My blogging has been so hit-or-miss recently, I thought I’d devote a post to each kid, catching up on what they’ve been doing lately.
Oh Daniel, My Daniel.
He is the full range of four-and-a-half. He is charming and sweet and loving. He comes up out of nowhere and hugs me and tells me he loves me. He can’t keep himself away from Ellie, always wanting to make her laugh. He compliments total strangers if they have a cool shirt on.
He never, EVER stops talking. I don’t think he knows how. His vocabulary and memory are unbelievable, his use of colloquialisms and facial expressions are hilarious. But his mind sometimes works even faster than his mouth, so he can sometimes stutter and take for-ev-er to get a thought all the way out.
The constant talking can be grating, of course, because it also involves constant questioning and constant negotiating. And while the questions can be tiring, the negotiating starts to make me crazy. He asks a question, I give an answer, he asks again. Oh, it drives me batty. NO I SAID NO AND I WILL NOT CHANGE MY MIND IF YOU KEEP ASKING OVER AND OVER.
Oh, Self Control. Some day you will bestow yourself upon my son, won’t you? Some day? Maybe bring your friend Focus along with you? I know. All of the other boy moms are just chuckling right now and pouring themselves another glass of wine. I’ve met very few moms of boys who haven’t at least had fleeting thoughts of “maybe he’s ADD?” Nah. Just a boy. A distractable, flighty boy who takes FIFTEEN FREAKING MINUTES to put his pants on, only to come downstairs and they’re on backwards. Alas.
And yet, once he earns his stars and gets to play Lego Star Wars on the Wii? Look who suddenly can focus! Fancy that!
Daniel is fully obsessed with all things Star Wars. The movies, the Legos, the Wii games… even M’s original Empire Strikes Back storybook and Return of the Jedi glass from Burger King. (It still boggles my mind to remember that we used to get actual glassware as a kids’ meal prize from fast food restaurants.) He talks to anyone and everyone about it – which movies he’s seen, who his favorite characters are, and any number of plot points that are on his mind. Except he pronounces it “Star Wurz,” and it cracks me up, and I hope he stays that way for a while longer.
A month or so ago, Daniel started taking karate. While it’s a big commitment (twice a week! signed up for six months!), we’re all really happy with it so far. The teachers are wonderful with the kids. In the younger-kids class, they earn new belts by completing steps on a very concrete star chart. So while it may take some time, it’s very easy for the kids to see that they’re making progress towards that next goal. The entire organization also has a huge focus on character development, respect, responsibility, safety, and involving the whole family. It definitely feels like we’ve signed up for more than just another hour-long lesson. Best of all, Daniel absolutely loves it. Hey, anything that encourages him to have a little more control over his mind and body is a good thing in my book.
What else can I say about Daniel at 4 years and almost 8 months? School is going great. He reads incredibly well, pretty much anything you care to throw at him. He’s even started reading silently to himself, which I think is the coolest thing EVER. His handwriting is reasonably legible as long as he’s writing on a lined piece of paper. Give him a totally blank sheet and it looks like the writing of someone in the midst of a psychotic break. If pressed, he can draw a picture that actually looks like something, but he’s not really that into it. He’s doing well with understanding basic math concepts, even a leeetle bit of really basic multiplication, but M is determined to teach him negative numbers. Whatever.
For as much as he is growing up before my very eyes, he is still my little boy. He bursts into tears if his finger gets pinched in a drawer or someone says something mean. He still wants hugs and kisses. At the karate orientation, he still climbed into my lap. The eight-year-olds in the room would barely sit in a chair next to their moms. I noticed and squeezed my little guy a little tighter, not minding how heavy he was getting. I know it won’t be long…