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Jan 22, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Daniel

Daniel just turned 3, and I am amazed at how quickly time went by. I find this age very interesting. On one hand, Daniel has grown so much in the last year. He now can lead very interesting discussions and asks a lot of questions that shows that he understands and observes a lot around him. Sometimes, our commute to school turns into a bombardment of "why" questions that build on top of each other... Very fun. On the other hand, Daniel is currently in a phase where he loves to behave like a baby. I think a lot has to do with Charlotte's development at this stage. She is not mobile yet, but she badly wants to walk. So she gets carried around a lot, and we are holding her to practice walking. Also, she has gone through a phase where she had a hard time sleeping and we would stay by her crib to help her calm down. Daniel obviously observes all of this, and he also wants to enjoy the same attention. This creates a lot of tense situations, where he asks to be carried right when I just picked up Charlotte, or needs a lot of hugs before bed. Sometimes, he really behaves as if he was a baby all over again. Sigh!? Or should I just enjoy the fact that he loves hugs right now?

On the literacy front, Daniel is making a lot of progress. He knows all the letters and is starting to decipher a few easy words. There is a new activity at school, whereby the kids sign in themselves in the morning. It means that Daniel needs to write his name very day now. The beginning was quite hard, and Daniel showed some resistance in even trying. But after 2 weeks, he has already been able to write his name somewhat legibly!

Language-wise, Daniel is making a lot of progress in German and French, even though his main language is still English. He can now say easy sentences in both French and German, and he is always very proud when he does it. His German definitely developed drastically when my in-laws came to visit over Christmas. He spent an entire week with them alone during the day (while we were working), and wow, this paid off. Daniel now spontaneously speaks a lot in German, sings in German, and he really makes great sentences now. So, all the prepping really paid off. One week in an immersion environment, and all the knowledge that had been dormant at the back of his brain is coming out now. This is very encouraging!

We celebrated a couple of times this year. We had the chance to pre-celebrate during our family vacation in Jamaica, which was great since we rarely get to celebrate birthdays with all the grand parents. We had a cake and candles at home on the real birthday (which was a Friday) and then we had the big party with friends at Safarirun on a weekend. Everyone had a great time. The kids enjoyed climbing, hanging, sliding, running, etc... It was easy for the parents and the organization was flawless.

And after the party, it was very interesting to see how Daniel enjoyed opening his presents. For every present, he would say things like "this is amazing, wow, I love it." Hopefully, this means that he will really enjoy playing with all these toys for the next year without ever being bored!?

Now on to Daniel's 4th year!

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