Ila at 5
Ila is named after my beloved grandmother, Ila O’Bryant. My Ila loves her name and she loves to hear about her namesake. She’ll often say things like “I can’t wait till I get to meet Ila O’Bryant” or “what do you think it will be like when I meet her?” My Ila sleeps with a blanket I inherited from my grandmother. She calls it her “Ila O’Bryant blanket.” My grandma is one of my favorite people ever so I love that Ila and I share this connection with her. The picture below is of my namesake (Kathleen O’Bryant) and Ila’s namesake. Sometimes I show Ila this picture and tell her how we’re Kathleen and Ila and this picture is of a different Kathleen and Ila. Here is what I wrote the day after I named her.
Lately Ila has been really interested in birth stories. She asks me to tell her about when each of the kids in our family was born. She also says things like “I don’t know what it feels like to have a baby.” That’s her way of asking me to tell her about it. This is Ila right after she was born:
Ila loves babies. She particularly enjoyed holding her baby cousin Asher over the summer. She took every opportunity she could get to give him loves. The other day she said “Mom, I forget what it’s like to hold baby Asher.” That’s her way of asking for more baby holding opportunities. She has been eagerly anticipating the birth of her friend’s baby sister who was born almost a week ago. Ila holding her cousin Asher:
Ila told me the other day that she’s decided what she wants for Christmas. She wants “something orange.” It doesn’t matter what, but she wants it to be orange. She collects orange things and keeps them in her bed and she gets very excited around Halloween because of all the orange she sees everywhere. I’ve done her birthday shopping in after Halloween sales a few times which means she has pumpkin and jackolantern shirts that she wears year round. Usually when I’m birthday shopping, I just type orange into the box on Amazon and look for things she might like.
Ila is very social. She loves to play with other kids and gets along really well with a variety of ages. She will play with Thomas and his three-year-old friend and then play with Charlotte and their 6-year-old friend. Some of her favorite friends are the Tanner girls. She plays well with all three of them individually or together (they are ages 2, 4, and 6). She likes to play house or school. Often during the day, Thomas, Ian (Thomas’s best friend), and Ila will run around the house playing with their stuffed pets. Thomas has a kitty, Ian has a puppy, and Ila has an orange kitty. They love to create mommy and baby scenarios with all their toys.
Ila is learning to read. She was so excited after reading several sentences in her lesson book that we had to go over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to read to them.
Ila is still very selective about what she’ll eat and rarely tries a new food, but she’s making small improvements. We’ve been telling her that 5-year-olds try new things in an attempt to get her to be more comfortable with the idea of trying something new. For a girl who doesn’t usually accept any variations in her acceptable food options, it seems like a big deal when she starts being willing to eat slightly different varieties of the same thing. For years she’s only been willing to eat dinosaur chicken nuggets, but she recently decided to try some new shapes. She will now eat ABC chicken nuggets, elevens (chicken fries), and “restaurant shaped” chicken nuggets. For years the only potato chips she’d eat are the Lays Wavy Original and when they changed the bag slightly, she wouldn’t eat them for a week because she thought they were a new kind. She will now also eat blue bag chips (Ruffles Original) and Original Pringles. She will not try any chips with additional flavoring. I thought I could sneak a ranch flavored Pringle in with her original Pringles but when she tasted something different she cried for about 10 minutes. She has added french toast, bran muffins and french fries to her safe foods this year. She almost tried a donut this year, but in the end she chickened out.
Ila has been receiving growth hormone injections every night for about a year. She gets excited about signs of her growth. Like when she discovered that she could get a drink from the shorter water fountain without any help, or when she discovered that if she reached her arms and legs out she could touch the top and bottom of the bathtub at the same time. A few times she has told me she thought her chest was getting bigger like a Mom. Below is a picture of Ila with some of her shot pen collection:
Ila is a very sensitive child. She bursts into tears whenever she is scolded. Once I was in primary and the girl next to her said that Ila wasn’t singing and Ila buried her face in her hands and cried.
Ila is generally so cooperative and easy going that she’s the easiest child to take places. She loves to be with me and I like having her around. She has a sweet little voice and gets so excited about little things.
Ila likes princesses, especially Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. She likes My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic. Her favorite pony is Pinkie Pie. She likes watching Daniel Tiger, especially the episodes with his new baby sister.
It’s hard to believe that she’ll start school next year. I can’t imagine not having her home with me all day. She is such an easygoing pleasant child to take places and we have little conversations about things all day long.