Madeline loves to talk. When we are talking around the dinner table she usually interjects with, "Now it's my turn to talk." She usually tells us made up stories that involve many of the things that were just talked about. It is so cute that she wants to be part of the conversation. At bedtime after I have sung to her and rubbed her back, she always says, "I have to tell you some things." She used to say, "I have to ask you some questions," but that really was her way of saying that she just wanted to talk for a little bit before I said goodnight.
Madeline loves to play pretend and she is really good at it. She loves to play with Sylvania Family animals, stuffed animals, her doll house, the Little Einstein's characters, Toy Story characters, Disney princess dolls, LiteBrite, her kitchen and her pretend food, and her dress-ups. It is not uncommon for Madeline to walk around in a dress-up, with her tap shoes, rolling her hello kitty suitcase around the house. Every time I sit down and play pretend with her, I just let her take the lead and all I have to do is follow what she does. She is so fun to listen to as she talks for all of her toys. I could listen to her play for hours.
As much as Madeline loves to play with her toys, she equally loves to be on the iPad. She always asks, "Can I do some learning on the iPad?" The amazing thing is she will actually sit and do her learning apps for at least 20 minutes before moving onto a TV show or movie. Her favorite learning apps are Duolingo Kids, Kahn Academy Kids, and the Fisher Price app.
Madeline loves to go on vacation, and she loves to stay in hotels. She frequently asks when we are going to another hotel. This year during COVID has made it a little harder to travel but we managed to do lots of things in Colorado, Utah and California and Madeline loved all of it. She especially liked skiing over the winter, playing at the beach in California, going biking in Colorado and Utah, and hiking and swimming in Colorado during the summer. Madeline is an excellent hiker and usually walks the entire time without complaining. This year she hiked around the Painted Mines, Spruce Mountain Open Space, Garden of the Gods, Mt. Herman, Steamboat Springs, and Crested Butte. After the kids started school, I put her in private swim lessons as her extracurricular activity this year instead of going back to ballet. She has loved swimming with Carolyn and has progressed really fast. She can do straight leg kicks, blow bubbles in the water, go under water briefly, float on her back, and pull herself along the wall.
Madeline loves to be active. She is constantly asking us to play chase with her in the house, or ride bikes with her outside. She joins us when we are exercising in the garage and will do her version of pushups which is really cute. She even asked me if I could buy her a real pair of running shoes, some shorts and a running shirt just like Emma so that she could run with Emma.
Being the youngest in the house, Madeline gets a taste of life with older siblings. Sometimes the big kids get into trouble and when I get upset with them during those times, Madeline is always quick to ask, "Are you mad at me momma?" or "Are you happy with me momma?" It just melts my heart and I quickly check myself to make sure I am disciplining with love and not anger. Madeline is a great example of love and tenderness.
One of my favorite moments with Madeline is probably at bedtime. After reading books I tuck her in with her 3 blankets: purple (has to be the purple side face down), white fuzzy, and her quilt last. Then like clockwork she says, "I am a Child of God, 2 verses." She loves this song so much. I have asked her many times if she wants a different song, but she doesn't. Then she points to her back and asks me to rub her back. When all of that is finished, she pipes in, "I have to ask you some questions" or "I have to tell you one thing." This is the time of day where she tells me all of her thoughts. Most of the time she recounts what happened during her day or asks me things she doesn’t understand. She is a sensitive and inquisitive soul and I love that about her.