I love the ages of my kids right now. They are far from perfect, but it's so nice to have them all still "kids" - not yet pre-teens, but no longer "pre-schoolers". For the moment, they can all still crawl onto my lap, they'll all hold my hand in public, no one is yet my height or asking to borrow the car keys.
|My Three Turkeys|
Jason is so self-sufficient (almost too much, sometimes) and has made his own little friends on our block that come over and ask if he can play. He comes home sometimes and says, "Mom, I know you're not going to like this, but they offered me a PB&J sandwich while I was at their house and I ate it. With pretzels. And gluten."
|Such a ham|
I told him that when he turned five, he wouldn't have to take naps anymore. I worked myself up to the fact that I wouldn't get a mid-day, Mommy break, until I realized I could still give him a quiet time in his room with toys and books for an hour. Whew!
|On one of "those" days, Jason got the feeling he should stay quiet for a while and covered himself with stickers.|
The problem is that this kid still rises with the sun, so he's not napping anymore, yet he has trouble falling asleep when we put him to bed earlier than Ryan, so he's an overtired, whiney, cries-at-the-drop-of-a-hat, whirlwind of emotions all day long. When I just can't take it anymore and wonder if he'll live to see the the age of six, I think back over the last few days, realize he's gone to bed late and woken up early, and, sure enough, when I send him for his quiet time, he passes out cold.
|This is Jason "not tired"|
Kaylin has also made a new group of friends in the neighborhood. They're like a little pack of 7-10 year olds who ride bikes, put make up on each other, do each other's hair and have lemonade stands. Kaylin used to have just one friend at a time in our 'hood, but since she joined a new dance class, we carpool with several families in the neighborhood and they're all adorable friends now. Most of them are Mormon and go to church together, but they graciously accepted Kaylin into their little circle. Even though we have different beliefs, I know she's playing with kids who have integrity and morals taught in their home on a very regular basis.
She's been trying a bit of an attitude on for size, but recoils when she realizes that the sighing and eye rolling don't fly in our house. It seems that she's causing trouble with Jason, but when I listen more carefully, she's learning to stand her ground and not let her alpha-male brothers take advantage of her. Thankfully, the eye rolling and sighs is as far as it's gotten with her. If it were only that simple with the boys, I would be thrilled, but they're arguers. I'm expecting their negotiation skills to take them through law school someday.
Ryan is officially taking on the roll of a responsible tween. He babysits the other kids on a weekly basis while I run errands, get my hair done, or go to Bible study. I make sure my neighbor is home in case of an emergency, but he seems to have figured out the line between being in charge without lording over his siblings.
The other day, I called him with my hair full of foils while at the hair dresser and asked how things were going. "Well," he said, "Jason wouldn't stay in his room for his quiet time. I told him to come downstairs and we had a little talk, I gave him a little milk, and I explained that he was grounded from screen time for disobeying. Then I told him that he needed to go back in there until 2:00 and he finally listened."
Cracked. Me. Up.
Ryan loves to cook and bake like his mama. He helps in the kitchen quite a bit and even made us homemade turkey and wild rice soup last night for dinner. All I did was toss some celery and onion into the pot and he followed a loose list of directions to finish it off while I was out with Kaylin.
|Making batches of meatballs to flash freeze for later.|
When we woke up yesterday, it was windy and cold out, so Ryan had to pull out the jeans I bought him a couple of months ago. The poor kid had to wear high-waters to church. He is growing like a weed! And he had his first zit the other day, so puberty might be just around the corner. Oy.
If you were a fly on our wall this weekend, you would wonder where all of this nostalgia is coming from, because this wasn't a great weekend. There were tears, bickering, frustrations, grounded kids…it was a tough weekend, to say the least. But I've been wanting to capture this moment in our lives for a few weeks and sometimes the timing isn't ideal, but the sentiments are the same.
|Don't they look innocent…?|