Jayce, it’s been a while since we talked about what makes you, you, Now that you are officially six and a half years old, (a milestone that you’ve been counting down towards for the last month) it seems like an update is due, particularly now that you are at the age where my updates aren’t, “you’re just so sweet!”
Although, really, you are the sweetest thing. It’s just that there are some other things about you worth mentioning as well.
1.) You frequently display what we call “old man behavior,” particularly when it comes to the weather.
What do I mean by old man behavior? I basically mean that you hate extremes. You don’t like to be hot, it makes you miserable and cripples you where you stand. You also don’t want to be cold, “It’s freezing!” you’ll squeal, and huddle further back into your coat as we walk to school. You cannot take the sun in your eyes and will walk with your arm flung up over your forehead to protect your eyes from the blinding light. You are so miserable without sunglasses that I typically have 2-3 different pairs in my purse at all times. You also don’t like wind on your neck and you always have your hood up if you’re wearing a hoodie, even if the temperatures are in the 60s. It makes me laugh, a lot, but it can also can be frustrating.
I feel like I should give you a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, because when the weather isn’t great here we still have to fully embrace it in order to do whatever we are doing. We have to walk to and from school, one mile a day, five days a week, with pouring rain, freezing wind, bright sun, and sticky humidity. We have to deal with the elements no matter what, and I get it, I totally get it, that sometimes they are really annoying. Luckily for you, for nine months out of the year the weather is completely mild and doesn’t/shouldn’t really ruffle you in one direction or the other. But still, the crazy reactions to “extreme” weather are just so you.
2.) You are one smart cookie.
You’re doing great in school. Even though we’re still figuring out how to decipher the English grading system compared to the GPA’s we are used to, your report card said that you are performing above the average national level in all of your subjects at school, so we’re taking that as a good sign. Your reading is excellent. You read all the time and you’ll read anything, not just the books that you bring home. (In fact, I recently had to return the book, You Have to F-ing Eat, the newest book by the people who wrote the hilarious Go the F to Sleep, because you kept finding it and saying, “Oh HERE is that book you got at the store…no!! But why can’t I read it?)
You learn your new spelling words pretty easily each week, and you’re doing really well in math, even though your dad and I are having to figure out the new terms for everything.
“What does multiply mean? Is that like times-ing?” you say.
You also like science, which seems like an obvious choice because everything to do with science at this age is really cool: Electricity, gadgets, extreme weather, the solar system, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing which subjects rise to the top as your favorites and which subjects give you trouble as you move through school.
3.) You can zone out completely and it makes me slightly crazy.
This is particularly true if you are watching TV, playing on your Leap Pad or on dad’s iPad, but also occasionally if you’re deep in thought with whatever Lego set up you’re working on. We talk to you and you don’t know it.
I realize as I’m typing this that it’s a very stereotypical parent thing to say, “I have to call him 1 million times before he listens…” and that sort of thing. But, my son, it’s crazy. You do not hear us at all. On more than one occasion you have put school clothes on top of your pajamas because you were getting dressed while you were watching TV. One time you put your pants on backwards and I didn’t realize it until we were walking out the door for church. They were the zip up kind! Now, it’s true that they were a little too big and you didn’t need to undo the button and zipper to get them on. But it’s also true that there was a zipper on them!! Zippers go in the front, always.
Parenting a child who so readily zones out is not always easy, particularly when you are the parent who needs to get him out the door and to school on time. We have had to work out a system to make this work for both of us, for all of us actually. It is not fair to me that I have to ask you seventeen times to put on your shoes before you do so, and it is not fair to you for me to yell “I have asked you seventeen times to put on those shoes and they’re still not on!” because you’re not being disobedient, you just don’t hear me. I realized a little bit ago that touching you on the shoulder or on the arm to get you to look at me before I start talking works wonders.
Another method that is working for me lately is singing whatever I want you to do to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell. It’s very annoying, but it does work. Nothing pulls you out of the morning cartoon trance like mom singing “We’re puuuuuutting on our coats, we’re puuuuutting on our coats, hi ho the derry oh…” You are scowling and sometimes grumbling but you also are putting on your coat. 🙂
4.) You have a special relationship with Hannah.
I imagine that it’s pretty standard territory for a little sister to be the primary tormenter. I am regularly called in for reinforcement when she is wrecking what you’re doing because she wants to play with it too, but there are just as many times when she is antagonizing you just to get your attention. The other day I walked in to see you sitting on the floor playing with some toys, and Hannah standing next to you kicking your foot for no reason in particular.
That said, it is also obvious that you two have a special bond. You currently share a room and even though Chelsea moved out a few months ago and we had talked about putting you in your own rooms, I can’t bring myself to do it. Almost every night after you’ve both been tucked into bed we hear you guys upstairs chatting, often giggling, and sometimes cracking up with laughter where we have to remind you to keep it down go to bed. You have become two little bedtime avoider partners in crime, needing drinks of water together, running down the steps to give us additional kisses and hugs goodnight, and each requesting to be rocked right after the other. Your tag teaming efforts keep your dad and I on our toes up to an hour after you’ve been put to bed sometimes, but we can’t bring ourselves to break you guys apart because you are so chummy and sweet. My two little monkeys.
5.) We’re so proud of you.
You’ve really been impressing me lately with the way that you conduct yourself at school. Last week you told me one night about a kid in your class that was bothering you and asked me to speak to the teacher about it at drop off. She wasn’t there at drop off, so you went in and dealt with it yourself. You talked to your teacher, told her what was going on, ended up in a meeting with the teacher and the other kid. By the time I picked you up and was ready to talk to her myself, the situation had already been dealt with. I have to tell you, I was really impressed and happy about you standing up for yourself like this.
Also, you’ve been trying new food like crazy, and random as that is, I’m so impressed. Your school instituted a mandatory policy of hot school dinners for kids your age, so you went from having sandwiches and fruit packed by us to school meals every day. English school meals.
I am continually amazed by the things that you have for lunch this year. I was nervous, to say the least, when I looked over the meal options and had to choose between various meals that we don’t typically have at home, like shepherds pie or jacket potatoes. But I have been blown away when you come home telling me about things that you’ve eaten that seem very far from your comfort zone, like curries and fish! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m impressed.