May 11 2007

More on the Five Year Old

Published by at 11:46 am under kids,photos

I wanted to wax a bit more eloquent on the wonder that is my son in my post yesterday, but it was late and my eyeballs were about to drop out of my head and turn to dust on the floor.

So I postponed the mush until today.


Ethan on the rocking horse at 1 year old

Where do I start? When I think back to the early toddler days of Ethan, I remember the cuteness (he used to walk around and “drill” everything with his outstretched finger) but I also remember the moments of screaming, kicking, hitting, gouging, violent temper tantrums. Oh my, they were bad. They weren’t TOO often, and it wasn’t anything that wasn’t typical of a strong willed, very stubborn boy, but they required a lot of patience and cool-headedness. Things that you can only dole out so much of before it’s all used up and you turn into the Mommy From Hell. We had problems in school where he would sit in the office because of hitting another child, or his teacher. He would let his emotions rule him and once they ruled, he would do anything violent. Part of the problem was his teacher, while a sweet sweet lady, was a bit too nice. He needed a firm knowledge of the rules and the consequences for breaking them. It also didn’t help that there were a couple of other boys in his class that were just as strong willed as he was – the sum of those three boys was greater than each one alone.

Ethan on the rocking horse at 2 years old

I think back to those days because they are SOOOOO gone. He has matured into such a delightful boy. Strong willed, absolutely. Stubborn, hell yes. Plays super hard? Oh my yes. The boy can motor around a room pretending like he’s Lightning McQueen like nobody’s business. He comes home covered in dirt and tales of the playground, “WE FOUND A CATERPILLAR!” “WE BUILT A ROAD!” “WE RACED AND RACED AND RACED!” He is no longer ruled by his emotions. He can control his disappointment over something and totally knows how to rock a negotiation to get a decision overturned in his favor.

What constantly amazes me is the concern and empathy he shows for others. He shows such sweet protectiveness for his sister, sharing his toys and looking out for her behalf. Even as a toddler, when Jocelyn was a baby, he never showed the usual jealousy toward the new baby.

Shortly after Jocelyn turned 3, she moved to a different classroom. The 2 year olds have their own playground, and this change meant that she would be playing on the same playground that Ethan played on, with the big kids. A few days ago when I arrived on the school playground to pick them up, instead of running at me like a freight train, Ethan first ran over to Jocelyn to let her know I was here. So sweet. (Then he ran at me like a freight train.)

On Wednesday, his actual birthday, we took some cupcakes in to his class for birthday consumption at snack time. There were 12 cupcakes, and only about 9 kids. When I arrived to pick them up, there was one left. One that he had insisted be saved for Jocelyn. Every teacher I passed on my way to the playground to get them told me about how he had saved a cupcake for her.

When Jocelyn was sick with strep the weekend before last, he was so helpful and offered her everything he could think of to make her feel better. He ran to his bed and fetched his “warm blankey” and even gave her his pookie bear (most prized possession ever) to cuddle.

He loves to run at me like a freight train and knock me over with a big bear hug. However, once I was sitting on his bed, and bonked my head on his headboard in the process. So now, every time he does it, he slows down at the end and instead of putting his arms around me in a hug, he lifts one hand to hold the back of my head to make sure it doesn’t get hurt.

Last summer, we had a fun finger/toenail painting party that both kids enjoyed. I think he must have heard something about his pink fingernails at school, because every time I paint nails and offer to paint his, he refuses and says, “That’s for GIRLS!” I didn’t really make any comment, but I worried about his self image and any damage it might suffer from other kids’ comments. He is such a stubborn, strong willed guy that I want him to be able to do what he wants and who cares what anyone else thinks, and over the last year I’ve seen more and more signs that that is the case. He lets me paint his nails again now this year.

As we were leaving school once, someone called him a baby for carrying a stuffed animal (pookie bear) and he didn’t hardly blink. “I’m not a baby. I love pookie bear.”

Since my hair’s been pink, pretty much every day I pick up or drop off, I get other kids saying, “Your hair is pink!” or more commonly, “Why did you make your hair pink?!” One day Ethan turned to the questioner and stated, “Because she WANTED TOO!” in an exasperated tone.

Ethan has decided he loves pink, even though it is, as he says, “a girl color.” He doesn’t wear it or anything, but when cups and/or plates are handed out, he loves it when his cup/ bowl/ plate is pink, and we have to alternate who gets to have the “all pink” sippy cups between him and Jocelyn.

It is so wonderful to see him growing up into such a sweet, secure, caring individual, just like his daddy. I hope the next five years don’t come too quickly.

– amy turns the mush off now.

One response so far

One Response to “More on the Five Year Old”

  1. Chrison 14 May 2007 at 10:43 am

    Wow, they grow up fast. Preaching to the choir, though. It’s scary.