- Jr. is....I believe the PC term is "spirited." Yeah, he's spirited. I feel like the whole idea of "babyproofing" came about because of kids like Jr. We have already had a number of near-misses and "incidents" involving the stairs, climbing on bookshelves and dressers, various increasing-in-complexity baby gates, the dishwasher, the front door, the toilet, cups of coffee, the cats, the clothes dryer (don't ask), the laptop I'm using right now...
- He's still our Littleness. As of today he's a whopping 21 lbs, continuing on his 10th percentile growth curve. He still easily fits most of his 12 month sized clothing, although he's finally able to wear 18 month pants (rolled over at the top because of his tiny little waist.)
- That said, Jr. is STRONG. Like he has a baby 6-pack strong. I've witnessed him many times using ab strength alone to pull himself onto something and it is impressive. He can throw a ball, he can jump, he runs VERY fast, he does somersaults. I can't even describe how much more active he is than J ever was. Not that J was inactive, but the contrast between the two is interesting. They are definitely different kids.
- He continues to be a champion eater, despite his small size. He's at the point now where I can just pull him up to the table in his booster, put a plate in front of him, and 10 minutes later come back to an empty plate. I really hope he doesn't change in that regard because one super-picky eater is more than enough.
- I've been worried about Jr.'s language development because he still doesn't really say any words other than "uh-oh" and "hi." And "cheese," that one he says very clearly. I talked to his ped this morning about it and he reassured me that Jr. is not at all behind and his language recognition skills are excellent, so at this point we don't even need an evaluation. But I'm sure I'll be worrying about it until he really does start talking.
- He continues to torture us with night waking. We're pretty much making it up as we go along with this one because although J didn't STTN until 11 mths, once he did it he never looked back. Jr. still wakes at least once a night and needs to be rocked and get a bottle to go back down, a process which can take a REALLY long time depending on his mood. We've tried CIO with him, and he has defeated us. All that gets us is screaming-SCREAMING-for over an hour at a time. He's one of those kids who gets increasingly agitated instead of winding down if he's crying, one of the ones you read about that will actually vomit from screaming/crying if he's really upset. I'm sure we're creating a monster with the rocking but I just don't have the heart or energy to force the issue on this one.
- Despite his, um, "spiritedness" Jr. is really a joy. He's a handful for sure, but he's so full of life. As they said in Alice in Wonderland, he's much...muchier.
Poofy Puffhead no more. It was getting out of control. First Haircut With Clippers, courtesy of Mommy.
J at (almost) 5 years.
- J is also much....muchier, but in a different way. I'm not sure if you can describe a little kid as cerebral, but that is a good word for J. He's always thinking, always planning, always trying to find the "why" in a situation. He doesn't make decision lightly which is interesting for a 4.9 year old. If he doesn't want to do something, his reasons are somewhat adult - for instance, we were trying to get him interested in karate as an activity, and tried the old "your friend so-and-so is in it and he likes it." To which J replied, "Mommy, I don't have to like something just because somebody else likes something. We can be different." And then he went on to tell me that he didn't karate is a good activity "for a kid like me. I think I would like something like dance classes better because I'm always dancing." Um, okay. Duly noted. I've been searching for dance classes for him, but finding something for kids this age that's not geared towards little girls in tutus is proving challenging.
- Reading. Old news, but it's still exciting for me. J is now reading chapter books without many pictures, which is a huge leap in terms of what will keep him interested. He reads in the car, in bed, outside, in the bathroom (he is a boy after all). I was trying to read 1-2 chapters a night at bedtime until he told me that was "too slow" and that he'd rather just read the book by himself. So now I read a chapter, and he's allowed to read by himself for awhile before turning off the light. He may look like his dad, but he's definitely my kid.
- Still no word on kindergarten. The charter lottery is May 1 (coincidentally J's birthday. Also a Sunday which seems weird but that's the date.) I'd be lying if I said I'm not nervous about it. I know it's just kindergarten, but when your local school district is like ours, any chance to be in a quality program is important.
- Speaking of birthdays, we've convinced J that instead of another big party, we should take a family trip to Sea World San Diego. We considered LegoLand but Jr. is just too small for that to be a fun experience. J was very excited about it, and then there was a little setback when he realized that no party means less presents (one of the reasons I want to get away from parties), and then he saw the Sea World commercial where the kid wears the swim goggles all day long so I bought him some swim goggles...that he wants to wear all day long. So he's all excited again.
- 4.9 is proving to be a great age, although it has its challenges. J can eat what we eat, he sleeps at night, he's 100% potty trained, he can occupy himself for long periods of time, he's an excellent conversationalist, he can stay up late at night and watch movies with us or the babysitter without huge ramifications the next day. But he also is becoming argumentative and smart alecky (like I said, he's my kid) and every day it seems like he gets in trouble for not listening or talking back or generally acting like he thinks he's an adult. Thank goodness the middle school years are still far away...