Saturday, November 3, 2007

Nearly-Five is so...

capable, funny, able to laugh at jokes. I don't know exactly what it is, but I am really enjoying Lance right now. We've always had fun, but lately he's just so grown-up. Maybe it's the contrast with Audrey, Miss "Trying to be grown up but really still such a wild toddler/baby girl," or maybe it's my mama heart realizing that his last year of preschool is a huge milestone, the beginning of him moving slowly away from my clutches.

Don't worry--not that much has changed. Of course I'm alternately wildly loving him, watching him sleep or laughing at his silly antics or marveling at his deep thoughts and GRITTING MY TEETH in annoyance at his rough play with Audrey, constant GUN-SHOOTING-BAD GUYS-VIOLENCE play, BURPING on purpose, or his NONSTOP TALKING.

I'm just more aware these days of how BIG he is, and how much he can do. The other day I was upstairs getting Audrey resettled during her nap, and Lance was playing outside in back. He came in, took off his shoes, went potty (wiped all by himself) and went back outside--gasp!--without any help from me! And he often clears his plate without being asked, says "thank you" and "excuse me," and quite often is spotted playing sweetly and actually sharing with his sister. He plays "reverse psychology" with us sometimes, saying "Mommy, do NOT eat your broccoli!" and laughing himself silly.

After a couple of weeks of issues at school, bringing home notes about hitting and playing too rough at school, we set a goal for last week. If he had 3 good days (one week) at school (which included Halloween on Wednesday), he could pick out a movie at the movie store. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (don't even get me started about my feelings about the movie, or the road we've gone down in terms of superhero/fighting tv) cartoons make a powerful incentive, obviously, and he earned it. He was very pleased with himself, and as much as I hate the external reward idea, it worked. We plan to use it again as needed, but use alternative rewards like a special meal out or special activity, so it's not always a movie.

I'm so proud of the boy he's become. Of course "proud" from me comes with all sorts of silent worries and fears. Poor boy can't avoid that--no matter how I try to hide it, I know he can sense them. He's doomed to a life of First Born Type A, I'm afraid.. But the thought of kindergarten next year makes me a little nostalgic (ok, a little excited too--he'll be gone every day!) and a little freaked out at how just yesterday he was this tiny baby who arrived too early.

It's the time of year, too.. Every November I think about being on bedrest with him, and Christmastime reminds us of his 11 days in the hospital. It reminds me to be thankful for my many blessings, even if it's through gritted teeth some days.

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