Wallis, 5 years old

Our days are filled with animal facts, and our late afternoons Wild Kratts. Wallis’ obsession with Wild Kratts has lasted for nearly a year now, and it is the main show we watch every single day, we’ve seen every single episode a thousand times by now, ha! But it never gets old for her.

When she found out her creature power suit could not actually change her into an animal, she was a bit heartbroken. It was one of those beautiful 4 year old moments that make you want to cry and sing the joy of imagination and being that young, oh being that young is magical. After she accepted it was “for pretend” she told everyone she could, “it doesn’t really turn you into an animal, just pretend” and boy have we pretended with that suit, I get texts from the basement from Andrew saying, “she’s really working me today, I had to lay down for a bit” ha! However, she didn’t quite believe me, because she did tell me, “next time mama, buy the real suit.” Ha!

I am not sure how I will explain to Loris as she gets older the relationship that Wallis feels towards her. To Wallis it is mama, dada, Wallis and then our baby (that’s Loris!). I feel like there will be times where Loris will be annoyed by how much Wallis watches out for her, cares for her and thinks about her. A few months back, Wallis and Loris (loris was only 10 months at the time) bumped heads and it was hard. Loris wailed and did that cry where no sound comes out and then suddenly a deep breath. I looked at Wallis who had a huge red mark on her head (much bigger and redder than Loris’) stood with tears in her eyes. She proceeded to kiss the babies toes, grab toys for her, and just overall worry about how she was doing, instead of herself. She said to us with a very worried expression, “a babies skull is still soft.” We assured her that Loris was fine, but I thought about Wallis’ reaction for weeks after that. I thought about her love for Loris and how to Loris we have always been, but to Wallis there was us, and then this insane and wondrous creature that joined us, and changed our entire lives. How can we explain this love to Loris when she feels overwhelmed by her big sister’s gaze? It will take time, I know this, but I am so grateful as I have said many times before to witness it.

Wallis still loves everything doctor, and continues to build and rebuild a hospital every single day, but Wild Kratts has taken a bit of the edge off, so we’ll see how that develops over the next year. She also loves solving mysteries and making huge “feasts” as she refers to them in her play kitchen. She loves to run, play soccer, and ride her scooter. She has incredible balance, but also practices caution. She is not the kind of kid that leaps first, she steps back, observes then makes her move, ha!

She likes to bring Loris a toy every morning. Loris is usually slightly up before her, so on Wallis’ way down to see her, she stops at Loris’ room, picks out a toy and brings it to her. Heaven help you if Loris’ room doesn’t have a toy in it to bring…lots of tears and frustration (from Wallis). She also walks down the stairs with her arms stretched wide for hugs, I love her hugs, and I love when I turnaround and she’s standing behind me with her arms stretched open for me to give her one. She is so sweet, and such a love. I feel beyond grateful that she is so affectionate.

Wallis is still incredibly observant…we got her a puzzle that you put together and it came with extra pieces that were clues for you to match to some of the other puzzle pieces. She was quick to find the matches but then discovered that some of the matches had slight flaws that differed. She brought them over to me and said, “I think we should let the maker know that their matches don’t match.” Ha! I told her we’d let them know that Wallis was on the case, and they had some work to do.

To get an idea of what it is like to talk with Wallis, I was reading her the book, “Here We Are” by Oliver Jeffers and we got to the part where it says, “We know a bit about the sea, but we’ll talk some more about that once you’ve learned to swim” and below that is an arrow that says, “goes nearly 7 miles deep” and Wallis responded, “yes, I know this Mama, it’s called the midnight zone, that’s where they discovered a fish called the anglerfish” and…..that’s pretty much how it goes with most conversations. She finds lots of things very interesting and if she is interested in it, she retains what seems like endless information about it. It doesn’t matter if it is animals, the ocean, gardening, planes, space, colors…etc…I have no idea how this will age, and maybe this is just an uninterrupted childhood, but I sure do find it fascinating.

She loves using words like “delightful, lovely, or ridiculous” and she always says, “Happy Christmas” instead of merry, which makes me smile. She really says such sweet and magical things, and totally wears her heart out there for everyone to see. When my brother was visiting for the afternoon a few months back, she asked, “am I your favorite” and he replied “yes!” and then she said in this really soft quiet voice, “oh good, I had my fingers crossed…” Ha! But so dang sweet. She doesn’t see my brother much, and at that point hadn’t seen him in over a year…so for her to be so vulnerable and loving towards him breaks my heart, he doesn’t deserve it that’s for sure (annoyed sister moment) but I am sure glad he’s experiencing it…the Wallis effect, ha.

