Four years. It’s been four years since I held you for the first time and became a mother. I had no idea what I was in for- how much I would love you, or just how hard it would be to become a mother. What a wild and crazy ride it has been! I am so, so proud of the little man you are becoming.
If I had to pick one word that most defines this age for you, it would be energy. You never stop when you are awake! You go 110% until you crash back to sleep. My most favorite thing about you right now is your tendency to repeat things we say. In particular when you repeat directions or corrections to the twins or baby Jean. I can see the little daddy in you. You absolutely adore them.
I would say that you are professional big brother. You have adapted to the first child “I know best syndrome” with no problem! You are pretty good at getting what you want when finagaling with the twins, and you are learned they will often “trade” the toy you want for one of lesser “value.” It’s very smart, but won’t last for much longer! You fawn all over baby Jean and love helping me out with the little ones, most of the time. If it were up to you, we would just keep having babies, you want more around. In fact, you often ask if mommy has another baby in her belly yet. A little bit longer, bud 🙂
You are in the beginning stages of reading, and as a former-teacher, it’s really fun for me to see the dim glow of that light begin. Oftentimes, you don’t want to do things just because we want you to, but when it comes to reading, you are usually very excited to try. I think you can see the magic that the written word holds, the world just beyond your fingers. You have learned several sight words, including the, and, it, an, a,on, and a couple more. Half the time you actually read them off the page, the other half you use the context of the sentence and guess, but really, that’s a good skill too! You’ve also started making up stories to pictures, which is something you’ve resisted before. Your vocabulary is growing daily and you are always so inquisitive!
If I had to pick one toy that was your favorite over the whole year, it would either have to be blocks or your leap pad. You love having a little game system to play on! We made a point to choose only educational games, and boy are you good at them! Your favorites are Leap School Math/Reading and Mr. Pencil. It has really helped you grow your dexterity and willingness to try to write, which is something you do not enjoy doing. I think it has a lot to do with your thumbs and that writing is simply hard for you. However, just in the past two months you have improved greatly.
As far as blocks go, you love imagination games, and blocks fit right in! You play happily in an imaginary world, by your self (although you often are calling for Jonah and Joelle to join you- mostly Joelle, she’s your little partner in crime). Your games usually revolve around a book we just read, or a show you just watched, or a bunch of empty boxes, or some “new” toy you just found in the toy swap. It’s such fun to see your dark brown eyes sparkle as you shout “Hoot, hoot, all aboard!”
You, my son, are going to eat us out of house and home! I am daily amazed by your appetite. You can easily down a banana and four eggs at breakfast and still ask for a carrot. I would not call you a picky eater, but a hesitent one. Our rule is you take at least one bite of everything, and can get down, but that you don’t get more of anything unless you clean your plate. We often have to encourage you to take that first bite, but most of the time you end up eating everything! And although you eat very well and balanced at home, your favorite foods are still burgers, pizza, and mac n cheese. And oh my, you love sweets. Any kind of sweets, except brownies! But you also love veggies and fruits. If you are hungry, you generally ask for a carrot. And I have found you multiple times snatching a carrot out of the fridge when you think I can’t see. But I’d rather a carrot than a cookie!
Your energy level runs parallel to your sleep, you are still a very good sleeper! You sleep from 8:00pm-6:30am, and then nap from 1:30-3:30 most days. You wake up before anyone else in this house, so at 6:30 the power to your light comes on, and you are allowed to turn on your light and read or play until we come and get you. It took most of the year for you to master this, but you now happily play in your room for an hour while the rest of the house sleeps. I hope you keep your early morning ways, buddy, it will be useful in the future, but I am not a morning person!
Sometimes, I think I expect too much out of you, being that you are the biggest and seem so much more capable to me. But, about half the time, you are a very good little helper. You don’t have a traditional chore list, but I usually ask you to help unload the dishwasher, you carry your plate to the sink, and you do the majority of the toy clean up. If it’s something related to baby Jean, you love to help! And if it’s something for the twins, as long as I tell you it’s because you’re the big brother, then you will usually help. My favorite thing is that you hold Joelle’s hand and take her out to the car and into where ever we are going. She’s compliant enough that she will go with you, and you are so gentle with her. Meanwhile, mama carries Jean and keeps a vice-like grip on Jonah! It’s such a big help to know that you will help her most of the time!
This fall, you started preschool. And while I still plan on homeschooling, right now, this is perfect for you! You absolutely LOVE school. I think it’s important for you to work on your sharing and listening skills with other kids your age right now, since the twins still can’t reason very well. We don’t send you for academic skills, you get most of those at home, but you really enjoy the play time with your friends and your teachers. It’s never a battle to get you to go, and you never have any hesitation. I’m glad to see that bravery, buddy, it gives me a little glimpse of you walking into a big business meeting, or a new church for the first time.
Overall, year 3-4 has been good for us, little buddy. I simply can’t believe what a little man you are becoming. The emotions, however, caught me off guard this year. You approach everything with a passionate zeal, and if you struggle or are stopped somehow, it does often end in tears and anger. You do not submit to anyone else’s will easily, and struggle to listen when it’s just not what you want to do. I think that’s going to be a battle for the rest of your life, sweetie. Persistence and determination will pay off, but sometimes we have to learn to lose or fail with grace. We’re still working on that, but there are moments when you surprise me with the beauty, love, and thankfulness of your heart, and I know we will all be ok. And that maybe, just maybe, we are doing something right.
I love watching you grow up, and I’m so anxious to continue to see who you are, who you will be. But don’t grow too quickly, buddy, we all love your crazy, energetic joy around here!