacher says she is very much a natural). She decided she was terrified of having lessons. She isn't terrified to swim, just to have a swimming lesson. Pure terror here. At this point, she is even tall enough to touch the ground and bob up easily for air. Even so, swimming lessons are terrifying for her. 

Our plan was to do group lessons, but the lessons didn't work with our schedule. So her teacher asked her if she would swim with her just for play. McKenna is all about play so she agreed. Her teacher gets her to do things just in a play way. It isn't as beneficial as actual lessons, but it is a step in the right direction. 

McKenna still has ear tubes and she says it hurts her ears for them to go under water. She will get her tubes out in late May, so I am interested to see if that changes her feelings toward lessons at all.

McKenna has gotten much, much better about how well she listens to me. She still has a tenancy to argue despite her never receiving any benefit from doing so. She is strong-willed and apparently likes to debate. This is definitely something I would like her to learn to control. I like her willingness to confront things when she feels the need, but she needs to be more respectful toward authority figures. She often now says to me, "Can I please tell you something?" when she has a debate in her. I like that much better than the flat out debater. 

McKenna loves her siblings. She wants to be just like Kaitlyn. Her favorite color is whatever Kaitlyn's favorite color is. She wants to eat whatever Kaitlyn is eating. 

McKenna has a special love for Brinley and is still obsessed with her. 

McKenna and Brayden have the least in common of all of my children. They get along fine, but McKenna prefers to do girly things and Brayden isn't into that. When they play, they find something to do that has mutual interest, like Legos or a board game. 

McKenna has always been very independent and still is. She has a lot of initiative in life and that spills over into her independence. Add in two older siblings she wants to emulate and it can create problems when she wants to be independent outside of her funnel. 

McKenna is obsessed with playing board games. Every day after Brinley goes down for a nap, we sit and play a game together. It is fun to play with her and teach her strategy. 

It is so interesting to see how your different children are. McKenna doesn't sit still much, but she loves the ballet. Loves. Kaitlyn gets bored with no talking or singing, but McKenna loves it. She comments on how impressed she is with how well they do different things. 

Here is our typical schedule:

7:00 AM Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast. Daily chore.
9 AM Go to school.
12 Noon Get home and eat lunch. Free play with Brinley.
1 PM Game time with me. 
2 PM Rest time.
2:30 PM Indpendent playtime
4 PM Play with Brayden and Kaitlyn
5-5:30 PM Dinner then time with family
7 PM Start getting ready for bed
8 PM in bed


Michael and Yvonne said...

i'm curious on 2 things. you said is she doens't get 12 hrs sleep she naps the next day but you say 8 PM bed and 7 AM wake? Just wondering or maybe i misread.
Anyways my main thing is my 2nd is similar and she's more a debater type. I LOVE that she says "Can I please tell you something" when trying to debate. Did she come up with that when you told her to speak more respectfully or did you practice it together? My 2nd is a debater/arguer/negotiator. I really don't know where she gets it from as I am not a waffler, i think it's just her. It kind of ebbs and flows. I tell her is she argues/whines/complains she loses the right to whatever (like picking out clothes is a major issue for her) and then she'll shape up but naturally just tends to revert right back to where she was. I do think it's just her nature. So anyways i love your tip!

Valerie Plowman said...

So 8-7 is 11 hours, so she needs to have a nap in the day since she isn't getting 12 hours at night.

McKenna did come up with "can I please tell you something" on her own. I have heard of similar things like "Can I disagree respectfully?"

For McKenna, the debate is just in her, too. I am not a waffler, either, so I think it is just in her. I try to look at the bright side--I don't mind her being assertive or self-assured. There is a right way to disagree and to question authority figures and I think she is figuring that out.

I would have her do a phrase and practice it together when there is no conflict. Expect it to take time. And expect it to not be perfect :)

Irishtwinmomma said...

Valerie! Thanks so much for ALL of your amazing thoughts! I've been reading all over your blog and have had so many of my questions answered but I still have one for you... I have a 18 month old and a 6 month old. And I have done Baby Wise with both of them. I have kept my 6 month old on about a 3-3 1/2 hour schedule with an hour to an hour and twenty minute awake times because that seems like what she's needed and I've also been trying to keep her nap somewhat aligned with my 18 month old nap to have a little window in my day to get some stuff done.

My 6 month old, Emma is still doing 6 feedings a day. I tried almost a month ago to drop her evening feeding but she started waking up a few hours before her first feeding so I have continued to give her her 6th feeding at night even though I feel ready to drop it.

She just had her 6 month growth spurt and nursed like crazy and is all of a sudden so different. Her old schedule isn't working for her like it was. I realized looking back at my notes with my first daughter that at this point I had her on a 4 hour schedule with just 4 nursings a day. I am unsure of what to do at this point and feel kinda overwhelmed that I need to make big jumps in her schedule. Do I just increase awake times by 15 minutes? And move her schedule slowly? Or can I let her sleep for 21/2 to 3 hours and all of a sudden only have time for 5 feedings in a day? The other factor is, I get pretty wiped out by mid day if I don't get my girls naps to align so that is why I feel hesitant about moving her schedule slowly because then I might be up with her the whole time my older one naps. I would so LOVE your thoughts. Thanks Valerie! (Also I just started her a few days ago on some avocado and yams in the morning and evening after her nursing)

Valerie Plowman said...

The food factor throws a wrench in it--it is possible one of those foods doesn't agree with her and that is why she isn't doing well on her schedule.

If it isn't food, then yes, you can just let her sleep until the feed time and drop to five feedings. I would go for that if you don't think it is food. If she is squirmy and seems uncomfortable, I would eliminate the food and see is she goes back to herself.

Irishtwinmomma said...

Thanks so much for your response Valerie!! So do you think it's ok to not feed her for a couple of days if she seems super interested in food to see if that's what's affecting her?

Also after rereading your thoughts about how to drop a feeding. Last night I nursed my daughter for a shorter period of time at her last feeding of the day (at 9:30pm) and she woke up this morning at 5:30 instead of 6:15/6:30 her normal wake up time. She just doesn't seem to want to give up that 6th feeding. I was actually hoping that giving her solids would help her be ready to give it up.

Lastly, I know that you have helped so many people with their schedules so I would love your thoughts... Is it normal that my daughter at 6 months is still mostly on a 3hr schedule with 6 feedings? Is she in the range of normal and I should just wait for her to need to nurse less, or is she stuck and I need to actively help her? I can't thank you enough for helping me think through this. I have felt super stuck and at a loss of what to do.

Kelly said...

My son will be 5 next month and he loves playing games, too. A game that was new to me that he has really enjoyed is Zingo. Also, the favorites from when I was a kid; Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders and Hungry, Hungry, Hippos. I would love to know what games your kids like to play.

sealight7 said...

My little boy is knocking on the door of being 5.. and this week has embraced his bad attitude...along with throwing a slight tantrum...i m not sure how to handle the attitude problem. I tried telling him he needs to make good choices and that if he doesn't listen and have a better attitude I will have to take something fun away...just wondering if I'm being to hard? Just walk away and chalk it up to he's having an off day...more time out? I feel like my sweet loving boy takes backseat too Mr grumpy pants too often...need help to taming the beast:)