Wallis likes to tell me everyday that I am “the best mama ever, and that no one could ever replace me” – I don’t know where she got the “replace me” idea but once she got it, she has made it a point to reassure me that I am the mama for her, and I really do love hearing it. She’s even started to sing me a song that she made up that ends with, “mama was made just for me.” Wallis truly gives the nicest compliments I have ever received.

Wallis has a terrific sense of humour, which Andrew contributes to me, and I’ll take it, though I really see it more as her own. She understands humour much better than a child her age should, you can see the wheels turning when she hears something that gives her pause and then a big smile, and if she really loves it, she makes you repeat it several more times, ha. I sure do love to see it. She makes rather grand statements like, “I just had an idea that was past space and past God” turns out it was to build her piggy a fort, but you know, I appreciated that confidence, ha!

The other day I announced to everyone that I had been listening to a podcast about responding anxiously to serious moments, that I wanted to work on the way I react and instead, learn to calmly access what is happening first. I gave an example of how badly I panicked when I saw Pierre having a seizure (he ended up being fine) that I wish I had handled it better and how sorry I was. Wallis smiled sweetly and said, “that’s good mama, what if I get a few of my dolls and create some ideas for you to respond calmly to” haa! You see, I love this kid!

She has replaced painting with drawing all the time. She is constantly drawing people, mouse houses, animals, mazes, connect the dots, her hands, feet – I personally love the way she draws teeth, ha! She will draw herself riding a scooter or a bike, and she loves to make up stories. She started doing this thing where she would write a bunch of different letters, and then you had to create a story with words that start with each letter…this was totally her own idea.

We go through every inch of the paper we have, because she will take one piece of paper and draw over and over on it, then flip it over and draw over and over on that. She likes to hold her hands in a heart shape and send you love or write “W❤️M” on little notes.

She’s also gotten into spelling a lot, so she draws her letters, and words. She writes little notes and tapes them to her drawings. If they’re more elaborate she will have us write the note and then she tapes them to a drawing and gives them as gifts. The notes are heartbreaking like, “I miss taking walks with you” or “pop pop I miss seeing you and can’t wait to hug you again” Or she’ll look at a book that she knows the title of by heart, and slowly copy the letters to make the words. I am so impressed by all of it, because it is totally her own doing, and that’s why she loves it.

The closer we got to Christmas the more Christmas songs she was making up. However, they were all about presents, and cake which she always ended with, “and have a happy holiday” ha! This morning she announced, “are you ready for my Christmas song number 19” so yes, there’s been 19 made up Christmas songs by that point and not one is about the baby Jesus or giving back…so I guess we have some work to do, haa!

I have to say that I have been very emotional about Wallis turning 5. She had a rough year 3 with us leaving the only house she’d ever known, and then year 4 brought a baby sister and a pandemic. I think I feel so much guilt that so many hard and terrible things have happened and in some ways ruined what those years could have been for her. Yes we’ve made the best of it, but I hate that it happened at all, but that’s the parent in me. I want to protect her from the hard things, uncontrollable, and even something I could never have expected, like a pandemic.

Now we are heading into another year with the pandemic, and there’s very little knowledge of how long until we might be able to get back to how things were, especially for kids. If I knew that we were all working together to get back to life I’d have some hope, but with so many being so awful and keeping us in this pandemic, I feel hopeless….and that has caused me great sadness as she turns 5. Not only am I seeing her grow a year older and already aching for the time passed, I am having to see her grow into a time that I still have zero control over. We all want the best for our kids, and I know we have all suffered through this. I am working to keep feeling hopeful, and Wallis is a BIG part of that too.

Wallis is joy itself, we tell her that often. She is always looking at the bright side of life, and for that I am immensely grateful. Happy Birthday Wallis, you continue to make our lives better than they would have ever been. I love you.

Wallis wanted a “cinnamon” cake, so I made her a bundt with streusel…double the streusel actually. It turned out delicious, despite my obvious lack of icing skills, ha!
This shoot was a disaster, they increasingly are. Wallis was willing, but Loris was not having it. My mom witnessed Andrew and I trying all the moves to get smiles…and that was pretty humiliating, ha!
Merry Merry! We made snowflakes for the tree this year so Loris wouldn’t destroy all the ornaments. I’ve taught Loris to only use one finger when touching breakable items and she does, aggressively. Ha. This was taken at 5 am so it’s what it is. 😉

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  • Reply
    January 1, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Wallis is such an amazing girl!! We love the time we get to spend with her. And you have a huge part in who she’s becoming!
    Times have been so hard, but I guarantee all that Wallis will remember is all the love and care you’ve showered on her and the beautiful home you’ve built. ❤️

  • Reply
    January 4, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Also, I would like to request that cake for my birthday, in advance. 😉

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