Younger Boy is now 4 years old. For most of you who have followed me from the beginning you know that Younger Boy and I have come a long way together from being the ripe age of 2-years-old-in-diapers to the 4-year-old-potty-trained-letter-loving kid he is now. One thing that I’ve always found frustrating is his behavior when he’s with me, or FH and the boys, or when he’s coming home from being with Jane. It drives me absolutely batty.
Face One – Me and Him
When it’s just me and him he’s this active, happy, calm, fun-loving kiddo. He listens, he has amazing manners, and he’s adventurous and enjoys trying something new – or at least is willing to try something new.
Face Two – When Dad and the Brothers Come Home
He kind of turns into a big mean butt-head. He finds the need to defend himself against Middle Boy, whether or not Middle Boy is antagonizing him. He starts doing things he known he’s not supposed to do (probably because Older Boy seems to think that if he’s doing something with Younger Boy it will be OK even though it never seems to be.) He gets cranky and rude more often. He may or may not be willing to try something new.
Face Three – Coming Home from being with Jane and Jolie
He’s a baby. He can’t do anything himself. He has no manners whatsoever. He doesn’t want to do anything. He gets whiney and starts sniffling and crying at everything.
I bring this up because I really really hoped that as he got closer to being 5-years-old and wanting to start Kindergarten he would perhaps leave some of this negative behavior behind. However, I’m now seeing the light of day. As long as Jane and Jolie baby him and treat him like a baby instead of a big boy he’s going to revert back to the behaviors of his 2-year-old days.
I guess this is me hoping that eventually as he gets even older he’ll at least start to realize that bringing that behavior back home with him isn’t going to fly. Middle Boy learned that last year. He was in the middle of saying something rather not OK and he looked at the look on my face (the raised eyebrow) and realized who he was talking to. This was followed by the “Oh shit that’s not going to work on Crys” look on his face and from then on he left that version of himself at Jane’s. One can always hope, right? All I know is that consistency in my behavior works. So I’m not giving up all hope.
Baby Update: Today I’m at 17 weeks. My mom took me out shopping for some maternity clothes because my clothes just weren’t fitting anymore. The problem is that we bought some of them a size bigger than I needed in anticipation of how big I will grow. But, it’s nice to at least be able to fit inside of a pair of pants, even if I’m tugging on them now and then compared to not being able to squeeze into them.
I picked up the Kindergarten Registration packet for Younger Boy and in it was a page that has a list of things that “They would like him or her to know” before your child enters school in the fall.
Younger Boy can do quite a bit of them already. He knows his colors, he knows common shapes, he knows common fruits and vegetables, he knows common animal names and he’s pretty good at knowing his different body parts. Although he’s having some trouble remembering his shoulder but that’s not a high concern on my list.
They also would like him to be able to count up to 10 objects. So I plopped down a handful of mini marshmallows in front of him. He got up to 19 because that’s all that was there. I didn’t want to give him too many because the rule is if you touch it you eat it.
Some of the things on there that I thought was a little silly was the ability to cut on a line, color inside the lines and string beads or macaroni. I figure he’ll strengthen on these on his own as he gets into his Kindergarten groove. Besides, I know people my age who have trouble coloring inside the lines. I’m not going to expect a 4-year-old to have mastered that feat just yet.
The one big thing I have been working with him on is writing. He, of course, wants to hold the pencil/pen wrong. So we’ve been trying to work daily on writing the letters and how to hold the pencil. I bought a wipe-off work book for Middle Boy when he was learning to write his letters so I’ve been using that with Younger Boy. He’s gotten pretty good at it.
I’ve also been working with him on how to spell his name. We started off using the letter magnets on the refrigerator. And this past Friday was my mom’s birthday so I thought it would be a good idea to have him practice writing his name by signing the card himself. I copied his name down on a piece of paper and had him copy the letters. He sat there and struggled a little bit. But he managed to get the letters onto the card. They were somewhat legible, different sizes, and his s was backwards. But you could read it and know whose name it was.
Yesterday I had FH sit down to work on some of these Kindergarten feats with him. He had a pencil in hand and a big piece of paper. I asked Younger Boy to practice writing his name. I also asked FH to go grab the piece of paper so he could copy it down for him. Well, low and behold, by the time FH walked over from the desk to the table Younger Boy had printed out his name if very legible letters.
FH and I looked at each other quite astonished, and proud. Younger Boy looked at me and smiled. I could swear his had a “You silly fool. Of course I can write my name” look on his face.
Baby Update: I'll be going on 17 weeks on Wednesday. We heard the heartbeat again and it's still going strong. I'm waiting for the next ultrasound on April 29th. It's the big one where I have to drink 5 1/2 glasses of water an hour and a half before so they can look for birth defects and what not. We're hoping the baby will let us know what he or she is. Please think *Girl* for me because I sure could use another female in this house of boys. Especially considering even the cat is a male.
I realized today that it has been weeks since I’ve updated. I finally have a break so here I am with a rambling update.
Can I tell you that having a very sick FH in bed while I tend to the house chores that he usually does, taking care of the boys and trying to grow a baby are all very exhausting when done at the same time. I think last week has by far been the longest week ever.
It all started last Saturday when Older Boy had his first ever slumber party to celebrate his 10th birthday. I learned that I have no idea what 10-year-old boys enjoy doing to entertain themselves. Apparently video games, board games and movies did just fine though.
I also learned that apparently it’s at 10 years of age that the infamous and indifferent “I Don’t Care” and “I Don’t Know” start to show their ugly heads. I noticed Older Boy started with the “I Don’t Care” probably about two weeks or so ago. I had to think back to when “I Don’t Care” reared it’s ugly head when I was younger. It was about this age.
And my thoughts were confirmed by all three of the 4th grade boys that came to our house.
The smart thing we did was send Middle Boy and Younger Boy to my parents’ house. The dumb thing we did was actually expect the fourth graders to keep somewhat quiet when it got too late. I was awoken around 1am by high pitched giggling. Luckily FH got to be the parent that got up and told them to go to bed. Thank goodness because I was exhausted and cranky and likely to snap.
Then FH got a nasty, painful, energy zapping sinus infection. Luckily we got him some antibiotics; unluckily it was almost a week later (this last Saturday) so we both got drained – He from his illness and I from trying to do everything while pregnant.
I am currently being rewarded though. FH and the boys are off camping this week. That means that Nasty Cat and I have the house to ourselves. The quiet is nice and I’ve been able to sleep and relax. Although I do miss them, it’s really nice to get some time to myself to recharge and catch up.
Baby Update: As of Wednesday, April 7th I’ll be 15 weeks in my pregnancy. The all-day-morning sickness has been traded in for nasty headaches. I guess I’d rather get a nasty headache once in a while though compared to feeling sick to my stomach every day all day. I'm still waiting for the moment that I just might enjoy being pregnant like so many of my friends. However, I'm not ashamed to say that I'm maybe a part of that other group that does not enjoy it. Because I honestly am not enjoying it. But, I'm excited and happy as the weeks go on.