Monday, September 13, 2010

Top Ten Ways My Daughter Grew this Summer

Today, my daughter enters the big-girl world of first grade! She has grown so much over the summer. I'm talking about more than the two inches or so she's shot up! This summer, she has matured so much. I don't think I've ever seen this kind of developmental leap happen over the course of a few months! I credit the summer day camp she went to--particularly in the area of improving her social skills and her athletic abilities. In the past, she's had weak core strength, so she's pretty klutzy and not very athletic. Apparently, spending all day doing swimming, horseback riding, rock climbing, and other activities builds strength. Go figure!

Anyway, here are the top ten ways my daughter has grown this summer:

1. She Learned How to Swim

She's taken swim lessons for the past 4 years, but she never really could figure out how to get around in the water. Either she'd focus on paddling and forget to kick, or she'd kick and forget to paddle. Sometimes, she'd kick and paddle, but forget not to inhale pool water! This year, it finally all came together! Spending almost every day in the pool at camp honing her skills did not hurt either! Now, she can cannonball off the diving board and effortlessly swim to the side. She can handle the deep-end of the pool like a pro! It's been great to see.

2. She Can Hula Hoop

I was shocked the other day when my daughter picked up her hula hoop and well, did it for awhile. I didn't know she could hula hoop! Apparently, she picked up the hula hooping knack at camp. I had no idea!

3. She Can Rock Climb

She earned a certificate at camp for scaling their rock-climbing mountain. Now this thing is huge--it's not one of those wimpy, climb up an eight-foot wall one. This is something the kids needed to be harnessed to do! And she did it. The counselor told me she couldn't believe that my daughter was able to quickly scale it! For a kid who isn't athletic, this is amazing to me!

4. She's Graduating from her After-School Behavior Therapy Sessions

She's been doing very well with her behavior therapy. So well, that she's mastered everything they can throw at her. So, beginning in a couple of weeks, she's no longer having a behaviorist come to the house to work with her. I have mixed feelings about this one. Her problems haven't disappeared, but they have been pretty greatly reduced!

5. Promoted to Older Age Group in Gymnastics

Her gymnastics teacher recently promoted my daughter up to the next age level class--the 7-8 year old kids. He felt that she was ready for it physically and that she was too mature to be around the younger kids! This is the first time she's been placed with an older group of kids! Because both her physical and social abilities have lagged behind her peers, she's usually with kids her own age and younger. So far, the change in class has been fantastic! She's really surprised me at what she can do in gymnastics! Her instructor told me that her strength has dramatically increased over the summer. Again, I credit the summer day camp's activities for this improvement.

6. She's More Hip than I Am!

This is the first time that my daughter knows the hip singers and songs, while I still listen to my 80s golden-oldie radio station. Yes, my daughter is now more up on pop culture than I am!

7. Knows that There Is an F-Word

She learned at camp that there is a really bad word that begins with the letter F. As far as I know, she still doesn't know what the word is, exactly. If she does, she's keeping it secret from me. If she doesn't know it, I'm sure she's working really hard to find it out. I'm guessing she'll know it for sure by the third week of first grade.

8. She's Interested in Gossip

When I'd ask her about her day at camp, not only did I hear about her swimming and rock climbing, but I sometimes would hear about which counselors were dating! I loved that she was aware of these social things and was able to talk about them to me afterward! In general, I couldn't get over how great her conversational skills improved over the summer!

9. Her Palate Is Expanding

Kids on the spectrum can be very picky when it comes to eating. My daughter was certainly not SUPER-picky, but she did have a preschooler's palate. I saw this changing over the summer. In fact, last week, I forgot to order her cheeseburger with just ketchup and cheese. It came loaded with mustard, onions, and pickles--all things she hates! She was game to try it, though and ended up loving it! She didn't even pick out her pickles, which she used to hate with a passion!

10. She Slept in a lot of Day!

Maybe it was from all the growth spurts she had, but she would really sleep in! After day camp ended, there were many mornings that she didn't wake up until somewhere between 9 and 10 in the morning! It was great! Although now that the school year is starting, it's going to be awful trying to wake her at 6:45!


  1. This is one of the best Top 10 lists I've ever read. I know I'm repeating myself, but why not? She's amazing.

  2. What a fantastic summer! Those are some really good milestones & memories.

  3. These are awesome. I remember when my son hit some of these milestones. It's wonderful to watch them develop like this. Some summers are great that way.

  4. So many of these are camp related...I guess that camp paid for itself many times over. I might have to re-think sending Audrey to the ghetto camp next year. Once again, you need to go back and read your angst-filled post at the beginning of camp!

  5. great list and great job growing

  6. This is wonderful! sounds like she had a really productive summer! Of course, I'm sure you could do without having accomplished #7.

  7. All great things! Sounds like she's really blossoming!

  8. Cheryl, I'm so happy to hear that your daughter is doing so well. These are huge leaps. This sounds like an awesome camp. Did she go everyday? Was this an all-day camp? I know I'll be considering camp for my little boy when he's older. Congrats to your "little" (maybe not so little anymore) girl!

  9. She's 1 smart cookie! I predict that #7 is going to lead to a future blog post ;)

  10. She really has made some huge leaps this summer! Swimming, gymnastics, and making new wonderful. I think she's ahead of the curve as far as first grade goes. I hope she has a wonderful year!

  11. That is so awesome! I love that she was telling you things. That is a goal for my daughter this be able to initiate and keep a conversation. That will be a good day indeed.

  12. Congratulations to her for accomplishing so much. Congratulations to you for noticing and valuing those things. I wish I did that more with my kids.

    How did the first day of school go? Any trauma for either of you?

  13. It sounds like she is doing fabulous. That is so funny that eventually our kids begin to be "cooler" than us! I am glad you are seeing her blossom, I bet it is a wonderful feeling.