Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Belated Birthday...

I turned 40 on June 20th. As is customary, I count my birthdays from when I left the cult in 2005. So this year I turned 9. These are the developmental milestones for a 9 year old, with my comments in red. Let's see how I measure up.

Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development):

Know that objects have uses and can be classified into different categories. For example, they recognize that a carrot is something to eat and is a type of vegetable. I know it's a vegetable. But I still hate it.

Can read and understand longer sentences up to 12 words. Up to 12 words, eh? Hmm...that might be pushing it.

Can add and subtract 2-digit numbers, understand fractions, and are learning how to borrow and carry values. For some reason, this one sounded philosophical to me. Adding and subtracting relationships and priorities to/from my life. Learning how to borrow and carry values sounds like some of my recent life lessons. But fuck fractions. No one understands fractions.

Like organization and planning, such as making plans ahead of time with friends. I am the queen of organization and planning. Good thing, because I get paid to do it.

Think independently. Most children are improving their decision-making skills. I'm the independent thinker the JW's warned you about. My decision-making skills are advancing; have made some of the most difficult decisions of my life this year.

Can accomplish increasingly more complex tasks and projects in school, such as book reports. Goodreads FTW!

Emotional and social development:

Recognize basic social norms and appropriate behavior. Recognize? Yes. Comply with and exhibit? Not always.

Can control their anger most of the time. Funny this should be a 9-year-old milestone. For most of my life, I've had a hard time with anger, both my own and that of others. My usual response is to repress anger and flee conflict. This year has really brought me closer to responding in a more healthy way to both.

Have caring, solid friendships. Here's a group shot from my 40th/9th birthday party. Caring. Solid. These are my friends. This is my family.

Have gained a strong sense of empathy, which is understanding and being sensitive to the feelings of others. I've always had that. Too much so at times. It's much more balanced now.

Have more stable emotions than in the previous year. Mood swings may still occur, but not as frequently as before. Good meds, good therapy, good friends, good times.

Have overcome most fears that were common in earlier childhood. But they often start having more anxiety from common stressful situations, such as school performance. Substitute work for school and yup, that's about right.

Are curious about relationships between boys and girls. Few will admit to this interest—most will insist that they are horrified by the opposite sex. I like boys. Boys are stupid. 

Language development:

Read frequently and enjoy books. I run two book clubs and am finally reading Harry Potter. Wahoo!!!

Often read with a goal of learning about something of interest. My book collection is still mostly made up of non-fiction titles. Once a nerd, always a nerd.

Have speech patterns that are nearly at an adult level. Nearly.

Sensory and motor development:

Enjoy active play, such as bike-riding, swimming and running games (such as "tag"). I started jogging this summer. I look like an awkward giraffe.

Become increasingly interested in team sports. Do orgies count?

Get dressed, brush hair, brush teeth, and get ready without any help. Yup. I'm a big girl now.

Use simple tools, such as a hammer, by themselves. This is actually kind of funny because I've been doing more of the fix-its around my apartment this year.

Like to draw, paint, make jewelry, build models, or do other activities that use their fine motor skills. Crochet...look what I can do!

So, looks like I'm on track. I hit 10 next year. I'm growing up so fast!

tall penguin